Thomas Brewer Nickerson, of Orleans, died Saturday, December 12th in his winter home in Punta Gorda, Florida, at the age of 87. Nickerson was the beloved husband of Carol Nickerson and father of Bethany Nickerson and Thomas Brewer Nickerson, Jr. Originally from Eastham, he was the son of Otto Eli Nickerson and Albina Brewer Nickerson. He attended his father’s one room schoolhouse through grade 8 and graduated from Orleans High School in 1951. At Northeastern University he was a member of the Alpha Kappa Sigma (AK∑) fraternity, joined the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business management.
After graduation from Northeastern University in 1956, Mr. Nickerson went on active duty with the Army Signal Corps and was stationed at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey and the Decatur Signal Depot in Illinois. Completing active duty in 1958, he was assigned to the 441st Civil Affairs Company army reserve unit in Massachusetts. He continued serving in the Army Reserves for 28 years. In the 1980s he was promoted to Colonel and assigned to the Army Material Command in Alexandria, VA, retiring in 1986.
After working for Revere Copper and Brass in New Bedford in the late 1950s, he began a career in banking that brought him back to Cape Cod. In 1960 he became branch manager of the First National Bank of Cape Cod in Wellfleet, remaining there two years until moving to the Hyannis Cooperative Bank in Orleans, where he worked into the 1970s serving first as branch manager and then as vice president. He later started a mortgage company, Cape Cod Mortgage, and was executive vice president of Business Locators of Cape Cod.
In 1989 he moved to Key West, Florida, where he was director of security at the Truman Annex. Since the early 2000s he enjoyed spending his winters in Florida and summers on the Cape. He could often be found out in the brambles and briars of the cranberry bog behind his Brewster home by day, and enjoying the local Cape music scene at night.
Tom Nickerson was an avid reader, loved cars, listening to music, getting together with friends and family, and spending time with his grandchildren and their significant others. A fond memory of his was working at the Tydol station in Orleans when he had a Model A Ford, which had been his cousin Ken Collins’ car and was given to him by his Uncle Cubby after Ken went to college. He also often shared stories from his experiences as a copy boy at the Boston Globe, a job he loved and had for two years as part of the cooperative program at Northeastern. He was active in many civic organizations over the course of his life, including the Orleans Rotary Club, the Reserve Officers Association of Southeastern Massachusetts, the AK∑ Board of Trustees where he served as president and was trustee emeritus, and the Church of the Holy Spirit where he served as treasurer for many years. Mr. Nickerson was a deputy sheriff. He was also active in politics and served two terms on the Orleans Board of Selectmen.
Mr. Nickerson was predeceased by his parents, Otto and Albina, his sister Jocelyn Maza and his nephew David Maza. Survivors include his wife Carol Nickerson of South Orleans and Punta Gorda, Florida; his daughter Bethany Ann Nickerson and son in-law John Wagner of Washington, D.C.; his son Thomas Brewer Nickerson, Jr., and daughter in-law Jody Nickerson of Deerfield, Wisconsin; his stepsons, Paul Bennett of Sun City Center, Florida and Stephen Bennett of Boothwyn, Pennsylvania; his niece Mary Maza Zappulla of North Fort Myers, Florida; his former wife Patricia Nickerson Flor of Tamarac, Florida; his grandchildren Anabel Grace Nickerson, Cole Thomas Nickerson, Arden Rose Nickerson, Calvin Nickerson Wagner and Nathan Nickerson Wagner; many cousins and friends; and his beloved dog Carmelita, who was always at his side.
A burial memorial service will be held in Evergreen Cemetery in Eastham in late spring. Memorial donations may be sent to the Schoolhouse Museum at P.O. Box 8, Eastham, MA 02642-0008.