In Memoriam : Patricia Nicholson

Patricia Marie Nicholson - age: 81
(January 23, 1929 to February 09, 2010 )
Resident of Ukiah, California

Patricia Marie Nicholson Patricia Marie Nicholson passed away after a long illness, Tuesday morning, February 9, 2010. She had recently turned 81. Pat, as she was known to her friends, was born on January 23, 1929, in Winona, Minnesota. Her parents were Cornelius and Luella (Schroetke) Burke. She was the youngest of three children; Thomas died as a teenager and Kathleen, affectionately known as "Sissie," survives Pat. She attended schools in Winona and earned her BSN from St. Mary's School of Nursing in Minnesota. Pat worked as a surgical scrub nurse at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for several years, and then moved to Massachusetts where she worked at Boston's "Mass General". Moving to California to accompany her sister, she worked at San Francisco's Fort Miley, now known as the VA Medical Center. There she met and married Thomas Nicholson, a medical resident. They moved to Ukiah in 1957. Pat was an active woman. Although she did not work when her children were young, she was an active member of the Ukiah Area Republican Women. She told stories about shaking Ronald Reagan's hand when he was first running for Governor and her kids fondly remember marching in parades and passing out campaign literature. She was active in organizing fund raisers such as the Medical Auxiliary's Silver Ball, Mardi Gras for St. Mary's School, and Meals on Wheels. She was also an active member of the Ukiah Garden Club, Ukiah Beautification Committee, and the League of Women Voters. She also supported her kids' activities by officiating at swim meets for many years. She returned to nursing in the early 1970s and worked at Ukiah General Hospital until she retired at 70. She was also a childbirth and Lamaze instructor for most of the 70s and 80s. Over the last several years, Pat was very active in the Ukiah Senior Center. She was also active in cooking for the homeless through the St. Vincent de Paul organization and also in providing short term emergency support. Pat was a devoted mother of her children Thomas, Louise, Kathleen and Timothy. She also loved John Lane as a son. Her eight grand children, spanning ages from 7 to 22, always made her eyes light up, even during her final days. In addition to love of family, she was also well known among her friends and family as a wonderful cook. Cooking great food was always a passion for her and she was active with many of her best friends in a dinner club that has spanned the more than 20 years. Pat was a wonderful mother, friend and organizer. She will be deeply missed, but her warmth, generosity and outgoing personality will ensure she is not forgotten. In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted at any branch of Savings Bank of Mendocino County for the Pat Nicholson Memorial Fund benefiting the Ukiah area schools. There will be a Rosary at St. Mary's Church, on Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 4 PM. This will be followed 30 minutes later by a funeral memorial mass at 5 PM with reception to follow. Father Rogers, formerly of Ukiah, will officiate