Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home

11801 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville, FL


Billie Minola Nickson

December 19, 1918July 8, 2019

Billie Minola Nickson (nee Rathgeber) (1918 - 2019)

Billie Minola Rathgeber Nickson of Fernandina Beach, FL formally of Norwood, Ohio, beloved wife of 67 years to Donald Monroe Nickson (deceased), loving mother of Nancy (Tim) McFadden, Wayne (Stephanie) Nickson, Malcolm (Jeanine) Nickson, James (Apryle) Nickson, Patricia (Steve Fausey) Nickson, Barbara (Michael) Burk, grandmother of 14 and great grandmother of 25. She died July 8, 2019 at the age of 100 years. Billie was preceded in death by her husband Donald, by her sisters, Betty, Jane and Alice Mae, by her brother Wayne, and by her parents Stella and Lester Rathgeber. She is the widow of the Rev. Donald M.Nickson who ministered to the members of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Norwood, St.Mark's Episcopal Church, Oakley, and the Marjorie P. Lee Home in Hyde Park.

Billie was born and grew up in Lock Haven Pennsylvania. She was a multi-talented woman. She enjoyed archery. In her early adult years she was quite the artist, drawing furniture for advertisements. The family treasures her sketches of beautiful women from the 1940's. Before marrying, Billie was an obstetrical nurse in Buffalo, New York. After her children were raised, she bravely returned to a very rigorous program to update her nursing skills, and continued working for years on labor and delivery at Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati. She was present at the births of many of her grandchildren and family friends. Billie was also a faithful volunteer at the Krohn Conservatory (especially their butterfly shows); a Sunday School teacher for young adults; founder of Teen Town; a volunteer at the soup kitchen and the Open Door Ministry in Walnut Hills; an avid gardener and a member of the Norwood Y.

Having six children meant that Billie was in touch with Norwood youth. As the Vietnam War heated up and Norwood boys became military men, she organized Teen Town, a gathering place for Norwood teens. In addition to keeping kids off the street, Teen Town dances gave local “garage bands” performance experience and some pocket money. Proceeds from the dances purchased food/toiletry/misc items for packages sent to Norwood boys in Vietnam. Because of her service to Norwood soldiers, the Victory Park Veterans and American Legion (Leland Barnett Post 123) recently honored her with a brick in the Pathway to Freedom Walk at Victory Park Veteran's Memorial.

Billie was known for her outspokenness and her adventurous spirit. She loved tootling around in her bright yellow, Volkswagon bug. She would try anything from ceramics, tap dancing, repelling, water-tubing, and skiing. She was the first one to jump in and swim in the coldest water ever, on Michigan vacations. She was also known for driving her teens around, in the family Volkswagon bus, to teepee friends trees! She should have owned stock in an airline, as she was always traveling somewhere. At age 77, Billie traveled, with a group from Krohn, to the Rainforest in Costa Rica and Peru.

The doors to the Nickson home were always open, and many entered to find themselves welcomed as family. Billie was a "second mom" to many of her kid's friends. She was famous for making grilled hamburgers and french fries for any and all every Friday night, and for her chocolate cakes. We are convinced her longevity was because of all the broccoli she ate!

In her latter years, Billie's greatest joy was her grandchildren and her great grandchildren. She has always loved babies and being a mom, and her little ones could lift her spirits like nothing else.

"The thing of it is"(as she was known to say)....she was loved dearly and will be greatly missed by all.

A memorial service will be held at a later date in Ohio.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Community Hospice & Palliative Care Foundation or to the Alzheimer's Association.


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


Billie Minola Nickson

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Kristine Reynolds

July 14, 2019

A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts, through you, they live on. The Reynolds Family sends our deepest condolences. Billie will be missed by her family and friends. She was a great lady.

Phoebe and Terry Collins

July 13, 2019

We only knew Wayne's mom thru this wonderful obituary, and his loving tributes to her. Knowing Wayne to be the great neighbor and fine friend he is makes it evident that he had some loving parental guidance in his past. Now it is known, what a fine and dynamic model mom he had growing up! It is no wonder that he is as committed to keeping physically and mentally fit as he does. It is great the world had her for a century, and sad we had to say good bye, ever.

Susan Lovett

July 13, 2019

Billie kept welcoming everyone when she visited Barb in Georgia. She had the greatest stories and made all of us feel special. I am so glad she was part of my life. She will be missed by so many. My thoughts are with all of family.

Elie Saintil

July 12, 2019

Wishing you peace to bring you comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart.

Penny Barton

July 12, 2019

Such a fun lady. Have many fond memories, of her growing up and spending lots of time at their home. Even in her 70's she played racketball with Patty and I at the Norwood YMCA! She will be missed, but leaves behind a legacy of love, kindness, and fun!