After a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s, Billy Herman Nicholson of Statesville, passed away Sunday, September 1, 2013, at the Gordon Hospice House in the arms of his loving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
He was born in Iredell County on May 3, 1938, to the late Ross Nicholson and Mildred Stikeleather Nicholson.
Bill graduated from Harmony High School in 1956. He played basketball, football, and baseball. He was voted “neatest” by his classmates. He attended Mitchell College and American Honda Institute where he attained extensive training in motorcycle engine repair and suspensions.
In 1961 he met and married Priscilla Murdock of Troutman. That same year he was drafted into the United States Army where he served two years at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He earned the rank of E-5 and was awarded the honor of “Soldier of the Month” several times.
He retired from Southern Screw Company after twenty years and went to work for Piedmont Honda in Salisbury for many years before opening Nicholson’s Cycle Shop full time. He was a knowledgeable and well respected motorcycle mechanic. He loved sports including roller skating, ice skating, basketball and water skiing. However, his greatest passion was riding his motorcycle. He traveled to forty nine states and Canada, enjoying the sights, camping, and meeting new friends.
Preceding Bill in death were his parents and his brother, Larry, who lost his life in a car accident at the age of 16.
He is survived by his three children, Todd Nicholson (Julie), Kymberly Dempsey (Tim), and Chad Nicholson, and his two grandchildren, Ryan Nicholson (Katelyn), and Brittany Liles (Ben). Also surviving are his two sisters, Judy Barnard and Mary Ann Pennix (Don), as well as several nieces and nephews and a longtime family friend, Parks Blackwelder.
The family will receive friends at Nicholson Funeral Home on Wednesday evening, September 4, 2013 from 6:00 until 8:00 PM. A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at Rose Chapel United Methodist Church at 11:00 AM Thursday, September 5, 2013 with the Rev’s Ralph and Lynn Lepley officiating. Interment with full military rites will be held immediately following the service in the church cemetery. At other times the family will assemble at the home of Kym and Tim Dempsey.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Bill’s memory to the Building Fund at Rose Chapel United Methodist Church, 813 Turnersburg Hwy, Statesville, NC 28625 or to Gordon Hospice House, 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625, or to the charity of the donor’s choice.
The family would like to extend special thanks to the Rose Chapel Church family for all their prayers and support along with a very special thank you to Reverends Ralph and Lynn Lepley for their steadfast support during their Dad’s transition to Heaven. The family would also like to thank the staff of Claire Bridge, Maple Leaf, Iredell Memorial Hospital, and Gordon Hospice House for their devotion and their loving care of their Dad.
Online condolences can be made to the family at www.nicholsonfunerals.com/obituaries and Nicholson Funeral Home is serving the family of Billy Nicholson.