Mary Jayne Nickelson

October 3, 1922January 5, 2019

Mary Jayne Nickelson, 96, of Van Buren, departed on her journey to be with our Lord on Saturday, January 5, 2019. She passed away at home surrounded by her family. She was born October 3, 1922 in Detroit, Michigan to Fredrick and Edna Wilkins. She was retired from Arkhola Sand and Gravel. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by the love of her life and husband of 72 years, Dick Nickelson, five brothers: Fred, Jim, Don, David and Richard, and twin grandsons, Matthew and Mark Lightfoot.

She was a member of Heritage United Methodist Church. Mary Jayne had a hand in shaping the lives and character of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchild through her loving guidance and vast life experiences.

Genealogy was her passion or as her husband would tell you, “she loved digging up the dead.” She also mastered social media in her 80s and loved the interaction with her sister and other family members and friends through Facebook.

She is survived by two daughters, Sherry R. Lightfoot (Buddy Avlos) and Maryl R. Purvis (Robert) of Van Buren; a son, James F. Nickelson (Judy) of Montgomery, TX; a sister, Holly Burke of Indiana; seven grandchildren Troy, Druchele, Adam, Shannon, Autumn, Frank and Laura; 14 great-grandchildren Nick, Josh, Morgan, Collmar, Myra, Tyler, Jordyn, Connor, Austin, Taylor, Braydon, Ashley, Grady and Lyla; and one great-great-grandson, Stone.

Memorial graveside service will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at Gracelawn Cemetery in Van Buren with Brother Bill Rose officiating. Cremation is under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home in Van Buren.

Honorary pallbearers will be her grandchildren.


  • Graveside Memorial Service Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Mary Jayne Nickelson

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Lindell Harrison-Steens

January 28, 2019

Troy, I didn't know your grandmother, but because she has such an amazing grandson, she had to be a GRAND woman. "Ye shall know the tree by the fruit it bears." Sending condolences your way. Know that she's resting now from her labor to reward. Be encouraged! Draw on those Precious Memories. She has entered into the "Land Of No More." No more pain, suffering , heartaches, disappointments, tears, fears, sleepless nights... But, you will see her again in that "Great Getting Up Morning!" Much love to you and your family.

Margaret Kingsford

January 7, 2019

Mary was sharing the search for our family tree. I so did like hearing from her and will miss her. May God Bless her and her wonderful family!

Anthony Bolling

January 7, 2019

I will always remember the love and kindness that she gave to everyone each and every day. The angels are truly blessed to be receiving such a wonderful soul. I love you Ma'am you will be missed dearly.

Karen Wilkins-Taylor

January 6, 2019

RIP Aunt MaryJane.

Pat Powell

January 6, 2019

So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers for all of you. God Bless.