In Memory

Eugene C Nicholson - Class Of 1943

Eugene C Nicholson

Eugene Nicholson died quietly at home on March 3, 2016; his wife of 20 years, Beverly, and his daughter, Nikki, were at his side as he peacefully made the transition from this world to the next. Eugene (most people called him 'Gene' and a few remember him as 'Nick') was born in Taft, California on September 12, 1925. His dad, Ernest, worked for Standard Oil. Gene grew up in Taft and then in South Pasadena where he attended high school. 

Gene joined the Coast Guard and served his country honorably in the Aleutian Islands and in the Philippines. He said that most of the time his ship went around and around in circles, providing support for America's World War II warships. "It wasn't high drama, but it was important to the war effort." As the war ended Gene married Shirley Clague, a native of Nampa, Idaho, and they set up their home in Southern California. Gene worked at a butcher shop before beginning a career in sales, which he loved. Road trips and airline flights to meet existing, new, or potential customers, was his joy. Gene's work in sales meant the family moved several times, and Shirley and the kids, Nikki and Wayne, dealt with new neighborhoods and schools with grace. Shirley said, "We go where the job takes us." Connecticut, Chicago, Seattle, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and New Jersey were all part of the Nicholson story until Gene and Shirley settled in Lake Saint Louis, Missouri. 

At the Lake, Gene became involved with the VFW (Post 10359). He was a proud supporter of our veterans and was instrumental in creating the Veterans Memorial Park. "We need to honor those who have served this country," he said. Shirley had died in 1992, yet Gene maintained his volunteer work with the Legion and soon met Beverly, who became his wife in 1995 at Lake Tahoe, with both Gene's and Beverly's adult children, and Gene's brother, John, in attendance on a beautiful blue-sky day. Gene and Beverly returned to Lake Saint Louis, but embarked on a wonderful life of frequent travel to Europe, the Mediterranean, and the British Isles. They played bridge with friends, enjoyed barbequing beside the lake, entertained their children and friends, and their warm hospitality was a true mark of their marriage. 

Gene is survived by his wife, Beverly; his children, Wayne and Nikki; Beverly's three children; and six grandchildren.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 6, 2016