Kathryn B. ‘Kitty’ Nickell, 97, known for her great sense of humor and one-liners

Kathryn B. 'Kitty' Nickell
Kathryn B. ‘Kitty’ Nickell

Kathryn B. “Kitty” Nickell, 97, departed this life Wednesday evening, Oct. 3, 2018.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles A. Nickell; eldest daughter, Chris Chilton; and youngest son, Richard Nickell.

She is survived by her daughters, Kathy Herman and Carin Nickell; son, Charles A. “Drew” Nickell Jr.; sons-in-law, David Chilton and Pat Herman; daughter-in-law, Mary Ella Nickell; seven grandchildren and their spouses, Brian, Alicia and Jana Chilton, Matthew and Elizabeth Herman, Christie and Adam DeSanctis, Stephanie and Zachary Kane, Amanda Nickell and Andrew Nickell; and five great-grandchildren.

Known for her great sense of humor and one-liners, Kitty especially enjoyed her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and adored her wonderful “baby,” also known as Tyson, a rescue chihuahua who shared her chair during her favorite TV shows.

Kitty was born Catherine Genevieve Spinnato on July 12, 1921, in Baltimore, the daughter of Louis F. Spinnato and Clara Iris Bassetti. She grew up and attended parochial school at St. Ambrose Church in northwest Baltimore City. Graduating in 1939 from the Institute of Notre Dame, she attended the Maryland Institute of Art and studied fashion design. On a blind date, she met her husband Charles, and the two were later married Aug. 7, 1943. They were happily married for 63 years. After the birth of their daughter, Crissy, the couple moved to Richmond, where they became members of St. Bridget’s Catholic Church and raised their five children.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Kitty was active in several civic groups, serving as president of the Monacan Juniors Women’s Club, the College Hills Women’s Club, the College Hills Civic Association and the Queen V. Investment Club. She enjoyed selling real estate for several years, before owning and serving as president of Central Equipment Co. Inc., a safety equipment distributorship. In the early 1990’s, Charles and Kitty relocated to Croatan Beach, Virginia Beach, where she was active in the Croatan Civic Association, women’s and garden clubs. They were members of Star of the Sea Catholic Church.

Kitty’s family will receive guests from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12, at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments, 2002 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach. A funeral service will be held at noon, Saturday, Oct. 13, at Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 1404 Pacific Ave., Virginia Beach. Interment will follow services at 2:30 p.m. in Princess Anne Memorial Park, 1110 North Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Hope for Life Rescue, 610 Jack Rabbit Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.

Share online condolences with the family at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments.

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