December 3, 1921 ~ October 6, 2008
Born: December 3, 1921 Transition: October 6, 2008
Doris Nichols was born Doris Hockridge in Hill City, South Dakota in 1921. She was the first of two children born to Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Hockridge.
Doris grew up near Mt. Rushmore and throughout her childhood, watched the carving of that great monument, which began in 1927. One of her favorite memories was that of being hoisted up in a bucket by one of the workers to get "up close and personal" with Jefferson's nose, offering her a chance to see history in a way few have the opportunity to do.
The Hockridges owned the grand Harney Peak Hotel in Hill City, and Doris learned early on what back breaking work it was to cook, clean, and run a hotel. Laundry was part of her responsibility and she used to tell us about working the large mangle to press the linens. School, hard work and good values saw her through the Depression years.
She studied music, playing piano for the Glee Club and Operettas in high school. She was encouraged to become a concert pianist after rating 'Superior' in a national piano contest. She chose, however, to stay close to family and friends attending Spearfish College, which is now Black Hills State University. Later, she transferred to Columbia, Missouri.
WWII came along and wanting to do her part in the war effort, she joined the Air Corp as a civilian instructor. After completing Radio Instruction School, she was assigned to an air base to teach the soldiers who were to become radio operators aboard ships and planes.
Two years later, she joined the Coast Guard and they sent her to Atlantic City to their radio school having found her best qualified to serve in that aspect. The Coast Guard then assigned her to an air-sea rescue station in Oregon where she met and married a fellow Coast Guardsman, Raymond, who had been born in Hermosa Beach. That is where they went to live after the war. Housing was scarce, so they lived with Raymond's mother in a one-bedroom beach bungalow. Finally a house became available in Redondo Beach shortly after Doris and Raymond had welcomed a baby boy.
Doris went back to school to earn her teaching degree from Pepperdine University. She and her husband also had their second child.
Doris taught kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades at McCandless School until its closure. She then taught at Valley Vista Elementary and North School in Hermosa Beach until her retirement in 1984.
Doris and her daughter became members of the Church of Religious Science on Knob Hill in the mid 1970's. Doris was very active in the Metasparks women's group, the Craft Group and was the Youth Church Librarian. She worked the seminars and wherever she was needed. A highlight of her year was the annual church cruise.
Always giving back, she also volunteered her time to the South Bay Auxiliary for Children's
He loved children, her family, her country, mystery novels, music, traveling, and shopping!
She was a fine lady with a beautiful smile and wonderful heart, and will be greatly missed. Doris is survived by her son, Ralph, her daughter, Roxanne Jacobsen, their respective spouses, Gabriela, and Paul; grandson, Chase, granddaughter, Jessica, her spouse, Nate; her nieces Karolee, and Kimberly, and nephew, Kevin Nichols.
In lieu of flowers tax deductable donations may be made to the V.F.W.
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