Darrell Sweeney Nichols passed away June 9, 2020. Darrell was born to Madene Sweeney Nichols and Arthur Ames Nichols on July 7, 1948 at Maine General Hospital in Portland. The family was living in Wiscasset at that time, where Darrell’s father had a medical practice in the house on Main Street. When Darrell was seven, the family moved to a large, Colonial era house on a tidal cove off the Sheepscot River in Edgecomb. Darrell spent a good many years of her childhood and adult life at this place that she loved, Parsons Creek.
Darrell attended Edgecomb Central School, Wiscasset High School, and graduated valedictorian of her 1967 class at Gould Academy. She went on to graduate from Bennington College in Vermont, majoring in anthropology, in 1971. Darrell spread her wings at Bennington, studying a variety of subjects including drumming, literature, and anthropology. In her study of anthropology, she became aware of the cultural injustices in our society, and most often argued with great vigor for the recognition and just treatment of those less fortunate. She fell in love with jazz at Bennington, listening often to John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, and others. She had a broad love of music, but never lost her love of contemporary jazz. “A Love Supreme” could be heard from the open windows at Parsons Creek on a summer evening as Darrell relaxed at the end of a day of gardening.
A short time after college, Darrell went to live in Portland and worked in the district attorney’s office for several years. While working there, she decided to go to law school. She graduated from Suffolk Law School in Boston and worked with a small practice for a few years in Wiscasset, when she decided to open a practice of her own on Main Street.
Darrell spent many of her adult years alternating between her interest in law and other endeavors, some that gave her more freedom in her life and that she felt a passion for – furniture restoration, buying and selling of antiques, and gardening. She became an avid student of botany, studying and learning on her own from the many books, journals and articles that she read on the subject. She loved working with her hands, and could not be cooped up in an office for long, although her last position in law lasted more than 16 years, at Legal Services for the Elderly. When she left there, she retired from law altogether and spent most of her time pursuing her other interests, living in Wiscasset after moving from the family house in Edgecomb. Health challenges led her to move to assisted living for the last two years of her life.
Darrell will be greatly missed by her brother, Joel and his wife Thessy Schoenholzer Nichols of Reinach, Switzerland; her brother, Arthur and his wife Juanita Cuellar Nichols and family of South Freeport; and by her sister, Jane and her husband Jamie Ecker and family of Brunswick; and by the children of her brother, Peter, Chessell Mcgee, Joshua Nichols, and Elia Nichols.
Darrell will be buried at the family burial site at Parsons Creek, Edgecomb. A celebration of her life will be held later in the summer.
Please consider a donation to The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11225 or Mid Coast Hospital, PO Box 279, Brunswick, ME 04011, in her memory.