OBIT: Kenneth Don Nichols

Kenneth Don Nichols, age 76, passed away peacefully at his home on October 8, 2023 surrounded by family. Don, the oldest of 2 children, was born December 15, 1947 in Rockwall, Texas to Joe & Bennie Nichols.

He lived with his family in Anchorage, Alaska during his teenage years where he graduated from East Anchorage High School in 1965. On November 13, 1978, Don married his longtime friend and love of his life, Jennifer Nichols. After relocating to Clarksville, Texas, they co-owned and operated The Branding Iron restaurant with his parents. After the sale of The Branding Iron in 1981, they relocated to Natchitoches, La where Don, Jennifer, Joe, and Bennie opened The Mariner’s Restaurant on beautiful Sibley Lake. Don always ensured that the patrons of their establishment had a paramount dining experience. As a business owner, Don provided employment for many individuals over the years, whom he cared for and treated like family. He was known by all whom he encountered at the restaurant for his hard work and dedication. Working alongside his wife, his livelihood revolved around the Mariners Restaurant for 38 years until he retired in March 2020. Some of his best times were spent in the back country of Alaska or on Toledo Bend enjoying hunting and fishing. His greatest love, however, was being with his family, grandchildren and yorkies.

Don is survived by his loving family; his daughter Lyssa (Edward) Taylor of Natchitoches; his son Donny (Annette) Nichols of Bentonville, Arkansas; and his son Blake (Carolyn) Nichols of New Orleans; his grandchildren Brittany Lynch; Brianna Mott; Kyle Nichols; Colin Nichols; Ashley Smith; Madeline, Caitlyn and Anna Claire Taylor; great-grandchildren: Parker, Paighton, and Penelope Lynch; sibling: Gwen (Chuck) Warren; and a host of caring nephews, nieces, and friends.

A memorial service to honor Don’s life will be held on Saturday, October 14th at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home. Family will receive family and friends from 10:00-12:00, with services immediately following. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to St. Jude Children’s Memorial Hospital.