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Francis Neale 'Frank' Nichols

Francis Neale "Frank" Nichols II, 77, Hays, died Friday, May 31, 2013, at Hays Medical Center.

He was born July 2, 1935, in Arkansas City to Francis Neale Nichols and Wilma (Yingling) Smith.

He married Karen Splitter on Jan. 23, 1960, in Emporia. He was a U.S. Army veteran.

He received a bachelor's degree from Emporia State University, a master of fine arts degree from Wichita State University, and 32 hours toward a doctorate in art education at the University of Kansas. He was an instructor of art at Chanute High School and junior college before joining the Fort Hays State University faculty in 1967 as an instructor in the Division of Applied Arts. Nichols was promoted to assistant professor in 1971, associate professor in 1976 and professor in 1982. He taught printmaking most of his career, prior to his retirement in 1999. Nichols exhibited works throughout the nation, garnering a number of awards during the course of his artistic career, as well as developing a process of hand-coloring prints.

Survivors include his wife, Hays; a son, Eric Nichols and wife, Michelle, Mount Hope; a brother, Glenn Smith and wife, Libby, Dundee, Ill.; and three grandchildren, Eric, Rachel and Rebekah Nichols.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Services will be Saturday at the Hays Arts Center Annex, 1010 Main. Tribute exhibition and reception at 3 p.m., followed by remembrances and remarks at 4 p.m.

Arrangements are in care of Brock's North Hill Chapel, 2509 Vine, Hays, KS 67601.

Memorials are suggested to the Fort Hays State Art Department Scholarship Fund or Hays Arts Council.

Condolences can be sent to the family by guestbook at or emailed to