Angus (Spud) Nicholson
May 13, 1931 - July 24, 2021
Baritone, radio voice: “Aren’t we lucky?” This was Spud Nicholson’s oft repeated remark, usually said around the dinner table surrounded by family and friends. And it wasn’t just rhetorical, from him it felt like a call to moral responsibility, to look around and take stock of what life had provided. Growing up the son of poor Scottish immigrants will do that to you. Of course, we were all lucky too, because we knew him.
Angus John Nicholson, Spud to anyone who knew him, closed his eyes and said goodbye at age 90 on July 24, 2021. He was a steadfast companion to Betty for 66 years of marriage. Sweethearts since teenagers, he kept her laughing and she kept him in line. Together they made life in both the city and the country, and had many wonderful years of retirement on the Sunshine Coast. Adored by Cathy (Butch) and Janet (David) he was a hard-working provider, equal parts old-time tough and doughy soft. For a man of many talents, they will always remain his greatest works of art. To his five grandkids he was storyteller and piggy-backer extraordinaire. And to his five great grandkids who are too young to remember, we will tell them this:
Spud moved about the world in a confidently relaxed way, never out of place, at ease with whomever had his attention. He had the quality of charm that turned gentle insult into sign of affection. No one was beyond an ironic jab, but it didn’t sting when the giver was self-deprecating and without malice.
He continually broadened his horizons with bold decisions. He bought a hotel in Quesnel, never having owned one before, which required the entire family to relocate from Vancouver to a new small-town. While there, because why not, he took the reins of the local Sunday morning radio show, trying his hand as disc jockey and introducing his new unsuspecting cowboy town to big band music. He learned to bull ride and in his first and only rodeo competition managed to hang on past the magic 8 second mark and win. He graced the pages of newspapers and magazines as an Eaton’s male model and appeared on TV in a few commercials. Again, why not?
At a young age he fell in love with horses and during retirement tried his hand at cowboying, participating in cattle drives and taking his grandchildren to the Flying U Dude Ranch for a week of riding. Though born with the big strong hands of a rancher, he was also an artist and excelled at the detailed craft of stained glass. He gave back to community by using the great instrument that was his voice to read audio recordings and books for the blind.
He took an active interest in the lives of those he cared for. If you were home sick, in the hospital recovering or due to never come home, he would make the effort to call or come see you. He was a true friend who nurtured relationship by giving what we all have in precious short supply – time.
So dear young ones, with the world at your feet, may you be lucky enough to find a full life, happily lived like that of Spud Nicholson.
Celebration of Life to be held on Wednesday, August 18th at Marine Drive Golf Club at 2pm
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