Kathleen "Penny" Nicholls

August 30, 2018
Charleston, WV

Kathleen "Penny" Nicholls

Kathleen “Penny” Nicholls went home to be with her Lord on August 30, 2018 after a long and courageous battle with cancer.  During her long suffering, she inspired many by her strength of faith, strength of character, and willingness to endure her condition to help others.  She is survived by her husband Brien Mitchell Chase; her children Joel David Russell and Jessica Ann (Wilkinson) Russell; John Daniel Russell; Katherine Elizabeth Chase; and Madison Nicole Chase; her two grandchildren Tate Elias Russell and Isabella Joy Russell; her mother Mildred Ann (Tait) Caserta and her brother Raymond William Nicholls.  She was preceded in death by her “Pop” Richard Caserta, her father Raymond Frederick Nicholls, her grandmother Mildred Helen (Kent) Tait and grandpop David Smith Tait.  As a graduate of Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, New Jersey, with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology degree from Berkshire Christian College located then in Lenox, Massachusetts, and a Master of Arts Degree in Psychology from Marshall University, Penny helped many people through many problems.  She was a drug and alcohol counselor for the U.S. Army in Germany, did pre-admission screening for both Thomas Memorial and Highland Hospitals in West Virginia, and worked as vocational rehabilitation counselor for the State of West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services at its campus in Institute, West Virginia.  She worked to help high school students with disabilities in Kanawha and Boone Counties transition to employment, and served as operations supervisor of the rehabilitation counselors for the Division at its Kanawha City and Spencer branch office locations.  Her faith lead her in many ways, across multiple continents, as youth leader, church elder, and active participant in small church support groups.  Her insight during Bible Study lessons enlightened many to a greater and deeper understanding of their faith and relationship with Christ.  Family was vitally important to Penny and she knit together strong bonds between those whom she loved.  We are linked together forever as a result of her relationship with each of us.  Penny will be remembered by many for the positive influence she had on their lives, whether they were clients, co-workers, family, or friends.  Her brothers and sisters in Christ look forward to seeing her again when we are all reunified with our blessed Lord and Savior.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Hubbard Hospice House in Charleston, West Virginia.

A service honoring the life of Penny Nicholls will be held at Snodgrass Funeral Home, South Charleston on Monday September 3 at 3:00 PM with burial in Cape May, New Jersey.

Family and friends may visit two hours prior to the service at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be sent by visiting

Snodgrass Funeral Home, South Charleston is handling the arrangements.

4 replies
  1. Jenny {and Kurt} Entsminger says:

    “Jesus loves us. It is all there for the taking. God keep us close in His hand.” Penny wrote those words to me not long ago! She was a friend who drew her strength from God, overflowing to others! I will always treasure my time with Penny! She was a woman of great integrity and spiritual insight! She was authentic and a woman of active faith! She ministered to me countless times in her own pain as she prayed for my daughter, a cancer fighter too! Brien and family my heart goes out to you and my prayers are with you all. Penny is rejoicing! A loss to this earth! Her spiritual fruit is deep and abiding on this earth and will multiply for His Glory! May God comfort you in this great loss!

  2. Rita Wilson says:

    Brien and children, Penny was very courageous, loving and faithful to God. I came to love her dearly in the last years of her life. Wish I could have had the opportunity to be near her sooner. She was always so upbeat and cheerfuI even when I knew she was in great pain. She will be greatly missed by all of us. Much love to all of her family.

  3. Michael White says:


    I was so sad to hear of your passing. You would never know just how much you impacted my life at such an important time in my life. I will forever remember meeting you at St. Albans High School to talk about my future and my dreams and aspirations. I remember distinctly you telling me during our first meeting, “don’t settle, Michael. You can achieve everything you want in this life.” This was the beginning of working closely with you for the next six years. I fondly remember our check in calls where we would talk about life and how enthusiasm for improving this world through my work as a social worker. You encouraged me, guided me, and showed me that I can achieve anything that I set my mind to- no matter the barriers.

    I owe so much to you.

    Much love to your family through this difficult time- cancer may have taken you from us too early- but we all know that you’re still watching us and smiling.

    Michael White
    (One of the many students who you guided to surpass their dreams)

  4. Wanda J Gore says:

    This was one beautiful woman who came into my life about 20 odd years ago while working at Highland and then at WVRC, Institute, WV, where we were both counselors. I enjoyed her smile and got a kick out of her little comments during those difficult work days. She often visited my office at the end of the day to share her thoughts. Remembering her with joy and tears. Sending prayers of comfort to her loved ones as I know she will be missed.

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  • Monday, September 3
  • 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Funeral Service

  • Monday, September 3
  • 3:00 PM