Benjamin T. Nickerson

May 16, 1934January 24, 2019

Benjamin Toby Nickerson, 84, of Chatham, passed away peacefully surrounded by family Thursday, January 24, 2019. He will be met in Heaven by his wife Marilyn (Strutzel) Nickerson. He leaves his legacy to live in his sister, Nancy (Nickerson) Tansey and husband Fred, and his children Linda Nickerson, Pamela Nickerson, Kim (Nickerson) Young and husband Steve, Benjamin J Nickerson and “favorite daughter-in-law” Joan (Borthwick) Nickerson. He was the loving grandfather of Summer (Gallagher) Schmaling and husband Jon, Justin Wall, Cynara (Gallagher) Dubowik and husband Richard, Nicole Wall, David Duarte and wife Sanja, Caitlin Gallagher, Caleb Gallagher and wife Erica, Benjamin Gallagher, Benjamin R Nickerson, Christopher Nickerson, and the late Sarah (Duarte) McKenna. How fortunate he was to be blessed with great-grandchildren including Zoee Terry, Caroline Schmaling, Aurora Terry, Adam Thompson, Kaia Dubowik, Dezmond Wall, Tyler Schmaling, Nylah White, Grace McKenna, Marc Schmaling, and Tara Duarte. His large family also includes several nieces and nephews.

Ben T was a true Cape Codder and Chathamite. Born on May 16, 1934 in Boston, to Benjamin L Nickerson and Ruth Tobey of Chatham. Ben married Marilyn Strutzel on June 25,1955 in Aurora, Minnesota. He met Marilyn in Alaska while on duty serving in the United States Coastguard. Returning home from service he served the community of Chatham as a police officer and a firefighter.

Ben T was a Freemason of 47 years, joining the St. Martin Masonic Lodge in Chatham on February 1, 1971. As the kind and selfless man he was, he touched the lives of thousands of people along the way, truly enjoying his work as a Mason spending countless hours giving back to the community. Ben was Master of the Lodge in 1987 and served in many positions as needed over the years. In 1992, he was the recipient of the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal. Ben was also an active member and a Past Patron of the Order of Eastern Star and Aleppo Shrine.

Ben T volunteered his time working on the Nickerson family genealogy at the Nickerson House. As a long-time member of the First Congregational Church in Chatham, he not only attended the weekly service, he also volunteered his time ushering and driving for the FISH program. Ben and Marilyn loved traveling together and enjoyed old time country music.

Ben T and Marilyn Nickerson started Benjamin T Nickerson, Inc., a local rubbish removal company, out of their home in Chatham in 1970. The company has been a local staple serving the community for almost 50 years. Ben always completed his route with a smile, waving at everyone in town, and whistling along in his favorite truck. The business remains in the family run by his son, Benji and daughter, Pamela.

If you had the honor of meeting Ben T, you would know what a modest man he truly was. Humble to the end, he requested that there not be a service held in his honor. The family will hold a private graveside ceremony. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Chatham Police and Fire Association, or the “Children’s Charity Fund”, St Martins Masonic Lodge, PO Box 255, Chatham, MA 02633.

A special thank you to the doctors and nurses of Cape Cod Hospital. They not only exhibited exceptional care for this beloved man, they provided support and guidance for our entire family during this difficult time.

Ben T Nickerson: The Man, the Myth, the Legend.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Benjamin T. Nickerson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Nancy Ryder Petrus

February 13, 2019

Ben has been a friend since our school days and I find it difficult knowing he is not with us. He was always the first one to leave a message of sympathy to others on this site and now, sadly, the role is reversed. My sincere sympathy to his family and Rest In Peace dear Ben.

Linda & Scott Thorp

February 12, 2019

We will certainly miss him. He has been a wonderful friend to my parents, Faye and Ted Sharp, and thus a great friend to us as well for the past 30 + years. We only saw him about twice a year, but each time he wanted to catch up on all of our family. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. We loved all of his stories about how he watched the young ones during the summer and the fun they had on the days by the pool.
We went to visit him last year, while he was cooking at the lodge on New Year's Eve. He took time to come and chat and show us around, and of course, give us big hugs and hearty handshakes. We will never forget him!

Deborah Cotter Horne

February 11, 2019

Benji, Joanie, Pam, Linda & family Yes he was the Man, the Myth, the Legend: a great humble man from the greatest generation, we have lost a part of our town, his town, his people; only to have been blessed in having known him in some way that made all of our more enriched with his smile and giving nature. It is with great sadness that I send my deepest sympathy to you his family, my thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time; thank you for sharing this wonderful man; He will be sorely missed, but will be here in our memories. I send my love to you all. Debbie

jerry and karen moore

February 2, 2019

thank you ben for your kind words and good humor for so many years. our thoughts are with you Benji, pammie , linda and kim.

Hunk Eldredge

January 31, 2019

Getting older is a conspiracy . Ben is a wonderful part of how Chatham used to be. Ben had such a great sense of humor , the type of man that would brighten your day in meeting. He will be dearly missed, thank god he has a wonderful family to carry on his legacy. Love to all. Hunky

Ivan Kendrick

January 31, 2019

Just want to say Ben was a part of Chatham and my life for sure. He was a good friend to our whole family and will be sorely missed. A piece of Chatham goes with him too. Ben was so full of life and brought a smile or a laugh to all he was with. We will miss him. So sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with Benji and Joan and Linda and Pam. Also all the rest of the family.

Ivan Kendrick

Brian Keith Mielke

January 30, 2019

BENJAMIN TOBEY NICKERSON: A Fellow Masonic Brother and Very Dear Family Friend. An extremely powerful, humble and gentle man in the Town of Chatham, Massachusetts. My Family and Myself have endless memories of BEN T; Countless That Can Not Be Mentioned Within This Short Space.
He had a BEAUTIFUL and very strong, tremendous heart, not only to mention....His devotion to his family, friendships, and The Town of Chatham. My Family and myself will indeed miss greatly BEN'S his contagious smile, wit, wisdom, and common grace and humbleness to ALL. Most Gently Godspeed Ahead, Dear Fellow Brother and Friend. To The NICKERSON FAMILY, Our deepest and most profound sympathies; love and prayers to overflowing.

Matt Frazier

January 30, 2019

I only had the honor of meeting Ben T. in person on one occasion, but chatted with him several times over the years. Having been in the trash hauling business since 1987 myself, I always found Ben to be a mentor to us "young guys" in the business. From all of your friends at M.A. Frazier Disposal....the Nickerson family is in our thoughts.

The Pratt Family

January 29, 2019

The loss of Benny Nick will leave Chatham a little less bright to all who knew him. His friendship will always be part of our family and our memories.

Wesley & Donna Drown

January 29, 2019

Chatham has lost another great man. A thoughtful, generous, caring citizen to his family and community. His big smile and hearty handshake will be missed. I believe he was the original recipient in town of the saying “Hey Ben, how’s business? “Always picking up!” We will miss you!