Bessie Welch Nicholls Cummings


(Nov. 14, 1924 - May 30, 2011)

Bessie Welch Nicholls Cummings died Monday, May 30, 2011 at her home in Powell, surround by family. She was 86.

She was born Nov. 14, 1924 to John J. and Clara Welch in Cowley.

Bessie was married to Gilmer C. Nicholls on Sept. 18, 1942. They had four children when he died in a tragic accident in 1948. With four young children under the age of 5 to care for, Bessie showed one of her most wonderful attributes, which was a “just do it” attitude. This attitude was demonstrated time and time again as she survived: the death of her parents, eldest son, being widowed at a tender age, cancer and other health threats. All this while obtaining a teaching degree and raising four children on her own. How? She “just did it.”

In terms of careers, she found her passion in teaching, as shown by her 30 years in education, 28 of which were in the premier school district in the state: Park County School District No. 1.

A turning point in Bessie’s life was her marriage to Guy Cummings on Aug. 18, 1962. This union ensured the success of not only their six children, but the success of all generations to follow. She will be dearly missed by her husband, Guy.

One of the greatest delights in Bessie’s life was actively taking a hand in caring for and teaching her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, up until the time of her death. They were so lucky to experience the education, love and grace Bessie brought into their lives. They, and their parents, will be forever thankful for the blessings Bessie gave them.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her first husband, her eldest son, Gilmer, three sisters and one brother.

She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Guy Cummings; her sister B Boutilier; her brother Jim (Pat) Welch; her children, Sandra (John) Duty, Jeanne (Dick) Nelson, Norman (Vicki) Nicholls, Larry (Joy) Cummings, Berdine (Wes) Helgeson; nine grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Cremation has taken place and memorial services will be held at Thompson Funeral Home for friends and family.

Memorial donations may be made to Powell Medical Foundation, 777 Ave. H, Powell, WY 82435. Online condolences may be  sent to the family at