Nichole Ruth Lovrich, daughter and only child of Nicholas and Katherine Lovrich, passed away from a seizure the evening of Monday, June 28, 2021, in Great Falls, Mont. She was 36.

Nichole was born and raised in Pullman, attended the Community Congregational United Church of Christ, and benefited greatly from the guidance and support of her godparents, John and Ardith Pierce, of Lawrence, Kan., and the Rev. Kristine Zakarison, of Pullman. Nichole studied piano and choir bells with Monica Peters, learned gymnastics from Diane Palmer, played on the Pullman High School volleyball team and was a wrestling team cheerleader. She enjoyed music, dancing and fishing, and she was proud of her Croatian/Yugoslav heritage. As a child she relished her many summertime visits with the Zvekić family in Rome, and with grandpa Nikola and grandma Ljubica (Lubie) and the Brozičević and Lončarić families in Crikvenica, Croatia. Nichole likewise enjoyed spending time at the family cabin on Jeru Creek north of Sandpoint, Idaho.

While in high school, Nichole took numerous running start classes at Washington State University. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Oregon in 2006, graduating in three years as a summa cum laude majoring in political science (prelaw) and minoring in women and gender studies. Nichole benefited greatly from the academic mentorship of professor Julie Novkov, and the caring support of in loco parentis Judge David Schuman and Dr. Sharon Schuman, in Eugene. She deepened her passion for justice and social equity under their caring influence.

Nichole earned her Juris Doctor degree from the Gonzaga University School of Law and was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 2009. She served for five years as a public defender in Great Falls, came back to Washington to practice law in three private firms in Seattle and Tacoma for three years, and in 2021 returned to a senior public defender position in Great Falls in the conflict division of the Montana State Office of Public Defense. To her clients, she was an angel of mercy and source of wise counsel. To her public defender colleagues and opposing prosecutors, she was a valued source of professional legal advice.

Nichole is survived by her parents; her fiancé, Cole King of Winchester, Mass.; her loving aunts and uncles Mary and Mike Orr of Twin Falls, Marla and Tony Gault of Salt Lake City, Carla Parks of Denver, Richard Parks of Cheney, Wash.; her two cousins Michael Ashley Fox of Idaho Falls, and Shawn Parks of Bainbridge Island, Wash.; and many friends. She was a kind, gregarious and fun-loving person, and a faithful friend lifelong to Kimberley Meinert of Washington, D.C., and Stephanie Buckles of Monroe, Wash., and a loyal friend to Janice Sagen and Chaela Wordal in Great Falls. To her friends, she was a loving kindred spirit. She also cared well for her rescue dogs Turbo, Jackson, Marley, Shalimar and Harley. In lieu of flowers or plants, please make gifts either to the Whitman County Humane Society or to the St. Margaret’s Shelter for Women of Spokane in her honor.

Among her extended circle of family and friends, Nichole Lovrich was deeply loved and cherished. A celebration of her life will be held in Pullman in the fall at the Community Congregational United Church of Christ in Pullman.

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