Thelma Nichols, right, gives instruction in vocational sewing. Credit: HOUSTON HERALD ARCHIVES

A leader in vocational education at the Houston School District passed away last week.

Thelma Nichols of Houston provided industrial sewing instruction over the years before retiring in 2000. Both of Houston’s primary employers at the time, H.D. Lee and Brown Shoe Co., provided technical assistance and supplied sewing materials. Some students would join the local manufacturers as employees. The project was financed equally by the local school district and the federal government. It was situated in a building on Hill Street.

Today, students at Houston can take technical education classes at the Piney River Technical Center on Spruce Street in Houston. The building is owned by the school district and it offers health, welding and agriculture education. Durham Co. also does manufacturing in the building.

Services for Mrs. Nichols, 78, are 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Evans Funeral Home, Houston.

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