Arletta Esther (Sage) Nichols passed away Monday, May 1, 2023, at the Kelly House in Topeka, where she had been a resident for two years. Arletta was born on December 22, 1943, to Austin Melvin Sage and Luella May (Olson) Sage, in Dover. She spent her adolescence in the Dover, Willard, Rossville area and graduated Rossville High School in 1961. After high school she went to beauty school in Topeka and became a licensed cosmetologist. In 1961, she married Kenneth Ray Smith, and subsequently spent a few years in Albuquerque New Mexico, while he was in the Navy. Two of her daughters were born there, Sage (Yvette) Nelson and Yvonne (Smith) Church.
They then returned to Rossville where another daughter was born, Yolande (Smith) Nichols. She opened and ran a beauty shop for many years on Main Street in Rossville. Later she worked in Topeka at a law firm as a secretary and then for the State of Kansas Department of Health and Environment, from which she eventually retired.
In August 1989 she married Garold “Gene” Nichols from Oklahoma, who preceded her in death. She is also preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Melvin D. Sage, her daughter Sage, a grandson/adopted son Dalton R. Nichols, and a great-grandson Alex Nichols.
She is survived by her daughters Yvonne Church (Montie), Trimble, MO, and Yolande Nichols, Topeka. Her grandsons Jeramy Matyak (Veronica) Lyndon, Aaron Church, Trimble, MO, Kyle Bennett (Bethaney), Shawnee, Quinton Church, Liberty, MO, Cameron Church (Brancey), Minneapolis, KS; her granddaughters/adopted daughters Karey Nichols, Topeka, and Katey Westfall (Matt), Delia, granddaughter Zoey Nichols, Topeka, and four great granddaughters Lillian Nichols, Josamee Adams, Aria and Remi Bennett. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Loretta Sage, Willard, her nephews Bryan Sage (Robin) and Dan Sage (Lisa) and many great nieces/nephews and cousins.
Graveside funeral services will be at 1:00 P.M. Friday, May 5, 2023, at the Dover Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5:00 until 7:00 PM Thursday, May 4, 2023, at Piper Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Kelly House or Elara Caring Hospice and sent in care of Piper Funeral Home, 714 Maple Street, St. Marys, Kansas 66536.