Billy Joe “BJ” Nichols, 93, passed away Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, at his home in Columbia.

Visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, at Memorial Funeral Home. A funeral service will follow at 3 p.m. at the funeral home with the Rev. Tracy Cook officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery with full military honors.

BJ was born Oct. 26, 1925, in Columbia, Missouri, the son of Abner Purl Nichols and Josephine Florence (Ficklin) Nichols, who preceded him in death. He was married Aug. 31, 1946, in Columbia to Delores Boehm, who preceded him in death. BJ was a veteran of the U.S. Navy serving during WWII.

After serving in the military, BJ worked for JE Hathman Construction Company as a superintendent for 30 years. He then worked as a superintendent for other companies until he started his own construction company, BJ Nichols Construction. He worked here until he retired in 1990. During this time, he worked on several local schools and universities, hospitals and other large commercial buildings, leaving his mark throughout Boone County.

BJ was a member of the Carpenters Local 1925 for 72 years and a longtime member of the following organizations: Moolah Shriners, Grand Lodge AF & AM of Missouri, Acacia Lodge, 32nd Degree Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Aleppo Grotto, VFW Post 280, American Legion Post 202, Aerie 2730 Fraternal Order of Eagles, St. Graal Commentary No. 12 Knights Templar, Columbia Chapter No. 17 (Royal Arch Mason), Centralia Council No. 34 (Cryptic Mason), Ducks Unlimited and PT Boaters.

In his spare time, BJ loved going fishing, hunting and spending time at the Lake of the Ozarks with his family and friends, where he owned a lake cabin for 56 years.

Survivors include four daughters, Billie Jean Tyler (Robert) of Ashland, Barbara Hague (Rick) of Columbia, Deborah Rice (Darrell) of Rocheport and Dorothea Perkins (Michael) of Columbia; one brother, Carl Nichols (Margaret) of Columbia; one sister-in-law, Doreen Nichols of Columbia; eight grandchildren, Andrea Rainwater, Dianna Looper, Rebecca Batsell, Richard Hague III, Derrick Rice, Kimberly Begemann, Adam Perkins and Andrew Perkins; 16 great-grandchildren, Austin Rainwater, Ashley Garrett, Danielle Looper, Tyler Looper, Waylen Looper, Rachel Batsell, Robyn Batsell, Grant Hague, Jaxon Rice, Whitney Rice, Blaine Begemann, Kendall Begemann, Hudson Perkins, Jace Perkins, Everly Perkins and Emerson Perkins; four great-great-grandchildren, Kellam Garrett, Kylan Garrett, Aiden Peterson and Leighton Looper; and several nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were one brother, Jimmy C. Nichols Sr., and six sisters, Maureen Nichols, Agnes Nichols, Dorothy Hummel (Charlie), Mary Douglas (Garland), Wynonna King and Lois Noel (Jack).

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Charity of Donor’s Choice, c/o Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W., Columbia, MO 65202.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

Recommended for you

Join the conversation

When posting comments, please follow our community guidelines:
• Login with a social account on WorldTable.
• Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language or engage in personal attacks.
• Stay on topic. Don’t hijack a forum to talk about something else or to post spam.
• Abuse of the community could result in being banned.
• Comments on our website and social media may be published in our newspaper or on our website.