James "Jim" Gerard Nicholson

January 21, 1963July 27, 2020

James “Jim” Gerard Nicholson, age 57, of Alpharetta, Georgia, passed away on Monday, July 27, 2020. He was born on January 21, 1963 in St. Louis Missouri, the son to Michael and Sandra Nicholson. Jim lived life to the fullest and had a mindset to excel. He knew how to use resources to help others succeed and never hesitated to do so. He was employed with Amplify Education as the Chief Financial Officer. He previously ran a successful consulting business and was President of Riverside Publishing. Jim met the love of his life, Tracy, and they were married on the beach in Hawaii. Jim and Tracy loved each other deeply and were partners in all. They enjoyed traveling together, spending time with their children, and just watching old movies. He loved his wife more than anything and showed his love not by simply saying I love you, but by bringing her flowers every week, doing the dishes, and loving her sons. Every night Jim was away from Tracy, he would leave her a note to remind her how much he loved and missed her.

Jim provided his kids with the best childhood imaginable. Their summers were spent making timeless memories at their home away from home in Wisconsin. There, he was known as “Uncle Jim” to nieces and nephews who all have fond memories of him teaching them to water ski at Castle Rock Lake. His door was open to everyone in the family, and he never failed to provide a magical experience. Jim was an amazing man who cared for his family above all else. He loved us all even during difficult times. He would light up when talking with his children and only wished to spend more time with them. He lived to just play video games or talk about movies with them for hours. He provided them guidance in times of uncertainty and hope in times of despair. He was determined the help them succeed and provided them with every bit of knowledge to help them do so.

Jim never had a bad word to say about anyone and was always willing to help anyone in need. Jim was a man of many talents and all-around athlete. He enjoyed a good swim, a competitive tennis match, and water skiing. His family was his first priority, as he enjoyed having fun spending time with family and friends. Jim was wonderful husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend. He had a passion for music, art, and history; passions he has passed down to his sons. He would tell the funniest jokes and had a laugh that would fill the room with happiness. His outstanding wit, life and influence will forever remain in the lives of all who knew him.

Survivors include his wife Tracy Lee Nicholson, sons Declan Conor Nicholson, Rory Thomas Nicholson, Colin Kelly Nicholson, and stepsons Aidan Thomas Boney and Alasdair William Boney. Jim was preceded in death by his first son Conor Michael Nicholson. Other survivors include his siblings Daniel John Nicholson, Thomas Paul Nicholson, Beth Ann (Nicholson) Koetting, Michael John Nicholson II, and his parents Sandra Jane (Dresch) Nicholson and Michael John Nicholson.

In lieu of flowers, Jim would appreciate a donation to the following organization that was very dear to him. Misericordia Heart of Mercy – A nonprofit that supports children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities; Go to Giving, Donate, Designated Name – Jim Nicholson, Leave Family Reference number blank – please send Tracy a note at

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the family kindly request for all friends and guests to please wear masks for the service.


  • Celebration of Life

    Saturday, August 1, 2020


James "Jim" Gerard Nicholson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Cheryl Toto

August 11, 2020

I am so saddened to learn of Jim's sudden passing. Jim and I worked together for years at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where I had the pleasure of knowing both him and Tracy. He was a kind, driven, intelligent and thoughtful professional and a lovely colleague. My heart goes out to Tracy and to Jim's children, siblings and parents. He was a big contributor to the education world and his loss will be deeply felt in the community.

Doug Wilson

August 10, 2020


I am grateful that Jim's son Colin was able to work for my company for two summers. I know Jim was very proud of all of his family, but it was always inspiring to see him shine his light on the people in his life he deeply loved. I am sure they will treasure the many memories and gifts Jim shared with all of his family over the years.

So thank you, Nicholsons. Thank you for sharing Jim with me and the countless others he advised and led over the years. Thank you for loving and supporting this man in ways that allowed him to be what the rest of us needed - a counselor, a mentor, and a friend. Personally, I will do what I can to honor Jim's memory. To act in business and in life in a way that would make him proud. To remember his guidance and counsel and make him feel that his efforts with me were not misspent. I will continue to try and make the world a better place, because at one time I had a friend who taught me that that was what I needed to do.

Doug Wilson

August 10, 2020

To Tracy, Colin, and the rest of Jim's family-

Jim was a special friend to me. I have worked with Jim for over 15 years, and recently was fortunate enough to be able to call on him for advice and guidance over the past 5. Not only was he the best consultant I ever worked with - I also considered him a great friend. He was a master of his craft, with a deep understanding of the assessment industry and how it works. He was an invaluable resource to me and my company as we developed and sold our services. Jim always had an eye for the bigger picture, was interested in new and interesting approaches, and always brought a deeper understanding of the way things worked and why they worked that way. Jim also understood the importance of the work that we did, and I always admired his vision for making things better for our schoolteachers and the children that our tools, services and content helped to educate.

During this past 5 years, Jim was invaluable as a trusted advisor and friend as we developed new products and innovative ideas both in and outside of the K12 industry. With Jim at my side, I felt like I had decades of knowledge and good advice available at a moment's notice. Jim was an amazing listener, and was able to dissuade me from many a bad decision. I cannot begin to put that value into words. I just know that I feel shocked, saddened and diminished that I will never have my friend by my side again.

I regret that Jim and I never had much ability to socialize outside of work. His travel schedule was not very easy to navigate, but I took what he was able to give me. I always imagined a future where I could summon Jim to a lake house for a weekend respite, get to know Tracy better, and learn about his life. That would have been a real treat for me, getting to know my mentor and his family a little better. I am personally crushed that that is a future that will never happen.

Ladi Davies

August 4, 2020

Dear Tracy & family,

Truly sorry at your loss -- I got to work very closely with Jim earlier this year as he temporarily assumed the helm @ AKJ (AKJ being our primary distributor). He was always very personable and easy-going and so nice to work with. We got on great! I am truly shocked/ saddened at his parting and will pray for your family and all who knew him to cherish/celebrate his memories, and most importantly find the comfort and strength to handle such a loss. Kindest wishes and much sympathy! Ladi A. Davies (COO, Schoolwide Inc.)

John Bluthardt

August 3, 2020

I spent perhaps a day total with Jim over the course of two years, but it was the experience and education of a lifetime. So many will miss his deep intelligence and humanity. I’m privileged to have been a colleague and beneficiary of his talents.

Rita Schaefer

August 3, 2020

Dear Tracy,

I am so sorry for your loss--and for ours. Jim was one of the smartest and most fun people I have ever worked with. He just was one of my all time favorites. He actually made spreadsheets more fun. Please stay in touch.



Lynne Kulich

August 3, 2020

Dear Tracy and Family,
I'm keeping you all in my daily prayers, and I know all your wonderful memories of Jim will one day give you comfort and peace.

I'm so sorry for your loss,
Lynne Kulich

Jim Moog

August 2, 2020

Our deepest sympathy to Tracy and all the Nicholson family..

Jim, Mary, Molly, Jamie, and Emily Choi Moog

Nancy Stoczynski

August 2, 2020

Hi Tracy,
I’m so sorry to hear about Jim. My thoughts & prayers are with you & your family.
With deepest sympathy,
Nancy Stoczynski

Shannon Grossi

August 1, 2020

I believe Jim & Tracy were our first double date after both moving to the neighborhood around the same time. It made me so happy that Mark had made a friend who was nice and kind and best of all I already knew his wife from tennis! Jim was always carefree and relaxed and omg he and Tracy were so loving and sweet toward each other. It really made me so happy that they found each other. Jim’s absence will be a big hole in our hearts! We will miss him terribly!


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