Nick Nicholson, 85

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Clair "Nick" M. Nicholson, 85, of Mountain Home, died peacefully at his home on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2006, due to pancreatic cancer.

Per his request, no services are planned. Arrangements are under the direction of Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel in Mountain Home.

Nick was born at Gruver, Iowa, on July 26, 1921. Raised in Rockwell, Iowa, he was the second of five children born to J.J. and Ora B. Nicholson.

Joining the Navy after graduating from high school, a decision he had made in the sixth grade, he traveled throughout the world serving on a number of ships and at several stations, including being at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He served during World War II and was on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Valley Forge when it flew the first carrier strike in the Korean Conflict. He retired as a CPO in 1959.

While stationed in San Diego, he met the woman he was waiting for, Maxine L. Holmes. They married the following year (1947) in Pensacola, Fla.

He enrolled at San Diego State University immediately after retiring from the Navy and received his B.A. two years later. He taught for three years in Chula Vista, Calif., while completing his Master's Degree, and was then offered a professorship at San Diego State University with the proviso that he had to complete his doctorate within three years or look for employment elsewhere. After two years at SDSU he decided it was something he wanted to do and enrolled at the University of Washington in Seattle. Completing his degree, he taught for several years at Central Washington State University in Ellenburg, Wash., and then back to SDSU.

In 1975, deciding he would like to try something different before retiring, he applied for and received a position as a school administrator with the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the Hopi Indian Reservation in northern Arizona. After six years on the Hopi, with summers spent looking for the "perfect" retirement spot, he and his wife retired to Mountain Home.

When he was 80 years old, he realized he had quartered his life rather neatly -- 20 years in school, 20 years in the Navy, 20 years of teaching, and 20 years of retirement, his family noted, adding that his retirement "was thoroughly enjoyed traveling, fishing, reading, bird hunting, and playing poker. He was a member of a poker team that is still running after more than 20 years."

He was on the Mountain Home Library Board of Trustees for many years, "a position he thoroughly enjoyed, made even more so by working with Luise and the finest people of the board and library staff members in Idaho," his family said.

He is survived by: his wife of 59 years, Maxine; two daughters, Connie Cripps of Idaho Falls and Patricia Northam of Visalia, Calif.; four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mountain Home Public Library, 790 No. 10th East St., Mountain Home, ID 83647.