Cover photo for Della Nichols's Obituary
Della Nichols Profile Photo

Della Nichols

August 6, 1925 — May 30, 2020

Michigan City

Della Nichols

Della Ruth Nichols

August 6, 1925-May 30, 2020

Della Ruth Nichols, 94, of La Porte, IN, passed away Saturday, May 30, 2020 at Life Care Center of Michigan City.

She was born August 6, 1925 in Elkhart, Indiana, the daughter of Walter and Ida Mae (Long) Ott.

On February 10, 1945, in La Porte, she married William F. Nichols who preceded her in death in 2008.

In 1940, Della was afflicted with Polio. She was the first patient to have muscle replacement in Indiana.

During WWII, Della worked at Kingsbury Ordinance Plant and was known as "Rosie The Riveter". She retired from American Home Foods, La Porte, where she was on the Jiffy Pop popcorn line.

A lifelong resident of the area, Della was a member of the First United Methodist Church as well as a member of the Maple Leaf Motorcycle Club, Springfield Twp.  She was an avid Notre Dame fan and loved everything to do with them. Della also enjoyed NASCAR and was a humming bird lover. She loved reading Danielle Steel books, cross stitch, knitting, and sewing as well as craft work, playing bingo and crocheting. Because of her joy of camping, she spent 15 years in her second home at Campland in Frostproof, FL.

Della is survived by her two daughters, Linda Szymkowski of Michigan City, Deborah (Ralph) Jones of Rolling Prairie; son Garry (Paula ) Nichols of Trail Creek; two sisters Helen Schaible of La Porte, and  Mary Williams of Mesquite, TX; grandchildren, Danny, LaDonna, Brian, Phillip, Garry, Josh and Jenny; great grandchildren, Mary Jayne, Colin, Lilianna, Dominic, Bailee, Lily, Camie, Calie, Aubrey, Adalynn, Gavin, Kevin, Kayla, Koral, Kyle, Taylor, Travis, Danielle, Brittany, and Nicole, and a great-great granddaughter Jazmyn, Jaxon, Lilly, Sophia, Everett, Tristin, and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

Along with her parents and husband, Della was preceded in death by 4 sisters, Dorothy Nichols, Elzora Hawkins, Betty Tyler, and Lula Bell; and her son in law, Larry Szymkowski.

Arrangements are being entrusted to Haverstock Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 602 Maple Ave., La Porte, IN where the family will receive friends for a viewing Wednesday, June 3 from 10 am unti12 noon. Her funeral service will take place at 12 noon Wed., with Jeff Zigler, First Church of God, La Porte, officiating.  Interment will follow at the Pine Lake Cemetery, La Porte, IN.

Memorial contributions may be made in Della's honor to the South La Porte County Special Education Cooperative to benefit all students with specials needs. 602 “F Street La Porte, IN 46350

Online condolences may be made at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Della Nichols, please visit our flower store.


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