COOPERSTOWN – Ella Grace Nicklas nee Schroder died peacefully on the evening of February 8, in her home at Merrill Gardens in Monterey, California. She was with her two daughters, Cathy and Meredith.
Ella was born May 13th, 1925 in Sydney, Australia. She graduated from Kogarah Girl’s School in Sydney. From 1943-1946 worked as a secretary for the American Army Medical Corp in Sydney during World War II. She married V. Earle Nicklas (Nick) on May 6, 1944. Nick was a Captain in the United States Army, 103rd Division, Hospital Corps.
Ella sailed to America aboard the SS Monterey with 400 Australian war brides. She landed in San Francisco and then took a train to New Jersey to meet Nick and her new in-laws. Her son Brent was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1948. Ella, Nick, and Brent moved to Baltimore, Maryland so Nick could study at Johns Hopkins University. They lived there for two years.
In 1951, they moved to Cooperstown, New York, where Ella and Nick would raise their family. They lived there for 30 years. Ella gave birth to three daughters, Catherine, Meredith, and Lindsey in Cooperstown. Nick was Assistant Director of the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, and Ella owned and operated the Cooperstown Nursery School for 20 years. Ella studied for a B.S. from Empire State College and graduated in 1975. She then became Associate Director of Admissions at Hartwick College for six years.
In 1981, Ella moved to Monterey to become the Director of College Counseling at Santa Catalina School. She retired in 1996. She then worked in the Stanford University Admissions office for 5 years, retiring in 2001.
Ella had a lifelong interest in reading and books. For many years Ella and Nick owned a used, rare and antiquarian bookshop in Cooperstown, and Ella served as a trustee of the Village Library. Ella was a knitter, she loved flowers and gardening, and she was an avid traveler. All her life Ella studied and read poetry. For 20 years she was a member of two poetry societies in Monterey. She enjoyed nature and took long walks at Garland Park, Robera Road and Asilomar Beach.
She is survived by her four children: Brent Nicklas (Laura) of Palm Beach, FL; Catherine Stroud (Larry) of Sebastopol, CA; Meredith Nicklas of Monterey; Lindsey Nicklas of Cooperstown, NY; five grandchildren: Jed Leonard (Jennifer) of Allentown, PA, Piper Wadleigh (Greg) of Petaluma, CA, Henry Stroud of Bend, OR, Alexandra Nicklas of Manhattan, NY, Kyle Yeten of Cooperstown, NY and four great-grandchildren; one niece and two nephews and their families in Australia.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Richard King his medical assistants, and Dr. Marc Lieberman. The family also wishes to thank the staff of Merrill Gardens. Ella had requested all memorial contributions to be made to the Children’s Room at the Village Library of Cooperstown.
You go a Waltzing Matilda with me, G’day Mate!!