Michael E. McNichols, 80, died peacefully Monday, September. 16, 2019, at his home in Lewiston surrounded by his family and friends.
Michael was born July 1, 1939, in Lewiston, to Raymond C. and Mary Kay McNichols. The family lived in Iowa and Texas while Ray served in the United States Navy and in Lewiston and Moscow while he attended law school. They settled in Orofino after Ray graduated from The University of Idaho law school in 1950.
Michael graduated from Orofino High School in 1956. That year he served as the Youth Governor in the YMCA Youth Legislature in Boise.
Michael attended the University of Idaho where he was affiliated with Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1960. Michael was a member of the Blue Key Honorary Society, was co-chair of the campus blood drive and served as a member of the executive board, the student government body.
Michael graduated second in his class from the University Of Idaho College Of Law with an LLB in 1963. He was a member of Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity, a member of the College of Law Moot Court team and an editor of the Law Review.
Michael practiced law with his father and Sam Swayne in Orofino until Ray was appointed to the United States District Court by President Lyndon Johnson in May of 1964. Michael and Sam then practiced law until 1970 when Michael purchased the Clearwater County Abstract Company, the local title insurance agency that he managed until 1983.
Michael’s law practice in Orofino was a general practice with an emphasis on litigation. Michael defended three first degree murder cases and was counsel for both plaintiffs and defendants in numerous civil cases. He especially enjoyed appellate practice before the Idaho Supreme Court.
Michael was an active member of the Idaho State Bar, a member of the Idaho Judicial Council and was chairman of the Client Security Fund in which he served as a commissioner for one year. Also, Michael served as secretary and president of the Clearwater Bar Association and was a member of the Idaho Association of Defense Counsel where he served as president for one year. Michael served two years as a lawyer delegate for Idaho to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Conference.
Michael was elected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He served on the University Of Idaho College Of Law Advisory Council.
Michael considered his proudest accomplishment as being inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers where he served as State Chair. He was also extremely honored to have been recognized by the Idaho State Bar as a Distinguished Lawyer of the year, the highest honor awarded to lawyers by the Bar.
In 1983, Michael and his family moved to Lewiston where he joined Reed Clements and Bob Brown to form the firm of Clements, Brown & McNichols where he practiced until 2014.
Michael married Nancy Alcorn of St. Maries in 1962. They had two beautiful children, John and Kate. Michael and Nancy later divorced.
In 1996, Michael married Kathryn Katie Boyer. Michael and Katie enjoyed traveling together. They loved visiting New York City, and traveled to six of the seven continents, Africa being their favorite.
Michael took his honesty in his everyday life into the courtroom. He was widely known for his intelligence, kindness and his gentle spirit. Michael was proud to be a member of the social fraternity Phi Chi. He was an avid reader and took delight being a part of his men’s book club. Michael’s friends knew they could always find Michael at his favorite local coffee shop for conversation.
Michael generously loved and cared for his family, his many, many friends, his clients, law partners and staff.
Michael is survived by wife, Katie; son John (Lisa), of Alexandrea, Va., daughter Kate (Scott McGlashan) of Berkeley, Calif., stepson Brian Anderson (Heather) of Wenatchee; seven grandchildren, Nick, Eliza, Inez, Eleanor, Mary Katherine, Rita and Samantha; sister Kathy Fellows (Tom) of Lewiston and his first mother-in-law, Inez Alcorn of St. Maries.
A wake (celebration of life), will be held from 5 p.m. until bedtime Oct. 5 at Lindsay Creek Winery, 3107 Powers Ave., Lewiston. A private family graveside service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 5 at Normal Hill Cemetery.