Frances Edwards Nickerson

Frances Edwards Nickerson

Frances Edwards Nickerson


            Frances (Edwards) Nickerson , 95 years young, of North Chatham, passed away peacefully in her home on November 19th, surrounded by her loving family.

            She was the daughter of Andrew and Alice (Sanborn) Edwards of Chatham and grew up on the Little Mill Pond. She was predeceased by her loving husband, Willard Hammond Nickerson Jr. to whom she was married to for 52 wonderful years.  She was also predeceased by her sister Phyllis (Edwards) Davis of Centerville.

            She is survived by her son; Willard “Nick” Nickerson III and wife Holly (Farham) of North Chatham, daughter Phyllis Nickerson Power of Chatham and former husband Michael Power and daughter Barbara Nickerson of Chatham.

            Frances is also survived by three grandchildren, Kristine Nickerson Beebe and husband Jim of Dennis, Laura Nickerson of Chatham and Michael Nickerson –Power and his wife Elizabeth of Hingham. As the longstanding matriarch of the family, she was also blessed with three beautiful great granddaughters: Jenna Beebe, Callie Nickerson and Isadora Nickerson-Power. In addition, she is survived by her sister-in-law, Joanne Nickerson Hughes of Naples, Fla., and many nieces and nephews.

            Fran graduated from Chatham High School, the ceremony held in what is now the Chatham Orpheum Theatre. She was an avid music lover who played saxophone in high school and loved to dance with Willard.  Frances graduated from Bryant College, Rhode Island as a business major. Her first employment was as office manager for Bachrach Photographers in Providence.  After marrying Willard in 1943 she moved to back to Massachusetts. At the age 22, she was office manager of the clerical staff  handling classified files for the Army Corps of Engineers in Boston. She later learned her work was involved in the Tennessee Valley Project. After the war, she and her husband Willard returned to Chatham and built their home in North Chatham where they raised their three children. In 1950 they opened Nickerson’s Fish and Lobsters at the Chatham Fish Pier which they owned and operated for 35 years. During those years, Frances aka “Katrinka“ developed her  legendary  seafood products to the delight of her devoted patrons.


            During the 1960’s, Frances administered the first Adult Education Program in Chatham putting her many talents and creative skills to work.  She was a “fashionista “   wearing her own original designs with great panache. She sewed professionally for Capeside Interiors upholsterers, furnishing many elegant homes throughout Chatham.

            Fran had an indomitable zest for life. She was an old fashioned proud Cape Codder with a steadfast work ethic and integrity in all things. She was energetic, down to earth, fun, a loyal friend and a devoted wife and mother. She was an avid gardener and was famous for her peony and sunflower garden. Nothing gave her more joy than working side by side with her husband, scalloping at sunrise. Her vigorous casting skills on the SS Katrinka always resulted in a great catch of blues and stripers. She was the Queen of Culinary Arts. As the original “Martha Stewart,” her creativity in all things was unsurpassed. Her family and friends  will greatly miss the swordfish  and steaks on her kitchen fireplace,  her Sunday night homemade pizza, wicked  good roast beef dinners, pumpkin chiffon pie, celebratory cakes, toffee butter crunch and mmm… more!

            For decades, she regularly overwhelmed   opponents of all ages in ping pong. Using her powerful back hand slam, she created calculated confusion, playing loudly her stack of HI FI records to distract their focus.  She loved playing cards with friends topped off with fabulous desserts. Always a fan of the Patriots, Celtics and the Red Sox, she also loved the horse races on Saturday TV.  She enjoyed winters in Florida and many trips to London visiting her daughter Phyllis and family.

            Frances was a member of the Chatham Historical Society, The Nickerson Family Association and an active lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church of Chatham.

            The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to her loving caregivers, Janet Whittemore, Patti Blanco, Susan Hawkins and the compassionate staff of Hope Hospice.

            Calling hours will be Friday December 2nd from 4-7 pm at The Nickerson Funeral Home, 87 Crowell Road Chatham, MA. Friends and relatives are invited to a celebration of her life on Saturday December 3rdat 11:00 AM, First United Methodist Church 560 Main street Chatham.

            In lieu of flowers, donations is Frances’ memory may be made to: The First United Methodist Church of 560 Main Street Chatham, MA. Notes of comfort may be sent to her family at