OBIT: Local Journalist Ralph Nichols has passed away; Memorial will be May 13

Ralph Nichols at the Burien Farmers Market.

We are very saddened to report that longtime local Journalist Ralph Nichols – who reported for South King Media and also served as Editor for the Highline Times – passed away on Sunday, April 28, 2019.

Ralph first joined South King Media in 2009, reporting on local politics, a B-17 pilot, the death of Rosie the Newfoundland, as well as investigative and feature stories and much more.

Ralph was an integral part of The B-Town (Burien) Blog team that won two consecutive “Best Hyperlocal Website” awards from the SPJ in 2010 and 2011. The Blog won the top honor over competing websites covering a five-state region – Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

In 2011, Ralph was honored by the SPJ for his ongoing investigate business reporting of Burien Town Square.

From left to right; Ralph Nichols, Scott Schaefer, Theresa Schaefer, Joy Steele and Mark Neuman at a Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) awards banquet.

“He and I worked together at Robinson newspapers,” Senior Writer Jack Mayne said. “Ralph was the consummate Journalist who often went to war for the truth, something often overlooked these days! He will be missed!”

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, May 13, at St. Barnabas Anglican Church (2340 N 155th St, Shoreline, WA 98133; map below).

Everyone at South King Media sends out their deepest condolences to Ralph’s wife Cheryl, his family, friends, and everyone who knew and loved him.

Here’s Ralph’s obit:

Ralph Amos Nichols II – (November 30, 1943 – April 28, 2019)

Ralph was born in Emmett, Idaho, on November 30, 1943, the son of Ralph Amos and Hazel Hankins Nichols. He grew up on the family farm. As a boy and teenager, Ralph helped with the farm work – including fieldwork and feeding cattle. Ralph enjoyed driving tractors, especially the Caterpillar. Ralph attended a three-room country school for his first eight grades and then Emmett High School, graduating in 1962. During high school Ralph participated in many activities, including sports – football and track. He attended Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho, graduating in 1966.

Ralph’s career choice was journalism, and his first love was newspaper reporting. Ralph started his newspaper career at the Idaho Statesman in Boise, Idaho. He also worked for the Idaho Press Tribune in Nampa, Idaho. In 1980 Ralph relocated to Anchorage, Alaska, to work for the Anchorage Times. During his years as a newspaper reporter, Ralph held a variety of assignments including covering the Idaho Legislature. Ralph met and interviewed many of the people involved in shaping legislation for both Idaho and Alaska as well as leaders in the business community. He also interviewed many well-known entertainers who were performing locally. In 1988 Ralph again relocated, this time to Seattle, where he wrote and edited for newspapers in the Seattle area. He also used his skills working for Microsoft and Eddie Bauer. Most recently, he wrote for blogs reporting on local government and business, including The B-Town Blog, where he won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. With all the responsibilities that went along with his work, Ralph always maintained his journalistic integrity.

Ralph married Charice Meidinger in 1968. Their son, David, was born in 1973, and they later divorced, though remaining friends. During David’s formative years, Ralph was a supportive and loving presence in his life. In 1997 he met Cheryl Brooks, his soulmate and the love of his life. They married in 2014.

Ralph had an insatiable quest for knowledge. He loved to read and was especially interested in history, sports and music. Ralph had a special interest in trains, especially Lionel model trains. He loved animals and was also a loyal Mariners and Seahawks fan. He was truly a man for all seasons. Most importantly, Ralph loved the Lord. He was a member of St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Shoreline.

Ralph is survived by his wife Cheryl, his son David and wife Chalamar, and grandchildren, Theodore, Margaret, and Paige; Cheryl’s children, Paul and wife Kiana, John and wife Miranda, and Laura and husband Brian, and grandchildren – Stacia, Mikayla, Kenzie, Angelina, Troy, and Katelyn. He is also survived by his sister, Stephanie Kukay. Ralph was preceded in death by his parents.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Bonney-Watson Funeral Home in SeaTac. A memorial service will be held Monday, May 13th, at St. Barnabas Anglican Church, at 2:00 p.m.


One Response to “OBIT: Local Journalist Ralph Nichols has passed away; Memorial will be May 13”
  1. Patrick Nardo says:

    Ralph Nichols gone!? Some how I thought he was close to eternal, but, since God decided how long he could stay, it must be accepted by all. Ralph was one person who believed what he said and said it whether you liked it or not. Most of the time he was right and could back it up with forceful words. Often times he would rankle with a viewpoint opposing mine and we would “converse” over it, Whatever can be said about Ralph Nichols, he played fair, just, and “jis way”. So we butted heads a couple times but never were belligerents. I will miss finding fault with some of his articles, even though I might have secretly wished I had written one or two as well. Now expect this man to go and explain to his maker, the best way to get His word out. God bless and keep you (under control) and R.I.P. Maybe I will read you again n one day?

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