Our condolences are with the family and friends of Maryruth Nickels, Scarritt Bennett Center Interim Executive Director, 1993-1994.
Maryruth Nickels, 92, of the Franklin United Methodist Community in Franklin, IN passed away Wednesday, August 10, 2016. This remarkable woman, adventurer and philanthropist, was born December 11, 1923 in Fulton, IN to Hubert Earl Nickels and Mary (Becker) Nickels. She was a 1941 graduate of Beech Grove High School, a 1944 graduate of Butler University, and received her master’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN in 1954.
She was an educator at Indianapolis Public Schools #20 where she taught language arts and social studies. She sailed to India in 1949 to serve as a missionary for three years and taught at the Hawa Bagh Women’s College in Jabalpur, MP, India. Then from 1954 to 1961 she served as a guidance counselor, founded and sponsored the Tri-Hi-Y, student council advisor, and taught 7th grade language arts. In 1961, she joined the staff of Women’s Division, General Board of Missions, Methodist Church–New York City, which later became the General Board Ministries of the United Methodist Church, New York City in which during her time, she served as staff person for the Dallas Region serving thirteen conferences in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, then she transferred to the Atlanta, GA Region serving conferences in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and later the Nashville Region serving Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
From 1987 until 1990, she served as the coordinator of the Program on Undesignated Giving for the Women’s division, retiring in 1990. She was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Franklin, IN where she had served as a member of the Caring Ministry, United Methodist Women, was a delegate to the South Indiana Conference United Methodist Church in 2004, and a former member of Beech Grove United Methodist Church where she had served as an adult counselor, a member of the choir, Methodist Youth Fellowship, and Woman’s Society of Christian Service. She was a member of the Business and Professional Club, Great Books Discussion Group, Beech Grove Historical Society, Literary Guild, and a former member of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. She was also a member of the United Methodist Women’s Conference Alumni Association, Beech Grove Retired Teachers Association, Johnson County Retired Teachers Association, Business and Professional Women’s Club, National Education Association/Classroom Teachers Association, Kappa Beta–National Education Honorary and Pi Mu–National Music Honorary, and a member of Christians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East Women in Black. She enjoyed traveling in all fifty of the United States, throughout Europe, Asia, Middle East, Kenya, Africa, Mexico, and Canada.
Survivors include her niece Lynne Newlon (Eric) of Beech Grove, IN; three nephews Michael McCaffry (Lora-Marie) of West Point, IN, Timothy McCaffry of Brownsburg, IN, and Patrick McCaffrey of Pittsburgh, PA; several great-nieces and great-nephews; and several great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Marjorie McCaffry.