Garnand Funeral Home
Wendell Nicholas, age 72, of Johnson, Kansas, died Thursday, August 13, 2020, in rural Stevens County, Kansas. He was born October 13, 1947, in Garden City, Kansas, the son of Winfred “W.C.” and Marcile (Cross) Nicholas.
After graduating from Stanton County High School, Wendell received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology from Fort Hays State University. He served in the Kansas National Guard from 1969 – 1975. Wendell married Nancy Tucker on December 20, 1970, in Johnson, and then began farming with his Dad. He often said “some people farm to live, others live to farm” in reference to his love of farming. In this area of Kansas, Wendell has been very instrumental in promoting the value of certified seed wheat and innovative irrigation. In 2014, Wendell was recognized as an innovator in farming by Kansas Water & Energy Progress for the sub-surface irrigation contributions he has made in Stanton County. Wendell was named 2015 Premier Seed Grower by Kansas Crop Improvement Association, and was honored at the 2016 Kansas Seed and Crops Conference for his work with certified wheat seed. When he began seed wheat cleaning and treating, it was a transformative event for wheat production in western Kansas and eastern Colorado. His farm produces high quality certified wheat seed and commodity wheat and corn. Wendell’s leadership in hard white wheat production has been described as a primary reason the program has flourished. He has helped countless wheat producers select the varieties and seed treatments that made the most sense for them. Wendell was also a leader in his community, having served on the local school board and the Senior Center board. Wendell was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Johnson and served on various boards within the church. He was an avid sports fan, and enjoyed following his girls and friends in their sports and activities. He was a lifelong country music fan enjoying both local and professional talent.
Wendell is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughters, Becky Lowry and husband Steve, and Niki Schadegg and husband Cody all of Shawnee, Kansas; mother, Marcile Nicholas of Johnson; sisters, Sharon Frank and husband Jim of Great Bend, Connie Harder and husband Cliff of Lawrence, Kansas, and Tammy Bray and husband Doug of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and four grandchildren, Jacob, Lucas, Emory and William “W.C.”. One of his great talents was story telling and one of his greatest joys was hearing or retelling stories about his grandkids.
Wendell is preceded in death by his father, W.C.; and sister, Laurel Nicholas.
Graveside memorial service will be Tuesday, August 18, 2020, at 10:00 AM at Stanton County Cemetery in Johnson, Kansas, with Pastor Mary Courtney officiating. For the health and safety of anyone attending, the family requests masks be worn. The service may also be viewed via Facebook Live on the Garnand Funeral Home Facebook Page. Memorials may be given to the Stanton County Schools, First United Methodist Church or donor’s choice in care of Garnand Funeral Home, PO Box 715, Johnson, Kansas 67855. Condolences may be posted at www.garnandfuneralhomes.com.