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Zio Nick Memorial Fund

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Zio Nick Memorial Fund

The Zio Nick Memorial Fund has been established to honor the life of Michael J. “Nick” Nicholson (1943 – 2014). Nick would always introduce himself as “Uncle” Nick – even to strangers – and he became known as Zio Nick during the first of his two tours of active duty on a NATO Staff in Naples, Italy.

The Zio Nick Memorial Fund will work to continue his legacy by donating to causes that were close to his heart including, but not limited to, supporting continued advocacy and education of the effects of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Nick was diagnosed with ALS in 2008 and bravely lived with it for 6 hard-fought years. He didn’t let his illness define him, even as it robbed him of the ability to walk, talk, eat, and even breathe on his own. He always had a smile, a twinkle in his eye and – until his last year – a “thumbs up” for everyone he met.

Nick was a Navy brat and lived in Hawaii, California, Maryland, Virginia, and New Mexico before being accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 1965. He spent 26 years on active duty before retiring with the rank of Commander in 1991. Nick was stationed on ships on both the east and west coast and, early in his career, completed two deployments to Southeast Asia in support of Vietnamese Operations.

Nick loved to travel, learn new languages, and to experience different cultures. He managed to combine all 3 of these loves during his assignment to the Argentine Naval War College (1976-1978) when he became fluent in Spanish and traveled extensively throughout Argentina and even to Antarctica in 1977.

Nick was married to Joanna (Jo) for 32 years and they had 3 children: Jeff, Katie, and Tim. He was a lifelong NY Yankees fan, a Dallas Cowboys fan (Roger Staubach was also USNA Class of 1965), and a raconteur, lover of good food and good wine and friend to many.

In 2009 he put together a little bio for his family to keep and be able to refer to when the time came. The last line reads as follows:

“LOVES: Joanna, the kids, the cats, the Yankees, all sports, wine, gardening.”

Please help us honor his legacy.

Fund Administrators

  • Katie Nicholson
  • Joanna Nicholson

The above Memorial Fund is established as a division of Charitysmith Nonprofit Foundation (EIN 87-0636433). All donations are tax deductible in accordance with federal tax law. Receipts for tax purposes are sent via US Mail within two weeks of donation. Please consider asking if your employer participates in a gift-matching program. If so, your donation may be matched by your employer.

For questions regarding your donation or this memorial fund please contact CharitySmith.