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Lorne Nicolson

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Lorne James Nicolson

July 4, 1936 - February 26, 2021


With heavy hearts, the family of Lorne Nicolson announce his passing on Friday, February 26, 2021.  He was born in Vancouver to James (Jim) and Rose (nee Christian) on July 4, 1936 and grew up in Vancouver and Burnaby.  He leaves to mourn Frances, his wife of 62 years, sons Sean (Leslie Dickinson) of Nelson and Cameron (Susan Rutherford) of Calgary, and his sister, Karen Lehmann of Midway, several family members and many friends.

He had to drop out of University for a few years, and worked for Continental Can Company.  While there, he joined the United Steel Workers Union and thereafter felt a warmth for unions and what they have done for the betterment of wage earners.

For ten years, he taught Math and Physics and coached wrestling at LV Rogers High school in Nelson, BC. Many of his students became life-long friends.  He became politicized and campaigned to be an MLA for the Nelson-Creston constituency.  Losing his first election, he won the second and joined the Dave Barrett NDP government, became Housing Minister and succeeded in developing homes for seniors, students, and lower income families. He served as an MLA for 14 years, retiring in 1986, and remained proud of his accomplishments all his life.

His life was characterized by his unflagging curiosity and attraction to new experiences.  He was a skin– and SCUBA-diver when both sports were new.  He cycled competitively when there were fewer than two dozen racing cyclists in the province. He discovered the new world of personal computers, starting with the “KIM-1” one of the earliest home computers and became  hooked on the new technology. So, when he retired from the political world, he opened a computer supply store with his son Sean which offered a full range of computer services. He was also an avid golfer, skilled skier and every autumn made apple juice with friends, using an antique apple crusher and apples from trees more than a century old.  He loved music as well, his taste running from jazz to David Bowie, to E.L.O. , including a passion for “bel canto” operas.  After his retirement, he renewed his interest in playing Bridge which he did with concentrated energy. He maintained his interest in serving his community by joining the Italian-Canadian Society and Rotary, and was active in a project to aid school children in the poorest parts of Honduras.

He was also gregarious. People and their opinions fascinated him so he talked with anyone he could; at meetings, at parties and people he encountered on the street.  These conversations often broadened his political sensitivities and led him into an awareness of the dangers of overpopulation with the side effects of global warming and gross pollution of the oceans.  He was a man of strong social moralities which often stood in his way.

Lorne grew up in an often blended family, surrounded by generations of relatives.  He was very proud of his Italian heritage, and his trip, in 2018, to the tiny mountaintop town in central Italy, to find records of his great grandparents’ marriage fulfilled the ambition of a lifetime.

Lorne remained active and healthy until the last few weeks of his life.  The Nicolson family thanks Dr. Kevin McKechnie who cared for him during this extremely difficult time for all of us, showing patience and empathy.

Lorne has been cremated and the family, wishing privacy, will have no ceremony for him now or in the future.  If you desire, he would like to have donations made to the Nelson Hospital, or to the BC Cancer Society.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Thompson Funeral Services Ltd.

Thompson Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Gary & Christine McCandlish
Relation: Friends

Condolences to Frances and family, it was a pleasure to know Lorne.

From: Michael Jessen
Relation: Friend and co-worker for social justice.

Frances, Sean, Cameron and other Nicolson family members. I am so sorry to hear of Lorne’s passing and for your loss. I was so happy that Lorne reached out to me last fall and he was able to express his environmental concerns in a very public way. My thoughts are with you at this time and they are good memories.

From: Leah Gray
Relation: friend

Dear Fran… I’m sad to hear of Lorne’s passing. He was such a good man, always with a ready smile and a friendly greeting. He will be missed. Fondly, Leah Gray

From: Marnie Newcom

Dear Frances, I am so sorry to hear of your husband’s death. It is such a difficult time and my sympathies are with you. Marnie from Friday at Touchstones

From: David Hersh
Relation: I've known him since the 90s.

Lorne was inimitable. We shared some interests. I like people smarter than I. He was that. I appreciated him. I’ll miss him.

From: Natalie Petersen.
Relation: From Mountain Lakes Seniors Community

My condolences to Frances and her family on the passing of her husband and their father. I remember you Frances from Mtn. Lakes visiting your Mom Betty. When my Dad Leif lived at Mountain Lakes. Thinking of you and I am so sorry for your loss.

From: Lisa and Glenn Watt
Relation: Friend

Dear Frances,
We are sorry to hear of Lorne’s passing. Thinking of you, our condolences.

From: Bill Saliken
Relation: Friend and teacher.

So sorry to have lost a great friend, former teacher, and mentor. Always the gentleman, Lorne quietly went about getting things done. He helped so many folks in so many ways.

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

Memorial Gifts

If you desire, he would like to have donations made to the Nelson Hospital, or to the BC Cancer Society.

Thank You Notice

The Nicolson family thanks Dr. Kevin McKechnie who cared for him during this extremely difficult time for all of us, showing patience and empathy.

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default-floralFloral Tributes may be ordered directly through our supplier. Please have the name of the deceased, the funeral date, the address and phone number of the delivery location for handy reference:

621B Herridge Lane, Nelson, BC V1L 7B3
Phone: (250) 352-5592

2870 Georama Rd, Nelson, BC V1L 6Y7
Phone: (250) 352-3468 / Toll Free: 1(800) 712-6797

Flowers & Yoga Studio
513 A  Front Street, Nelson, BC V1L 4B4
(250) 505-5222


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