Ruth Richardson Nichols served as vice president of the student body and graduated fourth in her class at North Central. She went on to Eastern Washington State and the California College of Podiatric Medicine, where she graduated as the valedictorian. She practiced podiatry in California for twenty years.
At an early age, Ruth united with Calvary Baptist Church in Spokane. The church experience at Calvary was an immeasurably important part of her life as a child and young adult. In 1944, Ruth met and married Roy Nichols. During the first six years of their marriage, Ruth and Roy had three children, Melisande, Allegra, and Nathan.
Ruth was a dedicated partner and tireless supporter of Roy’s work as a local pastor at South Berkeley Community Church in Berkeley, Downs Memorial United Methodist Church in Oakland, Salem United Methodist Church in New York City, and Church By The Side of The Road in Berkeley. She taught Sunday school, Bible and Confirmation classes, led and counseled youth groups, and directed dramatic productions.
In each city where she resided, Ruth was active in the women’s work of the United Methodist Church. In 1968, when Roy was elected Bishop in the United Methodist Church, Ruth embraced the responsibilities and duties of a Bishop’s spouse in the Western Pennsylvania and New York Conferences. She accompanied Roy on many episcopacy and mission visitations within the conferences and around the world. In addition, she served as the president of the Bishops’ Spouses Association of the United Methodist Church.