Dr. Lydia Caroline Nichols departed her earthly life on Monday, April 18, 2022, at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System at the age of 44. She was born in Bossier City, LA, in 1977 to her parents, Drs. John Thomas and Carol Sanders Nichols. Her grandparents were John Sr. and Margaret Parris Nichols of Union, and Bobby and Rosa Bridges Sanders of Clinton, SC.
Lydia moved to Spartanburg at the age of 2 when her father completed his service in the USAF. She was educated by Spartanburg District VII schools and graduated from Spartanburg High School in 1995. She graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1999 with a major in General Sciences and a minor in Poetry. She earned the degree of Doctor of Medicine at Medical University of South Carolina in 2003. She completed residencies in Medicine and Pediatrics at Greenville Memorial Hospital but realized her first love professionally was in the operating room. She subsequently completed an additional residency in Anesthesiology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She was board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Anesthesiology. She enjoyed practicing Anesthesiology until health issues forced her to retire early.
Lydia had a great love of sports and the arts. She was an accomplished equestrienne, showing and competing with her stairstep progression of ponies and Hunter/Jumpers from Win Again, whom she rode to State Champion in the Short Stirrup Division, through Gravity’s Rainbow and Do the Rite Thing, to the magnificent Mr. Floyd (The Verdict), with whom she helped establish the Washington and Lee Equestrian Team as a Varsity Sport.
Yes—she rode a horse to college.
She was also an avid and expert alpine skier, golfer, wing-shooter, and scuba diver. As a spectator, she was a lifelong fan of the Green Bay Packers, in whom she actually had an ownership share.
Lydia had a passion for music of almost all genres, from country to classical to opera. She began playing violin in fifth grade with Spartanburg District VII and Washington and Lee Orchestras. She practiced her way up to the honor of Concertmaster for her final performance at W&L. She had copies of every song Willie Nelson ever recorded. Her favorite opera was Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” and her favorite composer was Gustav Mahler.
Lydia is survived by her parents, her sister, Johanna Nichols of Colorado Springs, CO, and her fiancé, Willian Nease of Simpsonville, SC. Her aunts and uncles include Michael Nichols of Union, SC, Elizabeth Anderson (Richard) of Chapin, SC, Rebecca Miles of Clinton, SC, and Davis Sanders (Laura) of Taylors, SC. She has many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and one great aunt, Thelma Crolley of Joanna, SC. She was predeceased by her grandparents and uncle, Marvin Sanders.
Visitation will be at 12:30 – 1:30 pm Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel, 2075 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29307. Graveside service will follow at 2:00 pm in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, 1300 Fernwood-Glendale Road, Spartanburg, SC 29307, conducted by The Rev. Bruce Booher.
In lieu of flowers, Lydia would have greatly appreciated donations in her name to her favorite charities: Spartanburg Humane Society, 150 Dexter Road, Spartanburg, SC 29303; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105; or St. John’s Lutheran Church, 415 S. Pine Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302.
Floyd’s Greenlawn Chapel