Catherine Nichols Obituary

Catherine Anne Nichols passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at the young age of 61.  
    Cathy was born in Minneapolis but grew up in Bloomington, Minn.  She was always quick to point out that she lived close but did not live in “Fashionable West Bloomington”— a common advertising jingle popular during her youth.  She attended Winona State University and received a degree in elementary education with a focus in special education.  During college she met the love of her life, her husband of almost 38 years—her beloved Mark also known by the nickname, Pete.
    She loved teaching and taught elementary special education for 14 years.  For many years her special education students—now adults—would reach out to her with heartfelt greetings. She loved these encounters and to the year she died she would hang Christmas ornaments made by her students and provide a commentary on which of these students were nice and which were naughty. After retiring from teaching, she built a successful hotel business made up of many employees with long-term tenures.  
    She was involved in numerous community organizations and worked tirelessly to make her town a vibrant environment.
    She loved life and was known for her simple kindness. She was generous, gentle and quick with a smile.  She raised two wonderful children, Emily Hawryluk (34) and Patrick Nichols (32), and every time her children left the house when they were kids she reminded them to “be nice.”  Both children have many of the traits that made their mother so special—patience and kindness, among others.  She was so proud of her children.
    Her grandchildren (Emily’s children), Elsie (5) and Nora (2), interacted with her daily and most Sundays a family dinner was celebrated with loved ones, particularly these two special grandchildren. Elsie recently made it known that it will be hard to do “Elsie days” in the future, where the two of them would go out on the town and either get their toes done or go to the zoo, as kindergarten doesn’t allow students to take days off for fun.
    Cathy enjoyed spending time with her many friends and hosting get-togethers in Lake City and Minneapolis.  She loved to travel and had plans to travel the world with her husband and friends during retirement.  
    She is dearly missed by her husband, Mark Nichols of Lake City; her mother, Shirley Master of Apple Valley, Minn.; her children, Emily (Justin) Hawryluk of Burnsville, Minn. and Patrick Nichols of Las Vegas, Nev.; her granddaughters, Elsie and Nora Hawryluk; her siblings, James (Fawn) Master II of Zimmerman, Minn., John (Terri) Master of Woodbury, Minn. and Patsy (Denny) Knutson of Park Rapids, Minn.; and many much-loved nieces and nephews, in-laws, and friends.  She was proceeded in death by her father, James Master.
    A memorial service will be held Thursday July 12, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake City with Fr. James Russell officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday, July 11, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the church and one hour before the service at the church on Thursday.  
    In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Lake City Educational Foundation in honor of Cathy Nichols at P.O. Box 421, Lake City, MN 55041.
    Mahn Family Funeral Home, Anderson-Peterson Chapel in Lake City is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be placed at

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