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470 Massachusetts Avenue
PO Box 882
Acton, MA 01720
Phone: 978-263-5333
Fax: 978-263-8193
Beverly Ann (Gratto)  Nichols

Beverly Ann (Gratto) Nichols

Monday, December 23rd, 2019
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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, by mail at P.O. 4527, New York, NY, 10163, or by phone at 1-800-344-4867.

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 | 10:00am - 12:00pm
    Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 10:00am - 12:00pm
    Acton Funeral Home
    470 Massachusetts Avenue
    ACTON, MA 01720
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the National MS Society online at, by mail at P.O. 4527, New York, NY, 10163, or by phone at 1-800-344-4867.
  • Service

    Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 | 12:00pm
    Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 12:00pm
    Acton Funeral Home
    470 Massachusetts Avenue
    ACTON, MA 01720
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    A memorial will also be held in Vermont in the near future.
    Rev. Cindy Maybeck
  • Interment

    Mount Hope Cemetery
    180 Central Street
    ACTON, MA 01720
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

B.David Deloury Jr.

Posted at 06:05pm
Sorry to fear of the loss of a Acton spirit. Beverly and Zeke were a fixture in Acton as well as all there Kids. Not any more. I hope all is well with them. We all have memories, Some a long time ago.

With respect
B.David Deloury.Jr.

Carol Ryan

Posted at 09:04am
My deepest sympathies in the passing of your Mom. I hope you find comfort in the many fond memories you shared. My family has great memories of Bev, she was kind, generous and always smiling.
Carol Ryan

The MacLeods

Posted at 09:57pm
“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything (Katherine Hepburn).” Bani/Bev was one of the most loving, kind, beautiful and funny people we have ever known and she always gave her all ... never expecting anything in return but deserving everything. Her laugh & wit was infectious .. her love of crossword puzzles, reading or an impromptu song or dance that filled any room with joy are just a few of the things we will sorely miss. We are so very thankful for all our fun times together over the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Nichols’ family. Love - Moe, Janet, Sharon & Susan

Kimberly Maschi

Posted at 06:16pm
Monday nights at Oriol were one Bev’s favorite nights. I would put on peaceful music, dim the lights, and light candles all around the activity room. Spa night is a favorite among a lot of the residents, but Bev absolutely adored being pampered. She would let me apply her exfoliating face mask, place cucumber slices on her eyes, and massage lotion into her skin. She would smile, close her eyes, and completely relax while enjoying every minute of her spa treatment. I would often lead the spa group on a guided meditation.
Bev’s favorite meditation was riding on a cloud. We would envision a big fluffy cloud drifting down to earth for us to get onboard and soar through the sky. We would close our eyes and feel the soft and silky fluff holding us safely as we drifted up to the sun. I know how much Beverly loved basking in the sun, so we would always stop to bask in the warm sunlight. We would soak in every ray of sunshine until we went drifting off to new worlds and new experiences. I couldn’t help but watch Beverly throughout the meditations. She would disappear into her imagination. I would watch as she lifted her arms up into the air and gently swayed them back and forth as she soared on her cloud through the sky.
Beverly would tell me everyday how glad she was to see me. She would say I brightened her day, and she truly brightened mine. Bev made me feel like I was doing something special with my placement in Oriol. I wanted to make her smile and laugh at least 20 times a day. This was an easy goal as Beverly had a great sense of humor and she accepted me for me with all of my awkwardness and silly jokes. Beverly would get so excited when her family was coming to visit, especially when they brought her soup! She adored her roommate Nancy and all of Nancy’s fancy clothes and make-up. She would watch Downton Abbey with her friends; Beverlyann, Mary, Aldea, Karen, and Joyce. She would attend every activity no matter what it was. Beverly could always find joy in anything and anyone. People gravitated towards Bev, she was welcoming and warm. She made you feel important and unique when you talked with her. She was selfless, patient, loving, and supportive.
I miss you Beverly, I hope you are at peace soaring through the sky on your fluffy cloud; warm under your numerous beautiful blankets, and basking in the rays of sunlight around you.

Your friend,

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