ForeverMissed
Catherine I. (Sandy) Nickerson, 97, beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to many, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 18, 2021.

Catherine was of true Scottish stock, the daughter of parents who immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s. She was born in Worcester, the daughter of the late Cecil and Jessica (Fogg) Sandy. Catherine graduated from Shrewsbury high school and received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education from Clark University. Catherine worked for Morgan Construction in Worcester before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. She proudly served during WWII and was stationed in Fort Myers, VA. 

After being honorably discharged, she and her husband, Clifton Nickerson, bought a home in West Boylston where they raised three sons. She taught fourth grade at the now Houghton Elementary School in Sterling. Catherine was often recognized by her former pupils as a positive role model. She taught of compassion and understanding to her classes in the age of civil rights.

She was known to many for being a talented artist and an avid painter, fashioning beautiful sceneries of Cape Cod, still-life flowers, landscapes from her trips to India and Europe with Clifton, and countless other creations. Catherine also co-authored the book, Spag: An American Business Legend (2000) with Elsa B. Tivnan. For many years, Catherine was an active member of the West Boylston Senior Center. She loved music and dancing, and she defined the quality of her experiences based on how much everyone laughed and smiled. Catherine was a lifelong meditator with a deep and abiding faith. Her attentive care for family and friends, and her championing of civil and women’s rights were an integral part of her service to others.

Catherine will be lovingly missed by her three sons, David Nickerson and his wife, Misha of Houston, TX; Thomas Nickerson and Elvira of Independence, CA, and Douglas Nickerson and his wife, Susan of Billerica; a brother, Jim Sandy and Ann of CA; three sisters, Florence Pickens of Worcester, Ruth Payton of Trona, CA, and Joanne Brickett of Hampton Falls, NH; four grandchildren, Nicole Tobin and her husband, Jason of Lowell, Devon Nickerson of Providence, Grace Nickerson of Providence, Amanda Nickerson of Lowell; and four great-grandchildren. Catherine is predeceased by her husband, Clifton Nickerson who passed in 2002, and by three brothers, Cecil, Gilbert and George Sandy. 

A private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in her name may be made to Growth Through Learning: GTL, P.O Box 390975, Cambridge, MA 02139 https://growththroughlearning.org

Funeral arrangements are under the care of Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main St., Holden.

Posted by Grace Nickerson on May 18, 2021
Gram was the kind of person people could talk to about anything. My grandma always tried to be helpful and showed her love by making other's comfortable. She was a remarkable host. I can remember she always kept vanilla ice cream in her freezer and made her famous apple crumble the night before guests (you) came over. It's wonderful to remember the small idiosyncrasies like when she would chat on the phone she would scribble on recycled paper scraps. She would jot notes about the phone call and sketch unique designs. And she would always get back to you with additional feedback. We would spend a lot of time admiring nature. She would always want to know what kind of plant she was looking at. She enjoyed cruising around the reservoir and then to walk along the rail trail. Life lessons she taught many were, accepting the unknowns and being understanding and non judgemental. I'm sure we all feel forever improved by knowing this woman. I'll post some photos soon! Warmest regards to all who read this. It's so touching to read everyone's connections.
Posted by M P on May 2, 2021
My daughter, Nancy, and I were sorry to read about Cathy's death in the newspaper. We both remember what a wonderful person, friend, and teacher she was to so many of us young women at the UU Church in Worcester during the 50's and 60's. I grew with Cathy's advice and knowledge given so freely at the time. And, for me, your dad was likewise very kind to me, offering me a job, advice and friendship. I will always remember their presence in my life and and forever grateful for it.
Birgit Patterson
May 1, 2021
Posted by M P on April 27, 2021
Rest In Peace. Mrs Nickerson was my 6th grade English teacher in 1976. She taught my class about parts of speech and detailed writing, but more importantly how to understand the people around us and who we are through warm fuzzies and cold pricklies. I still smile at the memories and production we created. She taught my class about transcendental meditation- it may have been one class but her life lessons are remembered fondly. I´m Ok you´re Ok :) Rest In Peace
Christina (Lizotte)Thomas
April 27, 2021
Posted by M P on April 27, 2021
I'll always remember the warm fuzzies and cold pricklies, also my pen pal from India, so sorry for your loss.
Patty Aukstikalnis
April 27, 2021
Posted by M P on April 27, 2021
She was probably the best teacher I ever had. She made all of her students feel special.
David Goguen
April 27, 2021
Posted by M P on April 26, 2021
Thank you Catherine for teaching me how to be a understanding and more meaningful person. Rest in peace.
Glenn L. Egan
April 24, 2021
Posted by M P on April 26, 2021
Cathy, You were my sixth grade Sunday school teacher at the Universalist Church. I remember how kind and involved you were. Rest in peace. Chip Brown
April 24, 2021
Posted by M P on April 26, 2021
Rest in Peace, Mrs. Nickerson I fondly remember "warm fuzzy and cold prickly"
Joan Pineo
April 25, 2021
Posted by M P on April 26, 2021
Dear Mrs Nickerson I had you for my fifth grade teacher in Lancaster Ma I have never had a better educator then you.You left an impression on me that to this day has never ended.I think of you often and will for the rest of my life. Rest In Peace My Bestie Teacher
Debbie Draleaus
April 25, 2021
Posted by M P on April 26, 2021
I had the pleasure of being with Catherine at Knollwood these past few months. My fourth grade teacher in Sterling years ago. I still have my report card from her. An inspiration to all. Enjoyed every day holding her hand and reminiscing. I will miss you, my friend. And your youhoos! Peace and Love.
Lynda Egan Forsberg
April 25, 2021

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Grace Nickerson on May 18, 2021
Gram was the kind of person people could talk to about anything. My grandma always tried to be helpful and showed her love by making other's comfortable. She was a remarkable host. I can remember she always kept vanilla ice cream in her freezer and made her famous apple crumble the night before guests (you) came over. It's wonderful to remember the small idiosyncrasies like when she would chat on the phone she would scribble on recycled paper scraps. She would jot notes about the phone call and sketch unique designs. And she would always get back to you with additional feedback. We would spend a lot of time admiring nature. She would always want to know what kind of plant she was looking at. She enjoyed cruising around the reservoir and then to walk along the rail trail. Life lessons she taught many were, accepting the unknowns and being understanding and non judgemental. I'm sure we all feel forever improved by knowing this woman. I'll post some photos soon! Warmest regards to all who read this. It's so touching to read everyone's connections.
Posted by M P on May 2, 2021
My daughter, Nancy, and I were sorry to read about Cathy's death in the newspaper. We both remember what a wonderful person, friend, and teacher she was to so many of us young women at the UU Church in Worcester during the 50's and 60's. I grew with Cathy's advice and knowledge given so freely at the time. And, for me, your dad was likewise very kind to me, offering me a job, advice and friendship. I will always remember their presence in my life and and forever grateful for it.
Birgit Patterson
May 1, 2021
Posted by M P on April 27, 2021
Rest In Peace. Mrs Nickerson was my 6th grade English teacher in 1976. She taught my class about parts of speech and detailed writing, but more importantly how to understand the people around us and who we are through warm fuzzies and cold pricklies. I still smile at the memories and production we created. She taught my class about transcendental meditation- it may have been one class but her life lessons are remembered fondly. I´m Ok you´re Ok :) Rest In Peace
Christina (Lizotte)Thomas
April 27, 2021
her Life
Catherine was of true Scottish stock, the daughter of parents who immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s. She was born in Worcester, the daughter of the late Cecil and Jessica (Fogg) Sandy. Catherine graduated from Shrewsbury high school and received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education from Clark University. Catherine worked for Morgan Construction in Worcester before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. She proudly served during WWII and was stationed in Fort Myers, VA. 

After being honorably discharged, she and her husband, Clifton Nickerson, bought a home in West Boylston where they raised three sons. She taught fourth grade at the now Houghton Elementary School in Sterling. Catherine was often recognized by her former pupils as a positive role model. She taught of compassion and understanding to her classes in the age of civil rights.

She was known to many for being a talented artist and an avid painter, fashioning beautiful sceneries of Cape Cod, still-life flowers, landscapes from her trips to India and Europe with Clifton, and countless other creations. Catherine also co-authored the book, Spag: An American Business Legend (2000) with Elsa B. Tivnan. For many years, Catherine was an active member of the West Boylston Senior Center. She loved music and dancing, and she defined the quality of her experiences based on how much everyone laughed and smiled. Catherine was a lifelong meditator with a deep and abiding faith. Her attentive care for family and friends, and her championing of civil and women’s rights were an integral part of her service to others.

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