Nicole (Nicci) Dianne Church
August 29, 1959 – October 13, 2022
Our beloved Nicole passed away unexpectedly in her sleep on October 13, 2022.
Nicole was born in Lincoln, NE on August 29, 1959 to Norman, and Karen Church. Thus began her adventurous life. She grew up in Libya, Indonesia, and Singapore. She always felt that Indonesia was her home.
Nicole fell in love with Indonesian culture, and batik. After graduating high school early, Nicole spent 3 months learning how to make authentic batiks at a batik school in Java.
Nicole moved back to the United States when she was 17. At 22, she had her only child. She raised her daughter on her own with unconditional love, and astounding strength. She fiercely protected, and supported her daughter.
When she was 35, Nicole went back to college to finish her degree. She majored in English, and received minors in Geology, and Italian. After she graduated college, she began working as a department manager in the College of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and then the College of Management. She ended up returning to Chemical Engineering. While in Management, Nicole organized the annual Pan Pacific Conference in China, South Korea, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and Indonesia. Going back home to Indonesia was an incredible experience for her. In Chemical Engineering, Nicole took care of the faculty, staff, and students. She took the time to get to know everyone, and learn about the customs of the international students. She created a holiday tree for the department that she would decorate for all the holidays around the world.
Outside of work, Nicole was a magical artist. Her writing is captivating. She wrote a piano piece when she was 12 that she was finally able to finish in 2020. She dabbled in many art forms over the years before finding her love for painting furniture. She had the steadiest hands which allowed her to perfectly paint tiny details. You can feel her soul in all of her art.
Nicole was also active in the fight for human rights. She went to protests, donated her time on numerous occasions, and did what she could to make the world a better place for everyone.
Nicole loved her family. She believed in us more than we ever could. Her relationship with her granddaughters was one of a kind. She taught them about art, music, history, and about her life. They always enjoyed spending time with her.
Nicole had free flowing curls, a wild spirit, Crocs in every color, paint splattered fingers and jeans, a colorful personality, artful and expressive stories, and an extensive vocabulary. She was stubborn, talented, music loving, no BS, reliably understanding, cynical, humorous, unique, beautifully intelligent, opinionated, gracious, generous, compassionate, fierce, ever thankful, a force of nature, and always unapologetically herself. Her death has left a void in the lives of many.
Preceded in death by her mother, Karen Church.
Survived by her daughter, Adrienne (John) Krejci; granddaughters Grace Neylon, and Mary and Norah Krejci; father Norman Church; brothers Tony and Ben (Susan) Church; sister Mynde Church; nephew Max (Janie) Church; niece Brionna (Nate Rangel) Church, and four great nephews.
To leave a condolence please use the form below.
Funeral Home assisting is Aspen Mortuary, 4822 Cleveland Avenue, Lincoln, NE 68504. To view an on-line obituary or email condolences please visit Aspen Mortuary’s website at www.aspenaftercare.com.
Condolences for Nicole (Nicci) Dianne Church
Adrienne, My heart break for you and your family. I was so sad to hear of the news of your mother. Please know I am thinking of you. I worked with your mother in the Management department in CoB. Sincerely Tamera
My sincere condolences to your family for your loss. I worked with Nicole in the College of Engineering at UNL. She will be deeply missed!
Adrienne – I am so very sorry!! I didn’t know your mother well but what and when I did interact with her she was always a dream! Her talents were uncomparable! And now you have them. Your grief will always be with you but you will eventually learn to carry on. You are very lucky to have had Nicole as your mother as she was beyond lucky to have you as a daughter! Please let me know whatever I can do for you.
I have been flooded with so many memories. One that stands out is that when Nicole won an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council in creative writing, I remember being so thrilled for her. She and I had been in a writing group together, and I honestly was more excited when she won then I would have been if I had won. She was a brilliant writer, and many of her pieces live on, decades later, in my mind.
Nicole was not just my co-worker but my friend. I will miss her more than words can convey.
Sad to hear the news of Ms. Nicole’s passing away, she is the first one who received me at the university and gave me some advice about the work system in the United States. Before she was an employee in the department, she was like a mother to students and researchers. She was with us at the annual meeting of the department and she told me yesterday, do you need anything or any help, if you need, please visit my office! I didn’t know she was saying goodbye to her loved ones yesterday. Rest in peace Nicole 🙏
Nicole made my day brighter on every occasion that I was with her. During my onboarding process at the university, she was so incredibly helpful. Her passion for the success of the students in the department was so apparent. She was patient when teaching me the ropes, even when I really messed up. She insured I had support and knew where to turn and I am so grateful to her for that. She went out of her way to strike conversation and make your day better any way she could. She was truly an amazing person and she is very missed.
Oh Nicci. So many hearts hurt from your absence. I will remember everything you taught me and with the other village members watch over all you loved. I know somewhere, you and your mom are messing with the cosmic customs. Godspeed. You will never be forgotten!
I knew Nikki when she moved back to Lincoln, and had the pleasure of acting with her in a play called ‘Harvey’. She was so much fun to be around and such a talented person on the piano. I learned of her painting talent by following her projects she’d post to Facebook. Also those posts introduced me to her family and stories of her life. All fascinating and though I now regret not looking her up when I came to Lincoln I still feel like I knew her through her regular posts and will miss her. Condolences to her family that were such a huge part of her heart!
Rest in Peace Dear Nicci.
I’m so sorry for your loss. I am one of the students she influenced while at UNL and she became like a school mom to me and my room mate. When we heard about the news we painted a picture of her and Dr. Flodman by the lake at the Cargill barbaque. ( My room mates idea) She also had people sign it.
Our deepest condolences to the Church family. I grew up with Tony, Nicci and Ben in Indonesia. I remember Nicci as a strong, fun and loving friend ready to help anyone in need. Heaven gained another angel. Rest in peace my friend. ❤🙏🏼
The world has lost a true treasure. Nicole was a kind, caring soul and I never doubted her motives or intentions. I miss her deeply. If we could all be more like her, the world would be infinitely better.
Dear Adrienne and Family,
I am saddened by the sudden loss of your mother. As a ChemE alumnus and as a member of the advisory board for the Chemical Engineering Department, I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Nicole for twenty plus years. Her work with the department and particularly her work with the recruitment side of new students and aiding in their advisement on classes and schedules was a very big plus for the department. We will miss her.
I am devastated by Nicci’s death. I did not know her well. My family and Karen, Nicci’s mom. were the best of friends, though. She must have been quite the woman.
She had all the personality Karen had and the last time I saw Nicci was at Karen’s memorial.
Again, I did not know her well, but her death brings back such good memories of the Jackson Family who were/are Nicci’s relatives on Karen’s side.
Such a loss and I am truly sorry for her sudden passing.
I just learned about this in the newspaper this morning. Sending love to Nicci’s family and holding you all dear. I sent Nicci a private message this morning because I know she will hear it. I loved her very much.
I’m one of the “Oldtimers” in AA and a former counselor at the Independence Center. In my life, I got to know several members of Nicci’s family in the past. In my 78 year old mind, she was still a young lady, I am having a difficult time visualizing anyone that young and precious being ripped away from us for no reason. She was like a flower who turned her face to the Sun in the morning and followed it through the day ~ that was how she was with Life. Thank you for your service Nicole, to this World.