Technical Sergeant Gilbert M. Nickerson
Gilbert Nickerson was born Sunday, August 25, 1935 to the union of Louis Nickerson and Martha (Archangel) Nickerson in Olivier, Louisiana. He was the 3rd child of 7 children.
He met and was later married on December 14, 1958, to Marie Jackson in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Gilbert and Marie had six children: Johnny Ray Nickerson (Long Beach, CA), Gilbert Nickerson Jr. (Inglewood, CA), Wendell Owens Nickerson (Deceased, Carson, CA), Mona Faye Nickerson (Carson, CA), David Wayne Nickerson (Lake Elsinore, CA) and Glenn Edward Nickerson Sr. and Shatara (Los Angeles, CA). Preceding Gilbert in death were his wife, Marie Nickerson (Carson, CA), his parents Louis and Martha Nickerson Sr. (Los Angeles, CA), his siblings Leona Winston (Moreno Valley, CA) and Louis Nickerson Jr. (Los Angeles, CA), and son Wendell Owens Nickerson (Carson, CA). He leaves to cherish his memory his five adult children, two brothers Jerry Nickerson Sr. (Moreno Valley, CA) and Charles Nickerson (Sacramento, CA) and two sisters Shirley Adams (Jeanerette, LA) and Frances Sanders (Sun City, CA) 8 Grandchildren-Jennifer Price, Marcus Nickerson, Gilbert Lamar Nickerson, Christina Nickerson, Dwayne Nickerson, Glenn Nickerson Jr., Morgan Nickerson, Imani Watley Jackson; 1 great-grandson-Khali McKinsey Ashton Nickerson and a host of nephews, nieces, relatives and friends and Buddy, the family dog.
Gilbert was educated through the New Iberia, Louisiana School District and later graduated from Rudyard High School in Michigan, with the high distinction of Class Valedictorian. Upon retiring from the Air Force after his 20-year career he attended several trade schools and eventually landed at California State University at Dominguez Hills where he completed 3 years of study towards a Business Degree.
Gilbert joined the United States Air Force in 1953 at the tender age of 17. Gilbert was the eldest son of 7 and had a natural ability for leadership. However, the military helped to further develop Airmen Nickerson in the area of skillfully leading others. It was important to the success of his squadron that he work skillfully and diligently to carry out the tasks placed before him. While he did not want to leave his wife and children, duty called and he responded as a good soldier. Of his many tours overseas, there were two honorable achievements that tremendously helped the U.S. troops. Colonel Pat Hanavan, (Retired) of the C-7A Caribou Association explains the situation: "We lost 3 planes with their crews and cargo supporting the Special Forces camp. The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) forces were putting up furious antiaircraft fire to stop the Air Force from re-supplying the camp. To turn the situation around, desperate measures were needed. We had to change our tactics. Instead of daytime airdrops, we had to fly at night into the narrow valley. Your father was a vital part of the heroic team that risked all to deliver vitally needed supplies to our troops on the ground, earning him a "Distinguished Flying Cross" for Extraordinary Achievement and an Air Medal for Heroism. We truly thank your father for his service. Because of his bravery and flying skills, many soldiers safely returned home to the United States. [459th 1970]
After 20 years in the military, Gilbert joined forces with the United States Postal Service where he continued to receive awards and recognition for his service. He worked in the Post Office another 20 years and again retired with special recognition for exceptional service: United States Postal Service, Special Achievement Award, December 1997. Gilbert served well in whatever capacity he was assigned.
Gilbert, with Marie his wife at his side in full support, engaged in many endeavors:
In 1986, the Lord led the Nickersons to join Power of Love Christian Fellowship. Over the years Gilbert served the church in many capacities; Elder, Men’s Fellowship President, Deacon Board, Sunday School Teacher, Christians off Chemicals outreach program, member of the Board of Directors and other areas as requested by the Pastor.
In 2010 the Nickersons moved their membership to a house of worship closer to their residence, the Carson Christian Outreach Church serving under Pastor Thomas Alexander. Here, Gilbert served on the Deacon’s Board and in early 2015 he was elevated to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for Carson Christian Outreach Church and School.
Deacon Nickerson touched the lives of so many individuals, with many of them adopting him as their “Dad”. He was never shy on words. If you had a moment to listen (and even if you didn’t) you stood and respected the elder as he shared wisdom from the Lord and his life experiences. He witnessed to everyone. When his second leg was amputated he promised the Lord that he would share Jesus with everyone that came through his home doors. And people from all walks of life know about Jesus because he stayed true to the promise he made to the Lord. He will forever remain in our hearts.