Anita Nickels Johnson

Described as a strong and independent woman ahead of her time, Anita Johnson enjoyed a long and successful career in librarianship and, more generally, education. She was a lifelong learner and avid global explorer. She loved music; she and her husband owned three vintage player pianos and were major patrons of the musical arts.

A decade ago, Anita established the Steven B. and Anita Nickels Johnson Fund to support the local botanical gardens’ programs and maintenance of the greenhouse. A generous estate gift will establish a new fund at our Community Foundation to support STEM education for girls.

Notes her son, Raymond Nickels, “My mother loved her adopted home town of Grand Junction and believed strongly in the power of education to change and improve lives. She would want to encourage young women to pursue academic interests like engineering and mathematics that are traditionally less open to them. This is a wonderful way to honor my mother and her pioneering spirit.”

Other philanthropic interests included her church and a variety of education and arts/cultural organizations: the Grand Junction Symphony, the Museums of Western Colorado, and the John McConnell Math and Science Center, now known as Eureka! McConnell Science Museum.

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