Ranger Exes Memorial - RHS Class of 1939

Velma Miller VELMA IRENE "BABE" MILLER NICKELL died at her home near Caddo, TX on Jan. 19, 2010, at the age of 89 years with burial at Caddo Cemetery. She was born at the Benny Ranch in an oilfield camp in Stephens County on Oct. 15, 1920 to Riley Edgar Miller & Rosa Mae Dempsey Miller. She attended schools in Buffalo, Grosevena, Frankel, & graduated from Ranger High School in 1939 at Ranger, TX. Five days later, she married Harve Knox "Pete" Nickell; they celebrated 50 years of marriage in June of 1989. Most of her married life, Babe lived on the Nickell place off Highway 180 near Caddo. In 1977, her children joined forces and built her a new home, complete with a native stone fireplace in a large living room, which became Babe's favorite place in the world. In October, it became increasingly hard for her to walk and in January she finally agreed to be taken to Fort Worth for evaluation; her health deteriorated rapidly and after ten days of hospitalization, she asked to be allowed to die at home by her fireplace. She was transported by ambulance from Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth to Caddo on Monday evening, and she died peacefully, early the next morning, well aware that she was near her beloved fireplace, where she drank her coffee every morning for more than 30 years, even during the summer, before she began her very active day. She loved quilting, bingo, Skip-bo, and spending time with her large family, and numerous friends. She loved earning money by collecting aluminum cans, gathering pecans, and hosting garage sales. Her surviving children include Melvin Ray Nickell of Lubbock and wife, Pat, R. Lee Nickell of Breckenridge, and Donnie Wayne Nickell and wife, Wilhemina of Seagoville. She is further survived by 18 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren. Babe is also survived by one brother, R.L. Miller (RHS-1949) of La Casa. She was preceded in death by a sister Violet Basham, brothers Lloyd Edgar "Bud" Miller, Benny Edmond Miller, and Bobby Ray Miller, numerous nieces and nephews survive Babe. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Harve Knox "Pete" Nickell, in February of 1990, and four of her seven children, Patricia May Nickell Al-Tayyib, Wanda Joyce Nickell Madsen, Joe Edgar Nickell, and Robby Glen Nickell (1947-2009).