Stephen Nichols steve patch johnson days
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

The actor’s mother-in-law Betty Gordon has passed away at age 95.

“In the summer of 1982, I had an amazing streak of good fortune,” began Stephen Nichols’ January 22 Instagram post. “I met my future wife and was welcomed into her family with warm and open arms. Lisa’s mother, Betty, made me feel and let me know, almost immediately, that I was one of hers. She considered me a son, and feeling that, I considered her a mother.”

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The Days of Our Lives actor couldn’t overstate Betty’s impact on him — and everyone whose lives she touched. “Being a part of this clan has changed me in ways I can’t describe. The unconditional love with which Betty raised her children has turned out wonderful, confident and loving people,” he said. “They are the best people I know and watching them, growing with them these past forty years has helped me to be a better person.

“Witnessing the care my wife, Lisa and her four siblings gave Mom over these past few difficult years is a testament to the love we all had for her,” he added. “We would do anything for her, and even though she knew it, she asked for very little.”


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Steve’s portrayer called marrying into Betty’s clan, in a way, a wish granted. “My dream of having a good life for my children and myself, a life full of love and laughter, came true when I became a part of this family,” he said. “My Mama Betty lived a long life. Her five children (six including me), 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren brought her the most joy, and they benefited by having so many years with her.

“An expert seamstress, she sewed beautiful dresses, robes and traditional Swedish outfits,” he continued. “But she gave us so much more than her time and talent… she gave each and every one of us encouragement in whatever we did.”

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As a beautiful photographic tribute to Betty played, accompanied by one of her favorite songs — “Here’s to Life” by Barbra Streisand — Nichols continued. “Mom was incredibly intelligent, wise and witty. She was the queen of the one-liners. Always patient and honest, and even when she disagreed, she found a gentle way to tell you so…

“I can’t imagine these past 40 years without your love, Mama,” he concluded. “I am eternally grateful to you. I love you, and you will always be in my heart.”

On your way to the comments to offer your condolences, stop off at the below photo gallery, a tribute to all the soap greats that we lost in the past year.