HOLDEN – Norris “Nick” E. Nickerson, 74, passed away April 16, 2014, at EMMC surrounded by his family following a brief but determined and courageous battle with recent insurmountable complications associated with his blood cancer, myelodysplastic syndrome. Nick was the son of Raymond and Velma Rand Nickerson and was born Nov. 6, 1939 in Brewer.
Norris attended elementary and high school in Brewer, where he was an active three-sport athlete with particular fondness for playing football and having fun with his fellow teammates. He graduated from Brewer in 1958 to attend the University of Maine where he continued to play football, bonded many friendships with teammates and ultimately shared in his team’s success as the 1961 Yankee Conference Champions under Coach Harold Westerman. He graduated from Maine in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in Education and subsequently earned his Master of Education from Maine.
In September 1962, Norris started work as a teacher in Bangor where he was a dedicated educator, coach, and administrator at Bangor High School for his entire career spanning 49 years. He taught various subjects for 12 years, coached football for 13 years with Head Coach Gerry Hodge, including a cherished State Championship in 1973, served 15 years as the Vice Principal for his dear friend, Principal Dr. John Fahey and then led the school for 22 years as Principal until his retirement in 2011. During his tenure as Principal, Bangor High accomplished many awards and achievements, including: National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, US News Top 5% of High Schools, Standard and Poor’s Outperformer, Sports Illustrated Top 50, Parents Choice Award Winner, and an extensive list of State Championships in both academics and sports. Norris was extremely proud of the high school, faculty and staff, and especially the students. He rarely missed an event and enjoyed watching all students’ progress and participation. He also relished his active participation at the annual Eastern Maine Basketball Tournaments, where for years he was a fixture at the scorer’s table, on the PA or on the floor of the Bangor Auditorium, and finally the Cross Insurance Center.
Outside of work, Norris led an equally active and enriching social life that spawned fond memories of fun-loving adventures and good times spent with his family and wide circle of friends. A few of his many personal exploits and interests included — camp life and camaraderie at Camp Finally, Snare Brook, Springy Pond and Green Lake along with many hunting, fishing & canoeing trips; his kids’ and grandkids’ many birthdays, games and special events; a decade of competitive summer softball league play and weekend tournaments with his buddies at the old Dow Fields, across Maine & New England, and a memorable trip to Houston for a national tournament; years of Maine football games, including his son Andy’s 1987 Yankee Conference clinching game against UNH in Portland, the annual Maine Football Golf Outing at Natanis Golf Course and several memorable road trips, including last fall’s UMaine vs UMass tailgate party with family at Gillette Stadium; and his entire adult life commitment to fraternal service, fun and fundraising with his many brothers and fellow Shriners of the Anah Shrine. While in the Shrine he served in many capacities, including Potentate in 2009, made innumerable friends, had way too much fun and most importantly worked tirelessly to actively identify and assist Maine families gain access to free medical care and life changing surgeries for their children through the Shriners Hospital for Children.
Norris is survived by his beloved wife and love of his life, Donna Aubrey Nickerson; his three children, son, Bruce, his wife, Sharon and their daughters, Jordan, Hannah and Gabby of Holden; daughter, Kris Summit, husband, Ron, and their children, son, Mathew and daughter, Taylor of Newburyport, MA, and son, Andy, his wife, Julie and their daughters, Holly and Megan of Holden; Donna’s two children, daughter, Jennifer Gibbs, her husband, John, and their children, son, Daniel and daughter, Jessica of Old Fort, NC and Kendra Duley, her husband, John and their children, daughter, Alaina, and sons, Brett and Nick of Bar Harbor; and his best buddy and naughty good dog, Duke. Norris is also survived by his three siblings, brother, Raymond Nickerson and his wife, Doris of Bedford, MA, sister, Beverly Hay and her husband, Jim of Racine, WI, and sister, Ginny LaClaire and husband, Gary of Eddington; as well as a good number of nephews, nieces, cousins and near relatives. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his previous wife, Linda Myshrall Nickerson, his dear nephew, Danny Nickerson, and Donna’s son, Brett Calvert.
Finally, the family wishes to express our heartfelt appreciation to the dedicated and knowledgeable doctors, nurses and care givers at the Lafayette Family Cancer Center and EMMC for the quality of medical treatment, positive support, enduring warmth and genuine concern for his and our well being throughout his treatments and particularly during his recent hospitalizations. Thank you, you are all angels.
Relatives and friends are welcome to call 5-8 p.m. Monday, April 21, 2014 at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St., Bangor. A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at All Souls Congregational Church, Broadway, Bangor, with the Rev. Dr. James L. Haddix, pastor and teacher officiating. The family invites relatives and friends to the Anah Shrine Center, 586 Main St., Bangor, at 1 p.m. Tuesday, to share conversation and refreshments. Those wishing to remember Nick in a special way may make gifts in his memory to the Shriners Hospital for Children-Springfield, C/O Anah Shrine Center, 586 Main St., Bangor, ME 04401; or to the Lafayette Family Cancer Center, EMHS Foundation, P.O. Box 931, Bangor, ME 04402-0931. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.