William M. Nicholson

Born: Sat., Oct. 18, 1919
Died: Thu., Apr. 8, 2010

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William M. Nicholson "Billy Nichols" 10-18-1919 to 4-08-2010 The family of William Nicholson said a loving farewell to their husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather on Thursday, April 8, 2010 in Pendleton, Oregon. A Funeral Service will be conducted at 1:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 in the Burns Mortuary Chapel in Pendleton, followed by interment at Olney Cemetery. Contributions in memory of Mr. Nicholson may be made to St. Anthony Hospice, and may be sent care of Burns Mortuary of Pendleton, PO Box 489, Pendleton, OR 97801. Read the full obituary and send condolences to the family at www.burnsmortuary.com. Burns Mortuary of Pendleton is in charge of arrangements. Bill was born on October 18, 1919 in New Albany, Indiana to George "Odie" and Clara Nicholson. He was the fifth of six children. He was preceded in death his parents, sisters Aileen and Helen, and brothers; James, Robert and Edward. He graduated from New Albany High School in 1937, and was wed to Mildred I. Cox on November 10, 1939. In 2009 they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary together, with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Bill's career as a country music entertainer began in Louisville, Kentucky and Billings, Montana where he played live music for local radio stations as well as playing dances and lounges, before moving to Pendleton, Oregon in 1959. He was known to most friends and fans as "Billy Nichols" when he played music all around the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Nevada for more than fifty years with various bands and duet-partners. Bill has been making people laugh, and smile as they enjoyed good old country music and his original songs and jokes at the Cowboy & Twilight Breakfasts, many Pendleton Round-Up activities and numerous other functions until his semi-retirement in 2007. He had been a member of the Pendleton Eagles Lodge #28 and the Pendleton Elks Lodge #288, as well as being an honorary member of the Pendleton Side Saddlers. He is survived by his wife Mildred, three children; Nancy Bromenshenk, Tom Nicholson and wife Avril, and Linda Axtell and husband David Chittick; 8 grandchildren; Gary Bromenshenk, Kathy Rogers, Bill E. Nicholson, Patricia McClellan, Stephanie Berger, Melissa Hunt, Jeff Axtell and Anthony "Tony" Axtell; 9 great-grandchildren; Karoly, John, Miranda, Audrey, Megan, Christopher, Sydney, Jacob and Josh. The family wishes to express their thanks to Dr. Dan Marier, St. Anthony's Hospital Staff, and the entire St. Anthony Hospice team for their compassionate care and assistance.

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   Posted Sun April 11, 2010
I wanted to express my condolences to the family at this time of loss, you are all in my thoughts. I enjoyed visiting with Bill. Peace ~ Carl

Carolyn Mildenberger
   Posted Mon April 12, 2010
I will always remember Bill's many acts of kindness to everyone he met. To me, Bill will always be the quintessential gentleman cowboy.

Mary Theirl
   Posted Sun September 29, 2013
My condolences to your family. I'm not sure if this is the Billy Nichols with the wonderful voice that made cassettes and CDs I heard at at TOPS convention in Pendleton. I really was touched by his songs. I still play the three cassettes I have: Songs of the Old West, the Punchliners, Songs of the West, Vol. 2. I'm surprised the still work well because I have played them so many times. He was a wonderful entertainer.

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