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Nancy Ann (Collins) Nickeson

August 20, 2021

Obituary

Nancy Ann (Collins) Nickeson was born on October 26, 1930 in Royal Oak, Mich., the youngest of Walter and Erla Collins’ four children. She was predeceased by all her siblings; her brother Richard was killed in combat during WWII in France in 1944. After Nancy graduated high school in 1948, she briefly attended Ward Belmont College in Nashville, Tenn. During her time there her parents moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Nancy spent a little time with them but soon headed to St. Paul, Minn., to live with her sister Joan and her family. There she met and married Richard (Dick) Nickeson, who was completing his Ph.D. in Horticulture at the University of Minnesota. A shared love of classical and jazz music was one of their early and enduring bonds. After they married in 1956 they departed for Brookings, S.D., where Dick taught at the University and Nancy became a homemaker. Shortly thereafter Dick began working for the Campbell Soup Company, and during his tenure with Campbell’s the family lived in Illinois, England, New Jersey, Ohio, and Canada. Dick and Nancy visited Europe while they lived in England, and continued traveling after retiring, including visiting their grown children, traveling to the Smokies, the Outer Banks, and especially one of Nancy’s favorite places, Disneyworld in Orlando, Fla. They also traveled to Elder Hostels in the U.S. and Canada. After Dick’s retirement from Campbell’s in 1988, he and Nancy settled for ten years in Pinehurst, N.C., before ending up in Smithville, N.J. Music had always been a very important part of Nancy’s life, and she loved to sing and play the piano. She sang in the Moore County Choral Society in North Carolina, and later in the choir at Four Seasons in New Jersey. She always enjoyed playing piano duets and was able to continue doing so when they moved in 2012 to the Estates at Carpenters in Lakeland, Fla., which became their last home. Nancy was also an accomplished cook, bridge player, sewer and knitter. After nine years in central Florida she passed away on 20 August 2021. She is survived by children Walter (Teresa), Janis (Chris Vaccaro), Jackie (Kevin Hawley), and Rich (Joan), and grandchildren Holly (Dan Petracca) and Greg Nickeson, Emma (Kyle Watson) and Aidan Hawley, and Juliana Veraldi.

 

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