In Memory of




Obituary for Benjamin C Nichols

Benjamin Curler Nichols was born on Oct. 14, 1958, in Springfield, Oregon. On Friday, May 19, 2023, at the age of 64, he succumbed to injuries suffered in a tragic motorcycle accident, in Clarkston. Ben was the third of seven children born to Claude and Marilyn Nichols of Cheney, Washington. Ben was a born adventurer, story teller and litigator. He grew up in Cheney and had many, many happy and nostalgic stories of his childhood.

After high school, Ben roamed the country trying out various career paths such as panhandler, ski bum, oil field roughneck, college student, National Park worker, outlaw, restaurant worker, hippie, mountain man and bartender, to name a few. In 1983, on a whim, he joined the United States Marine Corps. His adventures in the Marines gained him lifelong friends, hundreds of stories and a sense of direction.

In 1986, he married Jackie Barnes in Honolulu. Following his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, Ben and Jackie moved to Spokane and Ben became serious about his passion for the law. He graduated from Eastern Washington University in 1990, and from Gonzaga Law School in 1993.

Following law school, Ben was thrilled to be hired to work in Asotin County as a deputy prosecutor. In the years following, Ben and Jackie raised their children in Clarkston. Ben became a fixture around the Asotin County Courthouse with his passion for justice, his loud voice and his stomping feet.

In 2001, Ben became the elected prosecutor for Asotin County, a position he held until his passing. Ben wasn’t a politician, but he had a strong work ethic, gregarious personality and unsurpassed ability in the courtroom. Ben was a member of the Washington State Prosecuting Attorneys association and was honored to have served as their president in 2014.

In 2005, Ben achieved one of his lifelong goals and became the proud owner of a Harley Davidson motorcycle. He had countless more adventures and wild stories from his motorcycle trips. Ben and his brother, Bob, rode across the country several times and their travels were among Ben’s most cherished memories.

Although he loved his motorcycle, and loved his career, his family was what he prized above all else, and if you became a friend, you were family to him. His greatest joys were cooking and feeding hordes of people at family dinners and telling stories around the table or fireside. Everyone loved Ben’s cooking, especially his apple pie.

Ben is survived by his parents, Claude W. and Marilyn Nichols; his wife, Jackie Nichols; siblings, Mary Lynn Shepley (Richard), Claude W. Nichols III (Janna), Molly Matthews (John), Robert Nichols (Carlene), Thomas Nichols (Andrea) and Genie Nichols; children, Tucker Beck (Jennifer), Heather Saavedra (Jared), Hekate Lunasri — formerly Austin Nichols (Juniper), Brittany Nichols (John), Aaron Nichols (Jordan) and Levi Nichols (Carlee); grandchildren: Gwendolyn, Claire, Owen, Asher, Adeline, Theo, Todd, Lenora, Andrew, Peyton, Ares, Jaxon, Brennen, Rylen and baby Casper who is due in July.

There’s no way to encompass who Ben was in this short synopsis, but he was a shining example of someone who loved the life he lived and lived the life he loved.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at the Asotin County Fire Station, 2377 Appleside Blvd., Clarkston.