Obituary: John Hatley Nichols, Jr.

Posted at 12:15 PM, Jan 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-16 14:15:39-05

John Hatley Nichols, Jr. died at his home on January 9, 2022 of natural causes. Born in Amarillo, Texas on May 1, 1937 to Marian Bebe Brown and John Hatley Nichols, Sr., John was a restless adventurer. After receiving an undergraduate degree from Sewanee and an MBA from Columbia, John embarked on a meteoric career in advertising that led to leadership roles at several agencies including Leo Burnett, Ted Bates, and Clinton E. Frank. His career allowed him to retire before the age of 50. He then spent several decades pursuing his passions: family, friends, books, and outdoor adventures.

John’s deeper success was in building a magnificently extended family with his wife, Mary Ann. They met in New York, wed in 1961, and raised three children - John Hatley III, Sanna Theresa, and Gregory Dawson - in a house filled with laughter and friends. Summers were spent in Lake City, Colorado. Their home in Sewanee Tennessee – Rivendell - was as welcoming as its namesake, a sanctuary where many found comfort and refuge. And home.

John was preceded in death by his eldest son, Jack, who died in 2018, but Jack’s wife, Leslie, and their sons, Johnny and Thomas, carry on John’s memory. John is survived by his wife, Mary Ann; and his other children and five additional grandchildren: daughter, Tracy, and her husband, Mike Coffin, along with their children, Tyler, JD, and Mary Hatley; and son, Dawson, and his wife, Jennifer Stewart, along with their children, Hannah and Rosie.

John was a man of immovable integrity. Fiercely loyal and loving, he worked hard and played hard; he knew how to drink and joke and enjoy life in good company. He often gave wise counsel, and even in death he offers us all the example of a life well and fully lived.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service in Bozeman, Montana. []