School 30

Sara Nickell

May 27, 1920 ~ August 22, 2022 (age 102)


Mrs. Sara Elizabeth Rudd Nickell, 102, of Newnan, Georgia passed away August 22, 2022, at her home with loving family by her side. She was the oldest living member in her family.

Sara Nickell was born on May 27, 1920, in Magoffin County, Kentucky to the late H. Green Rudd and Millie Rowe Rudd. Sara was a trailblazer. She was the first in her immediate family to leave her mountain home to attend a boarding school at the Hazel Green Academy in Eastern Kentucky. She graduated as the salutatorian of her high school class in 1939. Sara continued to seek and to promote education throughout her life. Not only did she teach elementary schoolchildren in one-room schools in the Kentucky mountains, she pursued educational opportunities at every turn. She attended Jackson College, Eastern Kentucky University, Berea College, and the University of Iowa, where she attained teaching certificates in nutrition and home economics. She lived in Brookings, South Dakota and Carbondale, Illinois where she participated in the university faculty communities associated with the State University of South Dakota and Southern Illinois University. In 1995, she moved to Newnan, Georgia where she made many lifelong friends. She continued to amaze her family and neighbors by working in her garden and living alone in her own home through 102 years of age. Sara Nickell remained a lifelong learner and she loved reading books about the world and American history. In her spare time, Sara Nickell enjoyed politics, family, gardening, nutritional cooking, bridge clubs, and the nature around her. She was a passionate member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O), a women’s organization that promotes and advances women in the pursuit of educational opportunities through scholarships, grants, awards, and loans. Sara Rudd Nickell was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 58 years, Dr. William Everett Nickell, who died on Sept. 11, 2000. In addition, she was preceded in death by her siblings Luna Rudd, James Rollie Rudd, Anne Rudd Englert, Oliver Rudd, Cordis Rudd, and Custer Rudd (Frances); as well as Susan Nickell Carothers and Fred Nickell, and her nephew Kevin (Sylvia) Rudd.

Sara is survived by her many nieces and nephews, Lizabeth Englert (Paul Greiling), Carol Sue Englert (John Hoehn), Karen (George) Foster, Dwight (Susan) Rudd, Barry (Bonnie) Rudd, Brian (Martie) Rudd, Adrian (Heather) Rudd, Kimberly (Brian) Robinson, and Pamela (Todd) Cargal; as well as William Nickell’s nieces and nephews, including Jim (Sherrill) Carothers, Barbara Carothers. and Susan, Janice, Robert, and Paul Nickell.

The family is grateful to the Newnan First Methodist Church, which was always so faithful in their ministries to reach out to group members, the elderly, and those who are homebound. The family is forever thankful to Sara’s loyal doctors and nurses, loving neighbors, and everyone else who loved and touched her life throughout her incredible and inspirational journey.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Higgins Funeral Home Hillcrest Chapel is honored to serve the family of Sara Nickell, please visit to share your memories or leave a condolence message.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sara Nickell, please visit our floral store.

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