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Andrew

Andrew John Nickerson

d. December 24, 2020

Andrew John Nickerson of Emigrant MT passed away suddenly on December 24th 2020 from heart related issues, at the age of 51. Andrew was born in Vallejo California to his father John (Mare Naval Shipyard production manager/machinist) and mother Colleen Nickerson, at Kaiser Hospital.Andrew was born into a large family of both blood and friendship. The Edelmanns, the Hills, and the Shipp families all shared a strong bond with Andy and his immediate family from birth to present. Andy enjoyed spending time with his Grandpa who lived next door until Andy moved with his family to Vacaville CA in 1976. Andy and his dad, his Uncle Rob, and his Grandpa spent many a summer at their shared property in Northern California near Janesville, building an A frame Cabin for all to enjoy. It became his and others most favorite personal campground to visit whenever possible. It is where he has requested his ashes to be spread, and his request will be obliged in the Spring. From 1979 to 1985 Andy had moved to the Philippines with his family, where his father John was the General Foreman of the Ship Repair Facility in Subic Bay, working in support of the 7th Fleet. While in the Philippines, Andy forged friendships that lasted his whole life. In 1986 Andy and his family moved to Eliot Maine where he finished High School at Marshwood High, graduating in 1987.He started his career at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard right after graduating and worked on 688 Class Submarines, overhauling, troubleshooting, and repairing power generation equipment. His father John was the Superintendent of Shop 31 at that time and Andy would go on to form close bonds with fellow work mates Dan [Dan-o] Arseneault, Matt St Pierre, Charlie Blunt, and Roger Perreault. During these years, Andy went on many trips for the Navy. Charlie recalls that on one such trip to Doonan, Scotland during the Cowal Highland Gathering, at the Cowal Parade, they stood on a rock wall and Andy asked a guy if he wanted to headbutt and the offer was obliged and Andys headbutt knocked the rather large fella to the ground. His buddies dragged him off groaning and Andy had a red mark on his forehead the rest of the day. They had a great laugh recounting that story for years to come. The Shipyard didnt always provide the best conveniences for the crew. They often carried heavy tools a long distance. Andy built a three wheeled "truck bike" out of various old bicycles. It worked great and was a topic of discussion around the Shipyard.In 1992, after the fall of the Berlin Wall there was a huge Reduction in Force (downsized) and Andy was RIFd, and left the shipyard and DOD, and went to work for a crane company in Maine, where he soon became the manager, and he and his team serviced cranes all over Maine and New York. In 1998 Andy returned to the Shipyard in the Shop 51 Motor Section, then quickly transfers to the Crane Code, where he went from Engineering Tech to First Line Supervisor to General Foreman, in the finality of his Civilian Naval Career. His favorite expression was, "The Supreme Accomplishment is to Blur the Line Between Work and Play".Throughout these trials, tribulations, failures, and successes, Andy always wanted to make his dreams come true, live in the mountains, be a rancher, and be able to hone his already impressive lifelong cowboy skills. So, in 2002 Andy and his family moved to Montana and he began his impressive career with Yellowstone National Park as the Fleet Maintenance Supervisor for all of the park, and his parents soon followed him out and Andy built them a house on his property. Andy would quickly become an integral part in making sure things ran smoothly throughout the entirety of Yellowstone Park, where any mechanical engineering and all things mechanic were involved.11 years ago, entered the love of his life, Dolly, to Paradise Valley. Andy told anyone that would listen that it was love at first sight. Andy took in and loved her entire family, instantly, as his own. Dolly soon shared Andys dream of owning a cattle ranch outside of Big Timber Montana. Dolly and Andy shared a special love that most people could only dream of. They enjoyed every single moment of their time together whether it be checking cows, sitting by a fire, raising piglets or just watching TV, and never tried to accomplish any one of those things without holding hands. Andy insisted. They loved animals and Andy continually told Dolly she could have as many as she wanted. Their little long hair Chihuahua "Punkin" was among his biggest loves, along with Rufus, Tucker and many other cherished pets before. Andy supported Dolly in everything she did, and she him. They were always a team, a PERFECT team, and a PERFECT love. From the time Dolly met Andy, she never made another breakfast. It was Andys forte and he was so dang good at it, for her, and every one of the guests that ever visited them, and in every camp he was ever a part of.Andys life goal upon retiring from government service, [which was to be in less than five years] was to spend the rest of his life finetuning and growing their herd and being a fulltime rancher at their place in Big Timber. He always said "he wanted to just sit and watch cows eat grass, for the rest of his life.Andy was proceeded in death by his mother and father, John and Colleen Nickerson, and his Uncle Robert Nickerson [who married Andy and Dolly at their home in Paradise Valley], and his grandparents.Andy is survived by his FOREVER loving wife, Dolly Nickerson, his son and daughter, John and Hannah Nickerson, [Grandchildren: Ryleigh, Chase, and Oaklyn], sister: Kim [Lee] Harmon, brothers: Virgil Nickerson, Casey [Erinn] Erickson, Spencer Blakey, Michael [Heather] Brown, nephews: Lane, Jimmy and Jonathan, Dollys Mom [Carol], Dollys kids, and her nieces and nephews, all of which he loved as his own blood kin. His Aunts Brenda Nickerson, Jane Nickerson, Kate [Bill] Dennes, Annette [Larry] King, Jeannie Hill, and cousins. He is also survived by the group of men in his life whom he had a tighter bond with than friendship, it was truly a BROTHERHOOD : Jaren Whitman, Casey Martin, Frank Edelmann, Chad Hill, Matt Shipp, Matt St Pierre, Dan [Dan-o] Arseneault, Charlie Blunt, Roger Perreault, Keith Roberts, Jimmy Guy, Quint Whitman [whom he guided hunters with for years outside of West Yellowstone], Tucker Cunningham [his friend and crewmate] AND the rest of his dedicated and very much appreciated crew at Yellowstone National Park. So many of these special people, and more, have come to Dollys aid since Andys passing and she will continue to have to lean on them. And Andy would be so proud of them and so happy that they have stepped up to the plate. They all know that Andy certainly and happily would have done the same, without a second thought.Family and friends held an intimate service at the ranch in Big Timber, Andys favorite place on Earth. Steve Krumm, his friend and crewmate, graciously hand made the Pinewood box for a traditional Cowboy send off. Andy would have loved it, and the family is forever grateful to Steve for his beautiful creation. Andys favorite yellow horse "Trigger" was saddled and tied up next to him in true COWBOY fashion. Andy wouldnt have had it any other way!Andy was a jack of all trades, larger than life, one of a kind, life of the party he never lived in a house he didnt build, there was nothing he couldnt fix, calculate or a problem he couldnt solve. Dolly called it "The Andy Factor". Andy had a profound impact on every single solitary person he ever met. His wife Dolly called him a cross between a grizzly bear and a teddy bear. It was the perfect description. She considered him Superman.The whole world is WAY, WAY, WAY less special and so much worse off without him in it. Andy was upfront, opinionated, outspoken, raw, loving, caring, open, honest and true. He was a brother to all, a son, a father, a grandfather, and the most wonderful loving husband to Dolly. We will miss his bear hugs, his bright eyes and his sometimes, well, inappropriate commentary, and most of all we will miss the MAN and the ultimate cowboy he truly was. There will never be another like him!Cards or letters may be sent to P.O. Box 6 Emigrant, Montana 59027, and his family would most definitely welcome them, along with any memories and stories you would like to share. Somehow it all does help with the immense grief.Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements.
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