Marjorie Elizabeth Ward Nicholson, 83, passed away Monday, September 7, 2009, in Kerrville, Texas. She was born on January 2, 1926, at Henderson Branch, Kerr County, the youngest child of William and Lizzie Ann Masters Ward.
Her early education years were spent at Ingram Elementary School, transferring to Tivy Junior High and High School which was located in the Joseph A. Tivy Building current home of the Kerrville Independent School District administration office. Following a devastating fire in 1942 of the Tivy Campus, the building was restored in time for her graduation in 1943.
With the outbreak of World War II there was little money for college. Marj attended Durham Business College in San Antonio and went to work for the Fort Sam Houston Red Cross. Shortly after arriving in San Antonio, Marj went on a blind date with a handsome young soldier named Sidney Nicholson from Mason County.
The pair soon planned a wedding on the anniversary of their first date, but Sidney received his orders to ship out before their special day. On December 24, 1944, Marj and Sidney were married at noon at the Sunset Baptist Church just days before Sidney left for Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and later to Saipan.
While Sidney was serving his country, Marj worked at two jobs to earn enough money to buy residential lots for home building. Soon she had the lots paid for, homes built and sold.
Upon Sidney’s return, they worked together managing a small grocery store in Hunt. Settling on the North Fork, the Nicholson’s became involved with community activities included membership at Hunt United Methodist Church holding numerous chairmanships.
With the arrival of daughters Darla and Mindy, the Nicholson’s ‘moved into town’ for the girls to attend school. Marj quickly became involved with the PTO spearheading numerous campus improvement projects.
As her children got older, Marj returned to the business community when she joined Chas. Schreiner Bank as Assistant Vice President and Public Relations Officer. Marj founded the popular Schreiner Ladies Club planning and escorting bank customers on trips all over the world.
Anxious to return to a small business ownership, Marj founded MN Travels assisting clients with their travel destinations for over 15 years before retirement in 1998.
For over five decades, Marj was a dedicated church and community leader. She was the founder the Hill Country Youth Ranch Auxiliary, founder of the Hill Country Cowbells which today is known as the Hill Country Cattlewomen, Kerrville Young Women’s Group later known as the Kerrville Junior Service Guild, the Tranquility Island Christmas Lighting Project and the First United Methodist Church Workshop Group. Marj was the co-founder of the Peterson Regional Medical Center Auxiliary and a charter member of the Kerr County Women’s Chamber, the Kerrville Morning Rotary Club and the Executive Women’s Club.
She served on many community committees and boards including the City of Kerrville‘s Goals of the ‘80s Committee, Goals of the ‘90s Committee, Peterson Home Health Care Board, Hill Country Arts Foundation, Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association and Auxiliary, National Association of Bank Women, Board of Directors of the Texas State Arts and Crafts Education Foundation and the Hill Country Preservation Society.
Marj has been honored many times for her accomplishments. She was awarded the Kerrville Chamber’s Outstanding Woman of the Year, the Ioma Jones Award, the Jefferson Davis Award for Excellent by KSAT 12 and the national Volunteer of the Year from the Eckert Drug Corporation.
Marj is survived by two daughters, Darla Nicholson of Austin and Mindy Nicholson Wendele and husband, Raymond P. Holloway of Kerrville; two grandchildren, Meredith Wendele and fiancé, Jared Jakovich of Kerrville and Boerne and Justin Travis and fiancé Angelica of Kerrville; Meredith’s father, John T. Wendele of Shingletown, California; great grandchildren Morgan and Jackson and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by husband Sidney A. Nicholson, Jr.; parents, William and Lizzie Ward; siblings, Etta Rose Carnes, Beulah Ward, Velma Ward Page, William M. Ward, J. B. Ward and Marcus L. Ward.
Visitation was held at Kerrville Funeral Home on Thursday, September 10, 2009 from 5-7 p.m.
A Memorial Service celebrating Marj’s life was held Friday, September 11, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church. A private graveside service and interment was held at Garden of Memories Cemetery.
Honorary pallbearers were nephews, Eugene Carnes, Donald Carnes, John Page, Roy Durio, Jay Ward, Dean Ward, Russell Powell; and John Wendele, Jack Groff, Dr. Tim Scott, Dr. Gary Priour, Don Hainlen, Rich Richardson and Mark Anderson.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials may be made to the Hill Country Youth Ranch or Peterson Regional Medical Center.
For those wishing, tributes or memories can be left at www.kerrvillefuneralhome.com by selecting “Obituaries” and then “Sign Guestbook” at the bottom of the individual memorial.
Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of Kerrville Funeral Home, (830) 895-5111.