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Norma Olsen Nichols, 94, dies

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Norma Olsen Nichols, 94, who inspired the popular CTR ring worn by hundreds of thousands of Latter-day Saints around the world, died Saturday, Oct. 2, 2004.

From 1956 to 1970, Nichols was a member of the General Board of the Primary Association, the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for children. In 1970, she was assigned to head a committee that wanted to create a spiritual focus for children in the mid-age range, who are being prepared for baptism. The motto "Choose the Right" was selected and a ring displaying the CTR acronym on the background of a green shield was designed.

Initially, inexpensive expandable versions were passed out to children in the CTR-age Primary classes, but the rings caught on as a visible declaration of faith and more expensive metals and designs became available for both children and adults. They have continued to be popular and now are available throughout the world in dozens of languages. They are produced by jewelry manufacturers who pay royalties to the church for use of the trademark.

Although the CTR ring remains an enduring legacy, Nichols also was involved in many other church and civic activities. With her husband, Willard Nichols, she developed a successful program for single adults that was long used in a multi-stake area.

A lifelong resident of the southwestern part of Salt Lake Valley, she was involved in the American Cancer Society fund drives for more than 30 years. She was chairwoman of the fund-raising committee that helped finance the Holy Cross Jordan Valley Hospital and initiated the Pioneer Heritage Wall in honor of pioneer families who settled the area. She was employed for more than 20 years by Jordan School District, including 11 years as secretary to the district board and district offices.

Born June 9, 1910, in Bingham Canyon, she was involved in several activities promoting community improvement. In 1927, she spearheaded creation of the identifying letter "B" on a hillside above Copperton. She organized a committee that secured expanded telephone service for Copperton and Lark and pushed for recognition of Copperton in National Historical Society archives to recognize its contributions to Utah mining. She received the Utah Historic Preservation Award from the state historical society for her efforts.

She served on the Days of '47 Youth Parade committee and was involved as a leader in other youth activities that included PTA, Girl Scouts and ward and stake Primary associations.

As a National Volunteer of the Year nominee, she received congratulations from then President Ronald Reagan.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by Goff Mortuary.