Lorela Nichols Wilkins passed away on July 18, 2019. She was born in Newberry County, South Carolina on February 22, 1942, the daughter of Guy & Juanita Nichols. She is survived by her husband of 50 years Joe Wilkins, daughter Deirdre Ritger, son Darrick Wilkins, son-in-law Chris Ritger, daughter-in law Natalie Wilkins, grandchildren Benjamin, Owen, Gabrielle, Ella, Ryan, brother Charles Nichols, sister Sylvia Rinehart, along with many other family members—all of whom she loved very much. Lorela died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. She spent the final three years of her life at Sunrise Senior Living, whom the family is very grateful for the excellent care they gave her. Lorela was a graduate of Hollywood High School in South Carolina. She graduated from Winthrop College with a degree in home economics in 1965. She moved to Atlanta, Georgia & worked with Georgia Extension Service in Clayton County, working in the 4-H educational program. In 1968 she & Joe were married. She left the Extension Service in 1972, becoming a full time mother & homemaker. In 1980, she & two friends saw an opportunity to capitalize on the new cutting edge home microwave technology, and wrote a microwave cookbook. Their hard work resulted in Simply Scrumptious Microwaving, which was a tremendous success, selling over 250,000 copies worldwide. This led to two other cookbooks—one for children, & a larger one aimed at connoisseur microwave cooks. These cookbooks vaulted these ladies to nationwide fame, & they met many famous chefs and gave countless demonstrations. Later, Lorela & her partner Rosemary Stancil incorporated the company of Kitchen Classics, & spent the next 25 years doing specialty catering for weddings, corporate & professional functions. They had a special relationship with Gold Kist Corporation for twenty years, preparing & judging recipes in an annual nationwide contest. Lorela also liked to entertain her friends & family with elaborate meals. She was especially renowned for her famous Valentine lunch, New Year’s brunch, and Christmas dinner parties. Lorela was a talented singer & sang in the Redeemer choir for about 40 years. She served on church council, helped with vacation Bible School & was a volunteer at Atlanta's Battered Women’s Shelter. If there was ever such a thing as a renaissance woman it was Lorela. She often amazed everyone at the many things she could do: state basketball champion, drive a tractor, farm work, paint a house, lay flooring, interior design, write best selling books, saleswoman, catch fish, converse with a former President, confront wrong-doers, connect job-seekers to employers, & had a remarkable way about her with her ability to console grieving friends. Lorela will be remembered most for putting others before herself, optimistic forward thinking, and living a Christian way of life. Memorial Service will be held at The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Atlanta on July 27, 1 PM. Burial Service will be held on August 9th at 11 AM at Corinth Lutheran Church in Saluda, SC.

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  1. So many wonderful memories from childhood come to mind. Christmas dinner at our Grandparent Dawkins’s. All of us first cousins together is a favorite photo.
    My prayers for all the family.

  2. How fortunate I am that God put Lorela in my path. I admit I dreaded guarding her when Johnston played Hollywood in basketball. After that we were at Winthrop together. Our friendship really developed when we both ended up working in Atlanta. What wonderful memories I have of all those years. How glad I am, Joe, that you two visited Walt and me in Surf City a few years before her health declined.
    May fond memories sustain all of you. Find comfort in knowing, as the old hymn says, she is “safe in the arms of Jesus.”

  3. My heart is heavy, but have great memories of our childhood and teenage years. We were classmates and best of friends at Hollywood as well as Luther Leaguers together at church. Spent many good times together. I know for a fact that she could keep a secret. My thoughts are with you, Joe. I am heartbroken that I won’t be able to attend the burial service at Corinth, but will be there in spirit. Rest in peace, Lorela.

  4. May God grant the family and all who loved her the peace that passes all understanding.
    Philippians 4:7 King James Version
    Verse 7. – And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

  5. I am sorry I did not get to know you better, but we I went to Atlanta with my parents I saw you as a loving and gracious person. You will be missed so much.

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