Jackie Lee Nichols Memorial Scholarship
Jackie Lee Nichols regretted not having more education and as a result encouraged every young person he met to continue in school. His memorial scholarship was established by his loving wife Darleen because Education was so important to Jackie, and he wanted to help other kids from Cooleemee.
Jackie was born in Cooleemee on October 26, 1933. He was the 3rd of 5 children born to Carl and Bessie Blackwood Nichols. At the age of 3, he was hit by a car, leaving him with a head injury that led to speech problems the remainder of his life.
Jackie had major difficulty with reading and speech throughout his early years, making school work and socialization very difficult. At the age of 16, he dropped out of school to work in Cannon Mills, the Cooleemee cotton mill, with his parents.
On June 29, 1953, he entered the US Army, proudly serving his country. Jackie often said this experience changed and saved his life. After serving 2 years, Jackie remained in the reserve until1961. He settled in Alexandria, VA., close to his Mother, after service. In 1959 he married his wife of 55 years, Darleen Faris. He found his dream job as a maintenance engineer for George Washington’s Estate, Mt. Vernon, where he worked until he retired in 1995.
Jackie and Darleen had no children but were active with nieces and nephews. In retirement, Jackie survived cancer, traveled extensively, explored his love of Western History and designed his dream home. He passed away quietly January 9, 2014 in his sleep. His favorite comment about life was “not bad for a kid from Cooleemee”.
The Jackie Lee Nichols Memorial Scholarship is available to a Davie High School or Davie County Early College senior from the Cooleemee area for general educational pursuits.