Nichols flipped through a photo album and recounted the memories she had with her husband of 15 years, a retired California construction worker.
"The camping trips wed use to go on, and we went fishing," said Nichols. "We took our friends along because we had a fifth wheel, we had a boat -- we did a lot of things together."
She says her husband loved to fish and hunt, and was an avid outdoorsman.
On Sunday, Aug. 12th, Nichols says her husband, who suffered from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), was feeling ill, so she took him to the hospital. He was admitted, and while he was being checked out in the emergency room, Bend police say he became combative with hospital staff.
Police said in a news release late Friday that Nichols had gone out of the hospital and confronted an arriving police officer in a threatening manner. They said the officer first unsuccessfully tried to use a Taser, then used an "open hand strike."
"They said they Tased him, and then he collapsed and his heart stopped," said Barbara Nichols. "So they came out and resuscitated him, and they had him on the ventilator when they came out and told me."
Nichols says her husband, 64, was a caring man who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after time spent serving as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.
"He just couldn't get over things he did" during the war, said Nichols. "He was very religious, he went to church a lot. He did it (went to Vietnam) because he believed in his country. He just didn't like that he had to kill all those people."
As Nichols flipped through the book of pictures, she said she will always remember her husband's big heart and caring spirit.
"Anybody who wanted anything," Nichols said. "He was always willing to help anybody to do anything, He had a big heart and was very kind."
She added Jerry would give the shirt off his back to help anyone, even if they had just met.
Bend police and a Deschutes County deputy district attorney said they could not comment further about what happened until they get the medical examiner's report on Nichols' body. They said that could take months.