Obituary for Ralph Nickerson (1942-2021) – Tucson, AZ

NICKERSON, Ralph King “Nick”, Jr.

died on April 7, 2021 at the age of 78 in Silverdale, Washington, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Nick was kind, generous, brilliant, easy-going, funny, loyal and tough as nails. He was an extraordinary person, loved by everyone who was lucky enough to know him. He will be missed very much.

Nick was born on November 27, 1942 in Goldendale, Washington, to Ralph King Nickerson and Louise Dressel Nickerson. When he was just 11 years old, Nick developed polio. After a few months in St. Elizabeth, Yakima, he recovered and by the next year was good enough to drive his parents’ car around town, which only ended when he was arrested by Goldendale police.

At Goldendale High School, Nick wrote in both baseball and soccer. Upon graduation, he attended Washington State University and earned a degree in political science. He was admitted to law school at Georgetown University in Washington DC, graduating with a JD (Honors) in 1970. Nick started his law firm in New York City and appeared before the US Supreme Court.

After a few years, the beauty of the Northwest brought him back to Washington. Nick moved to Seattle and practiced at a company there. A few years later he returned to Goldendale to be closer to his mother, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. When he was back in Goldendale, Nick enjoyed hanging out with his mother and his beloved “Gram”. He was also lucky enough to see more of his sister Rae Ann and nephew Jake who lived in Vancouver, Washington.

In 1980 Nick married Emily McKee Moughon in Goldendale. Though he may have started out a bit slow, Nick was never one to do something halfway through, and he went from being a 38-year-old bachelor to a married stepfather with three children overnight. Nick and Emily were happily married for over 40 years. And while there were a few understandable bumps along the way, Nick became a devoted and deeply loved “pop” to his three children, forever grateful that he stepped into their lives.

Nick and Emily moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1992, where Nick practiced law, played golf, and made many new friends. He was also an active member of the Episcopal Church of Christ the King.

Nick enjoyed golf and skiing, and he loved playing backgammon and bridge. In Goldendale he was a member of the Masonic Order. He was also a brilliant trivial pursuit player, voracious reader, and lover of black liquorice, Coca-Cola, and spicy foods. Every Sunday he did the New York Times crossword puzzle with a pen.

He is survived by his wife, Emily; two stepchildren, Stewart and Caitlin Moughon; his sister Rae Ann Hansen Aspitarte and her husband Tom and two nephews, Jake Roberts and Lee Aspitarte. Before him, his beloved stepdaughter, Lauren Moughon, had died.

Nick’s family would like to thank The Ridge Memory Care and its excellent staff for the expert care, tireless friendliness, and thoughtful support that Nick has given over the years. Knowing that Nick was so well looked after gave great comfort to his family.

At a later date, there will be a memorial service at the Episcopal Church of St. Antony of Egypt in Silverdale, where his family and loved ones can gather in person to celebrate his life. The family expects the service to take place in late July or early August. The notification will be posted on the St. Antony website: https://saintantonys.com/

Published by Arizona Daily Star on May 30, 2021.

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