December 28, 1948 - November 1, 2012
Mimi Ann Nichols passed away at her Los Altos home on November 1, with her loving husband of 43 years and their three children at her side.
Mimi was born December 28, 1948, in San Francisco, to adoring parents Pierre and Mary Alice Ettlinger and grew up in the neighboring community of Daly City. She graduated from Westmoor High School in 1965 and attended State University of New York College at Buffalo.
Mimi returned to San Francisco after college where a reunion of mutual friends reintroduced her and Russell after he returned from the service. They were married in 1969. They later moved down the peninsula to the warmth and sunshine of Sunnyvale to raise daughter Kathleen and twin sons Aaron and Eric. A highly respected and successful businesswoman, Mimi founded Nichols Research, Inc. in 1978 and helped pioneer the marketing research and data collection industry. She was a leader in the development of focus groups and qualitative research methodologies and Nichols Research helped launch and influence many of Silicon Valley’s most successful companies. She grew Nichols Research into one of Silicon Valley’s largest women owned businesses and in 2007 was the recipient of the prestigious Honorary Lifetime Membership Award by the Marketing Research Association.
Her accomplishments in business are second only to her proud achievements as a wife, mother, and friend. Mimi was a vibrant and loving soul who’s passion for life and “nothing ventured, nothing gained” attitude was an inspiration to all those whose lives she touched.
Mimi is survived by her husband Russ, daughter Kathy, son’s Aaron and Eric, grandchildren Laith, Aiya, and Clara, and beloved cats Ringo and Nikki.
Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial on November 29th at 2:00 pm at Christ Episcopal Church, 1040 Border Road in Los Altos. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in honor of Mimi to the Humane Society Silicon Valley.