Adelaide Dustin Nichols

We give thanks to God for the life of Adelaide Dustin Nichols who died quietly Tuesday, April 8, 2008 after a long illness.  Adelaide began life on the family farm in Contoocook on Oct. 19, 1916.  Her life on the farm included training oxen, pumping water, cooking on a woodstove, delivering milk before school, and riding a horse to school.  She developed a lifelong love for animals and gardening.    

When Robert O. Nichols drove his sister Rosamond to Contoocook to visit her Bates classmate and future husband Eldon Dustin, he met Eldon’s sister, Adelaide.  Robert and Adelaide married October 30, 1937.  They celebrated their 65th anniversary shortly before Robert died.  They had three children, Larry, Roberta, and Stan, 10 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren, all of whom she cherished.

Family and friends discovered in Adelaide a source of wisdom and assistance in life skills and child rearing.  She welcomed young people into her home, she counseled them, and she supported them.  This work, in turn, deepened her spiritual life.  She reported a seminal moment in her spiritual life when a foster child had run away; Adelaide realized she could personally do nothing but pray and trust God. She also derived much spiritual strength from her connection with nature, enjoying gardening for its practical value and its spiritual value.

As a young mother she was part of a sewing circle which made sure no neighboring family fell through the cracks.  She was highly pragmatic.  When she saw that something needed doing, she did it. She was a strongly spiritual woman, active in Concord Friends Meeting and in New England Yearly Meeting. She took advantage of Bible study opportunities  in both communities, often choosing Bible centered workshops at Yearly Meeting, yet sampling broadly from many spiritual teachers, as evidenced by her book collection donated to Concord Meeting Library.  For example, she was deeply moved by the Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood.  She was a faithful and active member of USFW- New England for many years.

Adelaide’s family was central to her life. She brought her grandchildren to Yearly Meeting, and was thrilled when they became leaders.  She supported her husband’s volunteer work in the prisons and demonstrated great patience with him. 

We all felt safe in Adelaide’s presence.  She taught many by example about kindness, forgiveness, and the power of love.  As she lost her memory to dementia, she was never angry but still exuded gentleness. We miss her centered presence, her calm, humble bearing, and her joyful smile.