School 05

Miss Grace Katherine Nickas

August 8, 1932 ~ November 8, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Miss Grace Nickas Obituary

Grace Katherine Nickas passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, after a long and full life. She was 91.

She was born August 8, 1932, in Galesburg, the daughter of George and Grace Jeannette (McCulloch) Nickas.  Grace was raised and educated in Galesburg, graduating from Galesburg High School in 1950.  She attended Knox College and Blackburn College before graduating from Illinois State Normal University in 1956.  She was a member of the National Education Association.

Grace enjoyed reading, volunteering, and traveling the world. She was an elementary education teacher for more than 40 years. She loved to share her own life lessons in the classroom with her beloved students.

Over the span of five decades, Grace would travel to at least one state in the continental United States over winter or spring break, and at least one world country during the summer breaks. Her travels included N. America, S. America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

She immersed herself in the cultures of each unforgettable journey to 18 countries in Africa, Central America, and South America, as well as more than 20 countries in Asia and Europe.

Some of her most documented travels and favorites included trips to England, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Romania, Budapest, Austria, Czechia, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Jordan, the Holy Land in Israel, and Japan.

Grace was deeply loved by her friends and family and deeply admired for her zest for life. Her many nieces and nephews looked forward to the stories, gifts, dolls and other souvenirs she would bring home from each country she visited.  Grace will also be remembered as a talented artist, specializing in charcoal drawings.  After retiring and moving back to Galesburg, she volunteered her time with Galesburg Cottage Hospital.  She was known for her weekly train excursions to Chicago.  Her family will especially remember Grace’s annual Christmas party for relatives and friends on Christmas afternoon.

Grace is survived by her sister, Helen (Marvin) Masters of Galesburg; her sister-in-law, Brenda Nickas of Knoxville; her nieces and nephews, Kathleen (Dave) Klinefelter, Holly (Patrick) Fox, Angela Masters, Gregory Wiley, Susan Heynen, and Jeffrey (Ginger) Nickas; grand-nieces and grand-nephews, Emily (Clayton) Ellis, McKenzie (Eric) Magne, Tabitha (Austin) Vick, Ashley Masters, Josie (Montey) Osmani, Jason Sterling, Nicholas (Jyll) Sterling, Timothy (Natalie) Klinefelter, and Taylor (Jessica) Fox; many great-grand nieces and great-grand nephews; a cousin, Margaret Wright; and good friends, Jerry and Barb Lieber.  She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, George Christo (June) Nickas, David Nickas, and Anthony Nickas; nephew, Marvin Lee Anthony Masters; and two grand-nephews, Clinton Lee Anthony Masters and Michael Lee Anthony Masters.

Graveside service will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, November 15, 2023, in Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens.  Pastor Jade Rogers will officiate.  There will be no visitation at this time.  Memorial contributions may be made to Galesburg First Church of the Nazarene.  Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services is honored to serve the family.  Online condolences may be left on the funeral home’s website at

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Graveside Service
November 15, 2023

11:00 AM
Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens
2040 US Highway 150 North
Galesburg, IL 61401


First Church of the Nazarene
1501 Webster St., Galesburg IL 61401


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