Rachel F. (Boisvert) Nichols, 88, of Woodbury died peacefully on Sunday July 8, 2012 at VITAS Hospice unit at St. Mary’s Hospital surrounded by her loving family.
Nichols was predeceased by her husband of 70 years, Burton G. Nichols. She was born on September 27, 1923 in Waterbury, the daughter of the late George Boisvert and Corrine (Langevin) Boisvert.
Nichols is predeceased by two sisters, Irene (Boisvert) (LaBuda) Gugliotti, and Corrine Boisvert, and four brothers, Lionel Boisvert, Al Boisvert, Emile Boisvert and Armen Boisvert.
She is survived by her four children, Theresa and her husband, Richard Cleaver of Woodbury; Harry Nichols and Katherine Bates of Florida; Larry and his wife, Peggy Nichols of East Haddam; and Arlene and her husband, Michael Quattro of Watertown.
Nichols leaves 14 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren. She is also survived by many uncles, aunts and cousins.
She went to St. Ann’s French Catholic school in Waterbury where she achieved high marks until eighth grade. After eighth grade, Nichols was unable to continue her schooling due to her father and younger sister becoming very ill.
She assisted her mother with the care of the family and helped support her family by cleaning homes and providing babysitting to others.
After meeting her future husband, 19-year-old Burton, at work, Nichols asked St. Theresa for a sign if they should be wed as she was only 18 years old. St. Theresa provided a miracle when Burton presented Rachel with a bouquet of red roses. The two were married and created a life together which they would become inseparable.
Nichols continued her schooling after she was married and became a mother. During 1958-60, she took a home study course through the Post Graduate School of Nursing.
She cared for her husband and children during the day and at night studied to complete a degree in nursing. She graduated with high marks August 15, 1960 as a Practical Nurse.
After retirement, Nichols and Burton spent many wonderful years traveling around the country, visiting friends and family. She loved being with people, celebrating holidays, especially with her family, gardening and canning fresh food, and enjoying nature, especially birds that came to nest in Burton’s handmade bird houses.
The family would like to thank the caring people at The Village at East Farms, who gave extra love and care to Nichols during the last 2 ½ years of her life.
Special gratitude to all the loving nurses and doctors on the VITAS Hospice Unit who provided Nichols with care and respect during the last days of her life. Thank you also for providing support and care to the family while Rachel was in hospice. Grateful appreciation to Mary Quattro, who provided guidance, love and support.
Visitation: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at , 2 School St., Woodbury.
Services: A mass of Christian burial will take place at 10 a.m., Friday July 13, at . Burial will follow in .
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to VITAS Hospice Unit, St. Mary’s Hospital, Xavier 4, 56 Franklin St. Waterbury, CT 06706.