Longtime Winston resident Dick Nichols passed away Sunday night at the age of 89.
Nichols was part owner-manager of the Nichols Brothers cattle ranch just west of Winston from 1951-2015 when it became one of the largest cattle operations in Oregon.
Nichols was heavily involved in the Winston-Dillard area, along with supporting organizations in Roseburg, Douglas County and even some national groups.
He served on multiple cattle industry boards, including four years on the National Livestock and Meat Board, two years as the Oregon Beef Council chairman. and two years as president of the Douglas County Livestock Association. He also served on several county and city committees and was heavily involved in civic organizations.
Nichols was the Winston Area Chamber of Commerce’s First Citizen in 2008, and he and his wife, Mo Nichols, were honored with the Jim McClellan award for community involvement at the annual Chamber First Citizens’ Banquet on March 18 at the Winston Community Center. Nichols was instrumental in helping create the Music on the Half Shell in Roseburg, and his name is on the Nichols Bandshell at Stewart Park. He was the founder and president of Riverbend Live!, the free summer concert series in Winston.
One of his greatest memories, said Mo Nichols, was meeting with President Gerald Ford in 1974. Dick Nichols, along with two other members of the beef industry, spent several hours prepping Ford before the president’s trip to Japan to talk about opening up the country for beef imports from the U.S.
“We could buy Japanese cars, but the Japanese could not buy our beef,” Mo Nichols said. “Mission accomplished, the result of that meeting with the president and the Japanese opened the doors to trade for our beef.”
A celebration of life is planned for 2 p.m. on April 5 at the Winston Community Center at 440 SE Grape St., Winston.