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James Gentry Nichols

James Gentry “Hoot” Nichols, 69, of Orrick, died peacefully early Saturday morning, March 10, 2018, at his home with his loving family surrounding him.

James was best known around his many friends as Hoot. He was born in Carrollton on April 12, 1948, to Murry Isom Nichols and Viola Virginia (Mansell) Nichols. He attended and graduated from Orrick High School with the class of 1966.

Following high school, he worked for Orrick Farm Service. In 1969, Hoot began his working career with the Santa Fe Railroad in track maintenance. The railroad merged with Burlington Northern railroad and became the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad, and Hoot worked his way up to become the roadmaster. His crew named his office Hooterville due to his nickname. He worked for the railroad for 36 years and retired in 2005.

Hoot married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Jeanne Corbin, on April 8, 1967. He and Barbara began their life together living at the Orrick Arms Apartments. They remained in Orrick for a few years before traveling with the railroad. After their years of traveling, they settled in Excelsior Springs in 1987. They later retired to Warsaw.

Hoot was a member of Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Warsaw, where he taught Sunday School and Bible School. He was an avid sports fan and loved to go fishing and snagging. When his boys were young, he enjoyed teaching them to hunt and coaching their little league teams. He especially loved his family and spending time with them, his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Murry and Viola Nichols; two brothers, Jerry Nichols and Jack Nichols; and a sister, Murietta “Murt” Nichols.

Survivors include: his wife of almost 51 years, Barbara J. Nichols, of the home; sons, James Aaron Nichols, of Orrick, Patrick Wayne Nichols, and wife, Carrie, of Wentzville, Gentry Corbin Nichols, and wife, Erin, of Oak Grove, and Blake Moberly, of Kansas City, Mo.; his daughter-in-law, Robin Nichols, of Kansas City, Mo.; his sister, Janice Griffith, of Blue Springs; grandchildren, Brittnee Waters, and husband, Jake, Zachary Nichols, Skylar Nichols, Skyler Nichols, Tyler Nichols, Trey Nichols, Hailey Nichols, Colin Nichols, and Carson Nichols; great-grandchildren, Noah and Sophie Waters; and his recliner companion MsElle.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, March 16, at Gowing Funeral Home, Orrick. Funeral services officiated by the Rev. Jim Andrews, will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 17, at Orrick Baptist Church. Cremation will take place following the services with inurnment taking place at a later date in Cravens Cemetery near Camden.

Memorials are suggested to Crossroads Hospice, 2900 N.E. 60th Street, Suite 150, Gladstone, MO 64119.

Arrangements by Gowing Funeral Home, Orrick.

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