Tuesday, July 5, 2016

RIP COL Craig Nickerson

Colonel Richard "Craig" Nickerson US
Army Special Forces (Ret), age 67, passed in Canton, OH on June 25, 2016.

Born in New London, CT March 19, 1949 to late Norval and Vernice Nickerson, the son of a Naval Officer, he grew up in many places. He graduated from Marietta College in Ohio. He served in the United States Army for 31 years. He earned his Special Forces (Green Beret) Tab, Ranger Tab, Expert Infantryman Badge, and Master Parachutist Badge and was Scuba and Halo qualified. At Ft. Sam Houston, TX, he earned a Master's Degree from St. Mary's University in San Antonio.

Nickerson previously served in the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, KY and later was honored to Command the 3d Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne) Ft. Lewis, Washington (1990 - 1992). After his Battalion Command, he earned a second Master's Degree from the National War College in Washington, D.C. He was assigned to Joint Task Force - Six (JTF North) at Ft. Bliss, TX as the Director of Operations, which supports drug enforcement agencies. Craig was a past member of Chapter IX, the Isaac Camacho Chapter of the Special Forces Association.

Craig's final assignment was the Chief of Staff of the Alaskan Army in Ft. Richardson, AK, retiring October 31, 2002. After retiring he worked as a Military Defense contractor from 2003 - 2010 in Afghanistan. His final contract was with L-3 Com as the Program Manager developing the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense. Upon his return, he became an adjunct professor at the College of Southern Maryland teaching Political Science and U.S. History until May 2015.

On his first tour of duty in Okinawa, he met his wife Patricia Elrod and they were married for 39 years. Also survived are sons, Jonathan Craig "Jon" of El Paso, TX and Richard Bradley "Brad" (Amanda McVay) of North Canton, OH; Nellie (his dog who faithfully stood by his side at the time of his heart attack); grandchildren Xochitl and Reid; mother-in-law Lola Elrod; brothers Steve (Emily) Nickerson and Wayne Nickerson; and brother-in-laws Steve (Nancy) Elrod, Rick (Gale) Elrod, Rob (Meredith) Elrod; and nieces and nephews.

Craig will be greatly missed by his family who enjoyed his sense of humor and how he made our lives fun and adventurous. Preceded in death by father-in-law Richard Elrod. Services will be Saturday July 9, 2016. Viewing from 9-11 AM followed by a funeral service at Arnold Funeral Home, 1517 Market Ave. N, Canton, OH 44714. On Friday July 22nd, a procession will form at Sunset funeral Home, 4631 Hondo Pass Dr., El Paso, TX 79904 to arrive promptly at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery for a 10 AM Service with Full Military Honors in El Paso, TX. Memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice in Memory of Richard Craig Nickerson.

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