Beverly Ann (Gratto) Nichols, beloved mother, adored grandmother and great-grandmother, devoted wife, and cherished friend, died peacefully on the night of Monday, December 23, 2019 with her daughter Laurel Rogers at her side. She was 86 years old.
Born the second of three children to Everett and Grace Gratto on October 19, 1933, Bev lived in Hartford, CT and later in Acton, MA with her sister Barbie (d. 2003) and her brother-in-law Aldie Neagle (d. 2011). She graduated from Acton High School in 1952 and met and married Lawrence “Zeke” Nichols that same year. They raised their family in Acton and, for many years, she was an inviting face at Acton Gardens, a florist and nursery they owned and where she annually donned the red and white suit to bring cheer to thousands as Santa Claus. In 1987, she and Zeke moved to the small community of West Haven, VT, spending 28 years on their farm, Wind-Dane. In 2015 Bev returned to Massachusetts and lived the last four years at a nursing home in Holden where she welcomed daily visitors and was adored by many staff.
Bev was a member of the West Acton Baptist Church and of the First Congregational Church of Fair Haven VT, lending her pitch perfect soprano to the church choir. She was loved for her bright smile, warm personality, love of music and dancing, and dedication to her family. She was modest, kind, and a woman of faith who cared deeply for all people. She had a profound love of animals which she passed to many of her children and grandchildren.
Bev and Zeke were married nearly 60 years until his death on December 24, 2011. She is survived, and her spirit of kindness will be carried on by, her children, Larry, Laurel, Lon, Leonard, Lance, Lane, and Lyndon, by her 6 daughters-in-law, her son-in-law Bill Rogers, her 19 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, her brother Roger Gratto, and by a host of extended family and friends whom she treasured and who returned that sentiment with enormity.
Visiting hours will be held Thursday, January 2, 2020 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at Acton Funeral Home, 470 Massachusetts Avenue, Acton, MA, followed immediately by a celebration of Bev’s life. A memorial will also be held in Vermont in the near future.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the National MS Society online at www.nationalmssociety.org, by mail at P.O. 4527, New York, NY, 10163, or by phone at 1-800-344-4867.
Memorial page actonfuneralhome.com