John Clifford (Nick) Nickolson|
Born January 13, 1933
Died October 27, 2013
John was born on January 13, 1933, at Harborview Hospital to Florence Manetta Hawks and Bernard Sidler. In 1946, his stepfather, George Clarence Nickolson, adopted him and his name was changed to John Clifford Nickolson. His family and school friends called him Cliff and he was later known as Nick by many of his extended friends. He grew up in the Ballard area and attended Adams Grade School as well as James Monroe Junior High School. The family moved to Alderwood Manor (which later became Lynnwood) in 1946 and he graduated from Edmonds High School in 1951.
John enlisted in the Naval Reserves in 1950 and while on active duty in the Navy, he served in the Korean conflict in 1952 aboard the Halsey Powell, a Destroyer Escort. He was Honorably Discharged from active duty on August 24, 1953, but remained in the Naval Reserves until his retirement in January 1976.
John married Geraldine McDonald in 1955, and together they raised their three children in a home John helped build in Lynnwood. They later divorced. He worked for Pacific Northwest Bell in the Seattle area as a Central Office Technician. During his career, he supervised the conversion of many central offices from analog to electronic and digital switching systems. He retired in 1989 with 33 years of service. After he retired from Pacific NW Bell, he joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary and taught boating safety classes all over the region and worked on patrols at Seafair and other events.
John married Marlene Heathman in 1987. They both enjoyed traveling and spent summers cruising the San Juan Islands and Canada in their boat. They took numerous trips in their travel trailer throughout the Western and Midwest regions of the United States and Canada and made a yearly trip to Peoria, Arizona to watch the Mariners at their spring training facility. In the last 10 years, their favorite vacations were on luxury cruises, giving them the opportunity to visit many countries around the world. John loved to golf and worked as a volunteer marshal at the Riverbend Golf Course in Kent.
John passed away peacefully at his home, after a long battle with lung cancer. He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 26 years, Marlene (Kent), his brother Bruce Nickolson (Edmonds), his three children, Sue Bryant (Camano Island), Jeff Nickolson (Lake Stevens), and Don Nickolson (Mountlake Terrace); a step son, Chris Heathman (Olympia), eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A celebration of John's life will be held at 12 noon on Friday, November 15, 2013 in the parish hall at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Kent. He will be interred in Tahoma National Cemetery in a private ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to
in John's name.
Published in The Seattle Times on Nov. 10, 2013