Katheryn Nichols was an unselfish woman who loved to spend time with family and friends, said her great-niece, Karen Barrasas.
“She loved Sunday dinners. She took care of all of us,” she said. “She was the most unselfish person who walked the Earth.”
Kathryn Nichols, 99, of Hobart and formerly of Henry, Ill., and Lake Station, died Jan. 12. She worked 50 years for U.S. Steel, retiring in 1984.
Barrasas said her aunt helped take care of the family after her father died.
“She was kind and generous and never met a stranger,” she said. “She would do anything for anyone, and never took any credit for it.
She loved to host Sunday dinners, and was an amazing cook who could make anything from a good roast to chocolate chip cookies and apple dumplings.
Nichols never married or had children of her own, but treated Barrasas and her siblings as if they were her own.
“She was our second mother,” she said.
She loved to travel, and would go to Florida every year to visit her brother. She also loved to go on cruises, including a one to Cuba.
She was a strong, independent woman in a generation before that was common.
“She had a positive attitude and was never negative, and I think that’s what kept her sharp until the end,” she said. “She looked on the bright side of things.”
Barrasas said she admired her aunt.
“People say they hope they can be half the person she was,” she said. “She was full of kindness and generosity.”