Senator Jonathan Edgar Nichols


Senator Jonathan Edgar Nichols was born on November 14, 1965 in Bad Hersfeld, Germany. His parents were Neb B. Nichols and Linda Jean Nichols. Jonathan attended Christ the King Catholic School in Oklahoma City before moving to Muskogee where he attended and graduated from Muskogee High School in 1984. After high school, he attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah and received his Bachelor of Arts in English. At his graduation in 1990, he was awarded Outstanding Senior of his graduating class. He studied for the LSAT while working overnights in the Corbun machine shop in Muskogee, which led him to obtain his Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1993.
During his second year of law school, Jonathan noticed a girl who worked in the Law Library. After several attempts to get her to go out with him, she one day saw him in his jeans, t-shirt and driving his white Mustang convertible and the rest was history. Jonathan and Talitha Joy Dyke married on August 18, 1992 in Oklahoma City. They welcomed their first daughter, Jessica Lyn Nichols, on April 11, 1993 just in time for Jonathan to graduate Law School a month later. At this time, the family resided at 817 W. Lindsey Street.
Jonathan interned in the Cleveland County District Attorney's Office during Law school. Following graduation, his first job as an attorney was at the Taylor Law Firm in downtown Oklahoma City until hired as an Assistant District Attorney in 1995. Nichols was named the Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year by the Association of Oklahoma Narcotic Enforcers in 1997.
Jonathan's admiration of the law and politics led him to run for the District 15 seat of the Oklahoma State Senate, which included Cleveland, Garvin, and McClain counties. After several months of door knocking in the heat and unrelenting hard work on the campaign trail, his fellow Oklahomans elected him to the Senate in November of 2000 where he'd served with distinction until the end of his subsequent terms in 2012. As a Senator, Jonathan served as Chair of the Senate Republican Caucus, authored laws increasing the safety of Oklahoma's children and expanded Oklahoma's DNA database that subsequently led to solving multiple violent cold cases. His efforts earned him a place of honor in the Oklahoma's Child Advocacy Hall of Fame, OSBI's Award for Exemplary Service for his Legislative accomplishments on law and order, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Outstanding Legislative of the Year award and the Bull Dog award for "improving Oklahoma's criminal justice system".
His tireless efforts to improve higher education earned him the Courageous Legislator of the Year, and he became instrumental in creating the bipartisan support that led to the funding of the National Weather Center at OU. After several years of uncompromising advocacy for higher education, the Oklahoma State Regents awarded him with their Distinguished Service Award.
Although his service to the people of Oklahoma as a Senator concluded in 2012, he continued his service as chief advisor and legal counsel for the President Pro Tempore of the Senate until 2016 when he was asked to serve as Vice President of Governmental Relations for his beloved University of Oklahoma.
In 2018, Nichols would return to the Capitol to serve as a senior policy advisor for the Office of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The loves of his life and his greatest accomplishments were his two daughters, Jessica Lyn Nichols and Rachel Richey Nichols. He adored them and was so proud of them in everything they did. In the fall, Jessica will begin her second year at the OU College of Law and Rachel her Sophomore year at Norman North High School. Jonathan loved movies, especially documentaries, all genres of music, and collecting Oklahoma art. He was loved dearly by his family, respected and revered by his colleagues and was a devoted friend to many. Jonathan was a member of Saint John's Episcopal church in Norman.
Future companions in heaven include his wife, Talitha Joy Nichols, daughter, Jessica Lyn Nichols-Ruedy and her husband, Mark Ruedy, and daughter, Rachel Richey Nichols; brother, Henry Wilson Nichols, sister, Kathryne Wayne Burnett and husband Donald, sister, Patricia Lyn Rhue and husband, Ben; uncle, Henry Wilson Nichols and wife, Janet; many nephews, nieces and extended family.
Greeting him in heaven will be his Father, Neb B. Nichols, Mother, Linda Jean Nichols (Wilson); sister, Martha Maomi Nichols-Boyd; grandparents, Jessie and Myrtle Bell Wilson (Hooper), Ralph and Lucille Nichols (Smith).
Visitation will be held 3:00PM - 5:00PM, Sunday, June 9, Tribute Memorial Care Event Center, 708 24th Ave. NW, Norman, OK. Celebration of Life Service are scheduled for 11:00AM, June 10, 2019, St. John's Episcopal Church, 235 W. Duffy St., Norman, OK 73069 with interment following at I.O.O.F. Cemetery Norman.
In lieu of flowers the family has requested that contributions be made to St. John's Episcopal Church, 235 W. Duffy St., Norman, OK 73069.
Online condolences may be shared at (405.292.4787).
Published on June 8, 2019
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3 posts

Rickey and Darlene Cox
Jun 10, 2019
So sorry for the loss of this wonderful person. He and his family and friends will be in our Prayers.
Vicki Huff
Jun 09, 2019
I have known Jonathan for many years and saw him several times in the past months, always at the grocery store!!! Jonathan and I worked together at the DA's office, and I always enjoyed his sense of humor. He and I had many "discussions" about politics and lots of other topics and they interesting, indeed -- but we always laughed and he loved to tease me. He was a friend and I will miss his smile and his dry sense of humor!! Rest well, my friend you wil be missed.
Patricia P
Jun 08, 2019
May God comfort all of you during this difficult time. He always shared with us how proud he was of his wife and children whenever we worked with him. Oklahoma has lost a good man too soon.