Nancy Elizabeth Murray Richards was born on Dec. 3, 1949 in Richland, Washington to Homer and Nancy Murray. Showing her unique personality while she was still young, Nancy began getting letters addressed to “Nikki” after attending church camp while in Junior High. She announced, “That’s me, I changed my name!” And so she became Nikki.
After graduating from Columbia High School in 1968, Nikki began college at UW-Seattle, at a campus that she said was “bigger than Richland itself.” She later became a deputy sheriff in Tacoma and served in the Air Force at McCord before enrolling at WSU to follow her dream of becoming a veterinarian. There she met Ofer Inbar, her future partner-in-life, who was also pursuing a veterinary degree. When she narrowly missed acceptance into WSU’s doctoral program, she didn’t let it stop her. Instead, she completed her doctorate in the Philippines in record time, graduating in 1988. Her graduation motto was, “No dream is ever lost once seen. It still may be what might have been.”
Nikki was disappointed when it proved too difficult to get licensed in the U.S. with an overseas degree, but she didn’t let that stop her from caring for her beloved animals. She joined Ofer at his new practice, Shoshone Veterinary. She often assisted there, while tending to her growing menagerie of dogs, cats, goats, horses, chickens, cows, and more. She adopted the blind and crippled animals, fed the strays, and loved each one. No matter how many animals she had, she gave each one a name, and they knew her voice and came to her when she called their names. Nikki and Ofer made their home on a beautiful piece of land with a stream running through it, surrounded by animals both wild and tame.
Along the way, Nikki changed her name again, to “NEM” (for N ancy E lizabeth M urray) Richards. But whichever name she went by, Nikki remained the same beautiful free-spirited lady with the amazing smile and generous heart.
Nikki died on Dec. 30, 2017 in Boise, Idaho. She will be greatly missed by her beloved family: Dr. Ofer Inbar, mother Nancy Murray Snyder, brother Bill (Nancy) Murray, cousins Paul (Anna) Abrams, Kathleen (Carl) Widland and Murray (Joyce) Bryan and Jo Woodruff, nieces and nephews Kristine, Robb, Lisa, Daniel, Chelsea, Aria, Michael, Ivy, Jessica, and many other dear relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her father Homer Murray and cousins Robb and Chip Abrams.
A Memorial Mass will be offered for Nikki at Christ the King Church in Richland on Saturday, Jan 20, 2018 at 11:00 AM. Local arrangements are under the direction of Farnsworth Mortuary, Jerome, Idaho.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on NEM's memorial webpage at www.farnsworthmortuary.com.