Esther Cable Nichols | The Newtown Bee

Published: Oct 29, 2021 10:00 AM

February 22, 1943 to October 12, 2021

On Tuesday night, October 12, Esther Cable Nichols joyfully went to heaven. She was 78, and eight years past the six-month life-expectancy that came with her cancer diagnosis. She fought hard all that time. She was able to spend time with her family, enjoy more of the people and activities she loved, and check off her one “bucket list” wish of visiting all 50 states.

Ester (she never liked that pesky “h” in her name) was an ordinary woman with extraordinary determination, intuition, and capacity to love. A graduate of Milford High School in Connecticut, she worked for more than a decade as a teller for People’s Bank, building a life and family with her husband, Clifford E. Nichols, Jr, to whom she was married for 60 years. They were the C and E of C&E Appliance Service in Newtown, a family business operated out of their home. Frustrated by the limited educational opportunities available to her in her youth, she achieved her life-long dream of seeing both her children through college and graduate school. She worked at night decorating cakes in a bakery, and processed sweepstakes entries for Promotion Mechanics, Inc, in Newtown. She was a doula, provided childcare for dozens of families, and served as a receptionist at the Homestead in Newtown and the Hearth in Southbury. She enjoyed the hard work of helping people. Throughout her life she constantly encouraged her children to reach as high as they could, while remaining true to themselves and their ideals. And she did so by example rather than by mandate or mere expectation.

When she finally “retired,” she dedicated her energy to her favorite things: hiking, kayaking, biking, camping, and her grandchildren. She biked both the entire Erie Canal and the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) Trail. She bought a camper and traveled the country. She and her mother, Hazel Cable, went by train to California to see the Rose Bowl. By the time of her cancer diagnosis, she had only five states left, which called for an epic six-week road trip to Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, followed by a family trip to Hawaii. And during those years, she helped raise all three of her surviving grandchildren: Katie, Mandela, and Isaiah Nichols.

Ester was an active member of Eastern Star, TOPS, and the Newtown Hiking Club, a Cub Scout den mother, and a lifelong Girl Scout and leader to many girls. She was a member of Newtown Congregational Church in Connecticut for more than 50 years, where she taught Sunday School to generations of young people. She also attended the Weirsdale Presbyterian Church in Weirsdale, Fla., where she enjoyed cooking and serving for the Tuesday Time Out lunch ministry. Perhaps her best talent was establishing and maintaining deep friendships from every phase of her life. She still met regularly with a group of friends from elementary school!

These past few years have been challenging, and Ester’s faith brought comfort and hope. She longed for heaven, and to be reunited with her mother, whom she has missed every day, and the many friends and family members who no doubt waited to welcome her, having already set up the card table for a little angelic Pinochle, Bridge, or Scrabble.

She is survived by her two children, Clifford E. Nichols III of Newtown and Jennifer Nichols of Bethlehem, Penn.; three grandchildren; three brothers, Larry, Cliff, and Albert; and many nieces and nephews.

She has been reunited in heaven with her parents, Clarence and Hazel Cable, brother Jim, sister Jane, and the dear friends she lost along the way and missed deeply.

There will be a memorial service and celebration of her life at Newtown Congregational Church on Saturday, November 13, at 11 am.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in her honor to Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West Street, Newtown CT 06470.

Thank you to the many who have supported and encouraged her through the last eight years. She is where she longed to be.

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