Beverly Ann Nichols Coles passed away on April 13, in Bellevue, Washington, at age 89. Beverly was born on March 26, 1929, in Fort Collins, Colorado, to Mary Lorene Harvey Nichols and Edward Albro Nichols.
She grew up in Cheyenne, where she learned to play piano. She also played string bass in the orchestra at Cheyenne High School, where she graduated in 1946. Beverly attended the University of Denver for a short time, then transferred to the University of Wyoming, where she received training as a secretary.
It was while in Laramie that she met John Coles. One of the things they loved best was to dance to the music of the touring big bands that stopped to play in Laramie.
Beverly and John were married at First Presbyterian Church in Cheyenne on Oct. 15, 1950. They moved to Almy, where John resumed ranching with his father and brother. Beverly embraced her new adventure, making a two-room bunkhouse into their first home. Eventually, they purchased part of the family ranch and moved into their own home, a converted Quonset hut.
It was there that Beverly and John raised their five children. Along with caring for the family and the ranch hands, Beverly was an active member of Union Presbyterian Church, where she volunteered as secretary. She was a member of the Evanston chapter of PEO, served on the Guardian Council of Bethel No. 19, Job’s Daughters International, and was a member of Esther Chapter No. 9, Order of the Eastern Star.
In 1968, they moved into the Coles family home in Evanston. With all of the children in school, Bev started working as a secretary at the Stockgrowers’ Bank. She later had secretarial jobs at the Wyoming State Hospital and for the U.S. Forest Service. Beverly played piano and organ at Union Presbyterian Church, and accompanied the chorus classes at Evanston Junior High School.
In her free time, Beverly loved to explore a variety of crafts — from ceramics to macramé to toll painting. She and John loved to play pinochle, gathering with friends and neighbors for card games. She was a voracious reader, with a stack of books forever on her bedside table.
Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were among the greatest joys of her life. For many years, Beverly attended birthdays, graduations, baptisms and weddings across the country.
After retirement, Beverly and John enjoyed a great deal of travel throughout the United States, to Europe and Australia. They also spent time in the Uinta Mountains — first in a camp trailer, then in a cabin at Manor Lands. When her health no longer permitted them to travel, Beverly and John purchased a townhouse in Mesquite, Nevada. There they enjoyed warm, dry winters and visits from family and friends.
Though she wouldn’t have called herself a philanthropist, Beverly had a very generous heart and donated regularly to local organizations, such as SAFV, the University of Wyoming and Shriners’ Hospital. She also supported global organizations such as UNICEF.
Beverly is survived by her children, Debbie Griffith of New Baltimore, Michigan, Jackie (Terry) Dean of Green River, Doreen (Eugene) Platt and Fred (Jill) Coles of Evanston, and Connie (Warren) Weber of Bothell, Washington; 23 grandchildren; 47 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; nieces, Lynne Senske of Salt Lake City, and Lorri Hoffman of Arlington, Washington; and nephew, Jon Nichols of Salt Lake City.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John; brother, Ted Nichols; and son-in-law, Bill Griffith.
Beverly had a wonderful sense of humor, was a stickler for proper spelling and grammar and fostered a love of reading and music in her children. She never put herself before others or boasted about what anyone in her family had accomplished. For Beverly, it wasn’t important how much money you had or where you grew up — it was the way you treated others.
With the exception of first-time guests to her home, everyone came in through the back door, and the coffee pot was always on. She was kind to other people and helped them in whatever way she could, often without being asked. She moved through the world with a genuine desire to see the good in others, and to respond in kind.
A memorial service will be held in Beverly’s honor at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, in the Union Presbyterian Church, 224 10th Street in Evanston. Everyone is welcome. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Wyoming Community Foundation (wycf.org, 307-721-8300).