Cover photo for Leola Tharp-Nichols's Obituary
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1925 Leola Tharp-Nichols 2023

Leola Tharp-Nichols

August 11, 1925 — January 2, 2023


Leola Leek Tharp Nichols passed January 2, 2024, after a short illness at the age of 98 years old at Lebonon Nursing Home in Lebonon, Missouri. 


She was the daughter of Fred Erwin Leek and Ionia Calvert (Searight). Born Aug 11, 1925, in Independence, Kansas. Her family ran the “Lunch Wagon” “Leek’s Lunchroom” was known for their great Chili and Tamales located on East Main Street.


She attended Lincoln School in Bartlesville, Ok 1931-32, then returned to Independence, KS.  Completed her education and attended Independence Business College. 


Leola worked for Sinclair Oil Company for 3 years before moving to Bartlesville in 1946 to work for Phillips Petroleum Co until she retired.


She Married, Francis E Tharp 1947, bought a brand-new house (336 N Seminole) 1950. To this marriage were (three) children:  Carolyn S (Tharp) Joy (James) Alex, OK; Janice K (Tharp) Cox (Delbert dec’d) Bartlesville, OK; Donald E Tharp. 


Total of eight grandkids: Lance E Joy, Taunya R (Joy) Wood; Danner Cox, Jared Cox, Justin Cox; Lisa K (Tharp) Myers, Teresa D (Tharp)Burlison, Christopher E Tharp

19 Great Grandchildren and 1 Great Great Granddaughter


In 1974 she married William Robert Nichols and were married upon his passing in 2004.


In her spare time, you could find Leola Fishing, sewing, playing the piano. One of her great accomplishments later in life was making over 10,000 beaded rosaries for the Hartville, Mo missionary.

Leola is preceded in death by her parents Fred E Leek and Ionia Calvert (Searight), three siblings, Alfred Raymond Leek, Loren Leek, Lorena ‘Rena (Leek) Brown. Both husbands Francis E Tharp & William R Nichols and a Son-in-law Delbert Cox.

Graveside services to honor Leola’s life will be held on Thursday, January 11, 2023, at Mount Hope Cemetery in Independence, Kansas. Services are under the direction of Webb and Rodrick Chapel and Cremetory.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Leola Tharp-Nichols, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Thursday, January 11, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Mount Hope Cemetery

Independence, KS 67301

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