Rev. Canon Donald A. Nickerson, Jr., D.D.

BRUNSWICK – On Dec. 9, 2019, the Reverend Canon Donald A. Nickerson, Jr., D.D., 80, died after a 33 year struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.  After his diagnosis at age 47, Don and his wife Susan Martin worked with many neurologists to successfully manage the illness and further his ministry in the Episcopal Church and to their beloved Camp O-AT-KA until his short time in hospice care at the end.
Don was born in Boston, Mass. on May 19, 1939 to Mildred and Dr. Donald Nickerson of Melrose, Mass.  After graduating from Melrose High School, Don attended Springfield College and Berkeley Divinity School (Yale) before starting his ministry in Newton Center, Mass. (1964–1966).  Don then served as parish priest for Christ Church in North Conway, N.H. (1966–1974) and St. Paul’s in Brunswick (1974–1986).  In recognition of his leadership in the church, Don was asked to move to New York City to become the Executive Officer of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church (1986–1998), one of the largest legislative gatherings in the country.  Don received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Yale University for his life’s work.  In retirement, Don and Susan lived in Intervale, N.H., Castle Rock, Colo., and Brunswick, Maine.
As a young boy growing up on the North Shore of Boston, Don had an opportunity to attend summer camp on Lake Sebago, and that first experience launched a lifelong relationship with Camp O-AT-KA.  On the shore of the lake, Don met Susan and they were married there in 1962 at St. Andrew’s Chapel.  As a counselor, Don explored the ministry and followed the path of his mentors into the Episcopal Church.  Every summer, even in failing health, Don and Susan would return to the camp for fellowship and renewal.
We remember Don for his fighting spirit, generosity, fierce loyalty and friendships, wicked sense of humor, and love of Moxie, Frosty’s donuts, and Brigham’s ice cream.  He cared deeply for the less fortunate and did his best to mentor others to service. One of his proudest accomplishments was the start of the Soup Kitchen at St. Paul’s Church. Despite living in Northern New England and working in New York City, Don remained an avid Red Sox, Bruins, and Patriots fan. These past decades of constant titles have brought him much joy.  Don has chosen the Mount Washington Valley as his final resting place to continue to enjoy the views that he loved so much.
Don was predeceased by his parents and in-laws; nephew Benjamin Dotson; cousin and best man Jack Walden; and brother-in-law William D. Paine II.  He is survived by his wife of 57 years Susan Martin; children, Thomas (Patty) of Yarmouth, Mark (Beth Ann) of Brunswick, and Andrea (Bill) Wilson of Lee’s Summit, Mo.; sister Phyllis (George) Dotson of Tulsa, Okla.; grandchildren, Benjamin and Andrew, Caroline and Emma, David and Christopher; as well as many nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank Don’s many dear friends, Episcopal Church and O-AT-KA family, and healthcare professionals who over the years supported Don in his struggle, including Thornton Hall and CHANS Hospice.
There will be no visiting hours. The funeral will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 27 Pleasant St. in Brunswick at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019.  A private family burial service will be held in the Spring at Kearsarge Cemetery in Kearsarge, N.H. To leave a note of condolence or share a memory, please visit
Gifts in his honor may be made to the:
Dennen Scholarship Fund
Camp O-AT-KA
593 Sebago Rd.
Sebago, ME 04029 or:
The Episcopal Relief and Development Fund or:
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church or:
your favorite charity