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EDWARD LEE NICHOLSON Jr.

Obituary
  • "Dear Cousin Shirley, Sorry to learn of Nick's passing. We..."
  • "Nick was a wonderful neighbor and he and Shirley were both..."
    - Emily (MacDonald) O'Leary
  • "I remember Mr. Nicholson explaining how nature worked and..."
    - Art Nicholas
  • "To Mrs. Nicholson, Paul, Chuck, and Gerry- Our thoughts and..."
    - Jim LaBorde

NICHOLSON, EDWARD LEE, JR. - known also as Nick, died peacefully at Shannondale Heath Care Center Sunday, June 24, 2012. Edward was born in Medicine Lodge, Kansas on October 18, 1921 to Edward Lee and Lucille Millspaugh Nicholson. Most of his childhood was spent in Hunnewell, KS where he attended the 3-room elementary school, then was bussed to a consolidated high school. From there he went on to Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State), earned a B.S. in chemical Engineering, and was inducted into the United Stated Army early in 1943. He served several brief assignments, one driving a military truck in NYC, one teaching and studying at State University of Iowa. Then one night Edward and several other soldier-engineers rode in the back of a truck from McGhee-Tyson Airport to Oak Ridge where they were told they would be working on the Manhattan Project. Nick was discharged from the Army in March, 1946, but he stayed at ORNL because he enjoyed the work and loved the mountains, lakes and rivers of East Tennessee. On weekends he and an adventurous friend rode their motorcycles to explore the Smokies and other interesting places. In the spring of 1950 when Nick and a housemate were building a sailboat, he met Shirley Johnson. She worked as an engineer on the Fairchild NEPA project, and she needed help in repairing an old sailboat. They were married in February, 1951, shortly before a brief assignment in NYC. They returned to Oak Ridge, then moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where Nick helped to design a fuel reprocessing plant in Arco. In the summer of 1953 Nick and Shirley returned to Oak Ridge with their first son, Paul. A few years later they built a house in Knoxville for their growing family. Except for 2 years during which Nick was a consultant to Eurochemic in Mol, Belgium, he worked at ORNL in the Chemical Technology Division until his retirement at the end of 1986. During the next few years, Nick, with help, built the greenhouse at the O'Connor Senior Center. In 1993 he began to volunteer working for Habitat for Humanity, joining the Tuesday-Thursday group for nearly 12 years. Nick loved gardening, sailing, running, bicycling, x-country skiing, whitewater canoeing and kayaking, and his family. He led his sons and other Boy Scouts backpacking in the Smokies and canoeing down the Little Tennessee River. He participated in numerous 5, 10, and 15 K races, 2 marathons, and a dozen or more triathlons. One of his proudest moments was carrying the torch into Knox County for the 1996 Olympics. He became a member of Sacred Heart parish in 1970 and was an active volunteer there for many years. Nearly all Nick's favorite activities came to a halt when his heart began to trouble him a few years ago. Edward was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Roger Nicholson, and his youngest son, Edward Lee Nicholson, III. He is survived by, his wife of 61 years, Shirley, and his three sons and two daughters-in-law: Paul Edward Nicholson and wife, Faye Chang of Thousand Oaks, CA, Dr. Charles Patrick Nicholson and wife Dr. Niki Nicholas of Norris and Oneida, TN, and Gerard Lee Nicholson of Guyton, GA. There are three grandchildren: Ian Nicholson and Ellen Nicholson of Thousand Oaks, CA and Eric Nicholson of San Diego. He also leaves a foster son, Nguyen Nho Phong of Downingtown, PA whom he and his wife sponsored in 1975 and his sister, Barbara Gallaher of Phoenix, AZ; and sister-in-law, Carolyn Nicholson of Huntsville, AL. For many years Nick was interested in The American Chestnut Foundation and supported their effort to bring back the American chestnut by generations of back-crossing with the blight-resistant Chinese chestnut. Memorials may be made in Edward's name to, The American Chestnut Foundation, 160 Zillicoa Street, Suite D, Asheville, NC 28801, or to the Habitat for Humanity, 1501 Washington Ave, Knoxville, TN 37915, or to . The family will receive friends from 5:30 - 7:30 pm Wednesday evening at Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial celebrated by the Very Reverend David Boettner will be at 10:00 am Thursday June 28, at Sacred Heart Cathedral. With interment to follow at Veterans' Cemetery, Lyons View at 11:30 a.m. Arrangements by Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel. Online condolences at www.rosemortuary.com








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Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from June 25 to June 27, 2012
Funeral Home
Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel
6200 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37919
(865) 588-8578
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