The remarkable, beloved Edna N, “Nicki” Benson (Nickerson) passed away peacefully on December 28, 2020 and joyously joined her loved ones in heaven. She was 102 years old.
She was born during the great pandemic on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918 in South Hadley, MA. She graduated from La Salle High School in Niagara Falls, NY, and studied at Taylor University, in Upland IN. She grew up in Niagara Falls during the Depression and lived to spend her summers on her beloved Cape Cod - the foundation of a tradition annual multi-generational family gatherings that continues to this day. She was deeply proud of her heritage and was a life-long member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.
War-time romance brought Nicki to Wichita, KS. After Charlie, her first husband passed away and with two teen-aged children, she went back to school and became a legal secretary. Weathering the Mad Men era, she retired 25 years later as the Executive Assistant to the CEO of a large midwestern medical center. During this time, she also lost her dear daughter, Janice, a who in the late 1940s-50s was a trail-blazing open-heart surgery patient. Nicki returned to her spiritual home, Cape Cod in 2000 with her second husband, Benny; and they spent many joyous years together until his passing in 2015.
She was preceded in death by her father Theron Kilburn Nickerson of West Harwich, MA, her mother Irene Paul (Long), her daughter Janice Eppler (Dunn), her first husband, Charles E. Dunn and her second husband, Earle E., “Benny” Benson, both WWII veterans, her siblings James Nickerson, Col. Norman Nickerson (USMC ret.) and Shirley Opal. She is survived by her sister, Ruth Dawson, son and daughter-in-law, Michael Dunn and Michele O’Connor Dunn, Step-sons and step-daughters-in-law, Dr. Kirk and Carol Benson of Overland Park, KS, Roy and Eileen Benson of Concord, NC, Bruce and Leslie Benson of Lee’s Summit, MO and Martin Benson of Broken Arrow, OK, Jennifer Benson of Leawood, KS; grandchildren Caroline Abbaticola (Dunn), Jon Eppler, Justin Eppler, Cara Lake (Benson), Christopher Benson, Shane Benson, Jessica Benson, Jonathan Benson, Ashley Pritchett (Benson), eleven great-grandchildren and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Nicki always believed in Angels, and her poetry is filled with references to their blessings, seen and unseen, bestowed upon us each day. The family wishes to thank the Visiting Nurses Association of Cape Cod, Elder Services of Cape Cod, Cape Cod Bay Home Care Services, her physician, Jeffrey D. Martens, MD and the staff at Pleasant Bay – all angels among us. Their care, concern, compassion and respect sustained her over many years; to Dennis Union Church which helped her to nurture and strengthen her abiding faith, and the Heatherwood community which afforded her wonderful friendships, fellowship and lively bridge games that she reveled in.
Her life was not always easy, and there were many trials and heartache along with the great joy that her life, loved ones and friends brought her. Yet she always tried to meet each day with a smile, and, as the Brits would say, “make a good fist of it”. The secret to a life well-lived.
Arrangements for her have been made with Morris, O’Connor and Blute. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the VNA of Cape Cod, Elder Services of Cape Cod or the town Senior Center of your choice.
A service and celebration of Nicki’s life will be held in the coming year when it is safe to do so.