Ernest L. "Nick" Nickerson, 92, beloved husband of Helena (Duncan) Nickerson, of Manchester, died peacefully at home on Jan. 27, 2013.
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He was born in East Hartford on July 28, 1920. After graduating from East Hartford High School he began his long association with Aetna Fire & Casualty. He enrolled in classes to pursue a business degree, however, World War II changed these plans. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in September of 1942, in which he served with the Special Weapons Group, Eighth Defense Battalion, Fifth Amphibious Corps, in the Pacific Theatre of Operation until 1945. He was then reassigned to Quantico, Va., where he met his dancing friend, U.S. Marine Cpl. Paymaster Clerk Helena Page Duncan. He was honorably discharged as a corporal on Feb. 18, 1946. In August of 1947 he made Helena his dance partner for life. He retired from his position as a fire and allied lines superintendent in 1982. Nick was an active member of his community. He was a member of Center Congregational Church, a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, BPOE 1893 Elks, and the Senior Citizens Center. He enjoyed volunteering for many activities: Christmas in April and working in the greenhouse being just two of his favorites. He loved golf all his life, he played with his family, children, grandchildren, and joined the senior league at the Manchester Country Club where he was active until 2011.
In addition to his wife of 65 years, Helena, he also leaves behind their children, Patricia Lemieux, and her husband, Raymond, of Windsor, Deborah Wilk, and her husband, Douglas, of Bennington, N.H., Jeffrey Nickerson, and his wife, Patricia, of West Barnstable, Mass., and his daughter, Joell (Jodie) Pine, and her husband, Todd, of Manchester; seven grandchildren, Kathleen Bean, Melissa Hoyt, Gerri-Anne Garralick, Mike and Justin Wilk, and Kyle and Austin Pine; plus nine great-grandchildren, Rebecca, Danielle, Katelyn, Nicholas, Jacob, Hailey, Zachary, Jillian, and Lilah. He was predeceased by his three siblings, Floyd Nickerson, Lorraine Bragg, and Marjorie Zenzie.
Once upon a time there was a man, an amazing man. A dutiful Marine soldier who served his country with honor. A loving husband who for 65 years put his beautiful wife on a pedestal and twirled her on every dance floor like a princess. A wonderful dad who raised four children. An incredible grandfather who taught things only a grandfather could teach to seven grandchildren. He continued his wisdom and kindness to nine great-grandchildren. A man who was a dear friend to many. A man who had an amazing journey and blessed us all just for having known him. Goodbye dear grandfather. And thank you for showing us how to live well, to laugh often, and to love each day.
The funeral will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Samsel & Carmon Funeral Home, 419 Buckland Road, South Windsor. Burial with military honors will follow at East Cemetery, Manchester.
His family will receive friends Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. Service will follow. Military honors will be presented at a graveside service, East Cemetery, veterans division, in Manchester.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in his name can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at
For online expressions of sympathy please visit us at
Published in Journal Inquirer from Jan. 30 to Feb. 3, 2013