Natalie Sue Nichols, oldest of five children of Karen Foster and Tom Nichols, was born June 22, 1966, in Houston, Texas. On August 12, 1989, in Houston, Texas, she married David Chester Simmons (born May 23, 1952).
Note: Story from 1996 Arthur Jones Family Scrapbook.
Natalie was born and raised in Houston. She attended school in Houston and Friendswood, and graduated from High School for the Visual and Performing Arts.
Natalie met her husband, David Chester Simmons, while they were both attending the University of Houston as art students. Natalie was majoring in jewelry and metalsmithing, while Chester majored in ceramic art. They both graduated in May 1989 and were married later that summer, August 12, in a beautiful outdoor ceremony in Houston’s Rose Garden. Chester had been accepted into the Graduate Program at Northern Arizona University, so after the wedding, they packed their belongings into a small trailer (they spent many hours remodeling) and moved to Flagstaff, Arizona. They lived there for three years surrounded by mountains, fresh air, and the beautiful Arizona landscape. After Chester completed the Master’s program they moved back to Houston in search of a better job market. Natalie began working in the family printing business, and Chester found a job teaching junior high and high school children.
About six months later, Natalie and Chester heard of an opportunity at Tulane University in New Orleans. Chester was offered a scholarship in the graduate ceramics department to work towards a Master in Fine Arts degree while earning a stipend for teaching undergraduates. It was a chance for him to devote time toward his sculpture and build more teaching experience. He completed the program, earned his MFA, and worked as a ceramicist in a pottery shop and teaching private lessons. Chester has also sold several of his sculptures to patrons in New Orleans, and is currently doing commissions.
Natalie is working in a jewelry store in the French Quarter where she fabricates jewelry for the store owner and also displays and sells her own designs.