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.
Arrangements are being handled by Thompson Funeral Service.
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