Saratoga Springs, NY- Benjamin E. Nickleson Jr. of Grey Birch Court, Saratoga Springs, died suddenly at his home Thursday, November 17, 2011. He was 65 years old.
Born August 22, 1946, in Hollywood, CA, he was the son of the late Benjamin E. Nickleson Sr. and Lydia C. (Mill) Nickleson.
He married Diana C. (Phillips) Haynes November 28, 1965, and they divorced in 1978; she is the mother of Tammee, Benjamin and James.
Benjamin proudly served in the United States Navy from 1968-1974. He received the Good Conduct First Award for Service, Pistol and Rifle Marksmanship, National Defense Service Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Star. He followed his military service with his service as a police officer with the North Kingstown Police Department from 1968 until his retirement in 1994. Mr. Nickleson was a nationally recognized D.A.R.E. Officer, and he received the Paul Harris Fellow Recognition for his work in D.A.R.E.
Benjamin and his wife moved to Saratoga Springs in 1994 and he began working with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.
He married his second wife, Marylou Whitford Nickleson, August 29, 1978; she is the mother of Karleen and Kimberlee.
Mr. Nickleson was very active throughout his life. He was a member of the North Kingston Masonic Lodge and a founding member of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge # 33 in North Kingstown, RI. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 12 in North Kingstown, RI, and Post 70 in Saratoga Springs. Mr. Nickleson dedicated his time and services to the EWG Girls’ Softball League in Exeter, RI, and the Saratoga Miss Softball League in Saratoga Springs, as a manager, coach and as a member of the board of directors. He and his wife were certified fast pitch umpires.
Benjamin was proud to obtain his license as a VFR pilot. In his spare time, he was an avid Harley rider, member of the Blue Knights Motorcycle Club and of the National Harley Owners Group (HOG), as well as past director of Adirondack HOG Chapter 3220.
Survivors include his wife, Marylou; five children, Tammee A (Damon) Wilson, Benjamin E., James P. (Joy), Karleen C. (Steven Levine) McKeighan and Kimberlee C. (Christian); brother, Aron L. Nickleson; 12 grandchildren, Austin, Megan, Elizabeth, Jacob, Elena, Dillon, Kyle, Kayleen, Nathaniel, Natasha, Kayla and David; along with his beloved dog Rosie.
Funeral Services were held Wednesday, November 30, 2011, at Fagan-Quin Funeral Home, 825 Boston Neck Rd., North Kingstown, RI 02852.
Burial will be in the Rhode Island Veteran Memorial Cemetery in Exeter, RI.
Memorial donations can be made in his memory to the American Diabetes Association, 1701 North Beauregard St., Alexandria, VA 22311 or to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, 421 New Karner Rd, Albany, NY 12205.
Online remembrances may be made at www.tunisonfuneralhome.com .