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Margaret Nicol

Margaret G. Nicol

August 6, 1932 - November 21, 2020
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Obituary

Our Mom, Margaret Gammage Nicol of Fort Collins, Colorado died on Saturday. She was a loving mother, survived by her children Lisa, Leigh, Bob and wife Therese, and Ian. Her cherished husband of 47 years, Robert J. Nicol, died in 2002 and has been much missed.

Margaret was the daughter of Davis and Charlotte Gammage (who we knew as Grandaddy and Dear) and the younger sister of Charles Kennedy Wheeler Gammage, Sr. (Uncle Ken). She is also survived by her sister-in-law Joan Gammage and her nieces and nephews on the Gammage side—Kennedy Jr., Linda, Davis, Andrea, and their children. On the Nicol side she is survived by the children of her departed sister-in-law Mildred Holme (née Nicol)—Robin, Jennifer, Simon, and Joey.

She grew up in Atlanta, Georgia in the 1930s and 40s and was educated at Chatham Hall, Wellesley College, and Centre College. After she and Robert were married in 1955, they went on to enjoy life in New York City and environs. They relocated to Fort Collins Colorado in 1996, first to the Bonner Peak Ranch, then Linden Lake, meeting so many wonderful people along the way.

Mom was a creative proponent of childhood development, often loading her VW Bus with a dozen or more children and launching all manner of enriching and creative activities, not to mention just plain fun.

Generally, a few spoiled cats and dogs came along for the ride, and perhaps the odd rodent or reptile. These were all kept in line by her enforcer, a tough Amazonian Parrot named Yogurt.

Mom loved to make a valuable contribution to the community, especially with music. She was a singer and arranger (later a double bassist) for the Wellesley College Tupelos and the Soundettes of the Junior League of Women Voters. A child’s sized double bass is still a huge instrument, and she carried that thing into hospitals, schools, orphanages, nursing homes, and prisons to share her love of music and offer encouragement. Both on her own and with our Dad, she helped reform, support, and fund various educational and health care institutions and charities throughout her life.

She and Dad loved to sail and they spent years exploring the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to the Caribbean Sea. We all share precious memories of friends and shipmates from those days.

Mom considered herself blessed throughout her life by her good fortune with family and friends. She loved her brother Ken and his family and whenever they spoke their Atlanta accents would suddenly bloom like spring flowers. She grew very close to her sister in law (our Aunt Mimi) over many holiday meals in New York, including of course the infamous Easter Sunday when our dogs took a full standing rib roast to “visit” the back corner of the garden.

Mom and Joyce Gevirtz (later Joyce G. McCray) became friends in college but went on be more like sisters and auxiliary mothers to each other’s children.

In recent years Margaret battled against progressive dementia with dignity and grace. The disease powerfully reduced her ability to speak and communicate, but she always remained very interested in family, neighbors, and friends, much more than she was able to convey.

Mom adored gardening and flowers, and if anyone feels like planting in her memory she would enthusiastically approve. We do not desire cut flowers here in Fort Collins, but perhaps we can think of her while reaching out to a friend or loved one in a confined residential situation, as Mom was for the spring and summer of 2020.

In her last months she was wonderfully cared for by the Aspyre Rock Creek Community in Fort Collins, where she smiled often, enjoyed excursions, and tried to give her own food to anyone who looked hungry. We were so grateful to be able to visit with her after the lockdown and during her last week, and to see how well she had been doing.
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Private Condolence
Plant a Tree in Memory of Margaret
20 trees have been planted in memory of Margaret G. Nicol
TF

The Smallwood Family

Posted at 03:22am
With loving memories of Margaret.

5 trees were planted in the memory of Margaret Nicol

Plant a tree
CG

Christine Gerstein

Posted at 08:51pm
I have so many fond memories of Margaret and hope you know my thought are with you at this difficult time and always. Christine Gerstein

10 trees were planted in the memory of Margaret Nicol

Plant a tree
KP

Kerry Prendergast

Posted at 10:29am
In memory of Margaret Nicol, a lover of nature but most of all a lover of her wonderful family.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Margaret Nicol — Plant a Tree Now
SH

Simon Holme

Posted at 05:18pm
Whether it be Larchmont, Long Island, Annisquam, New Hampshire, North Carolina, or Colorado, I always looked forward to seeing my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins. One of my earliest memories of Aunt Margaret was when we visited the Nicols at the house deep in the woods in Spafford N.H when I was very young. The place initially creeped me out because it was ancient and someone told me there were porcupines living in the cellar. However, Aunt Margaret made me feel at home by allowing me and encouraging me to play the big church like organ in the living room. She offered to play Puff the Magic Dragon for me.

My Aunt Margaret and Uncle Robert introduced me to fishing. I remember her helping me fish on the sailboat so I wouldn’t get bored. We caught a fish that looked like a monster (Monk fish I recall). I accidently dropped the rod and reel overboard and Aunt Margaret didn’t get upset. In fact she was able to recover it. Fishing became a passion for life.

I remember my visits to Larchmont and Long Island. Aunt Margaret was a wonderful conversationalist, something I would enjoy as I got older. However, when I young, I remember her when I visited her Long Island home. I remember her talking on the phone with a friend and the parrot Yogurt mimicking her. She also took me down to the beach to look for shells.

Aunt Margaret also inspired another passion for me. During my college years in Miami, when visiting my Aunt and Uncle in Vero Beach at the sailboat, they took me out to dinner. Aunt Margaret said she was in the mood for sushi. I never was that adventurous but didn’t say anything. We ordered a big array of different sushi, the real stuff, none of that California Roll stuff. I’ve been forever hooked and often think of my Aunt when going out for sushi.

I also enjoyed my trips to Bonner Peak and Fort Collins, Colorado. Aunt Margaret always made me feel so welcomed. She was kind and very generous. I got so many great gifts from her. She will never leave me as I still hear her distinct southern voice. I also loved the way she said my name. She was a wonder person and I will never forget her. I am glad my wife Jennifer for to meet her.

Cousin Simon
M

Merete

Posted at 06:05pm
David and I were lucky enough to have Margaret as our closest neighbor for a decade. She lost her husband Robert shortly after they moved in, but as the strong woman she was, her life continued to be one of caring for her family and the people around her. She was a wonderful neighbor, knowing and looking after so many of us who lived around her house. That home became a gathering point and support structure for our swimming club for our fun get-togethers, for the Youth Orchestra of the Rockies for fundraisers, and so many other events and wonderful meals, large and small. She was tireless when it came to helping those around her, while having a great sense of humor and compassion. She was just such a fun person to have as a friend. I used to call her "the mother of us all" and I do believe that she was, simply by her caring nature. She opened her home to David's family who came from England to celebrate his 70th, without even a question. His brothers kids were absolutely fascinated by her She was an animal lover, and the first time David met her, we could see an eagle attacking a goose out on the ice. She called, then came tearing into our house, insisting that David run out on the thin ice to rescue the bird, either on his own or with a boat. David said, "no, that is not going to work" or something like that. That didn't upset her, to my great relief.

Her life was fascinating, from stories about her and Robert, her trips through Italy with her friend Joyce and a whole car load of kids, to their house in New Hampshire, which sounded magical.
When Margaret sold her house and moved into an easier place, we still kept in touch. When she grew older, we saw her regularly, although she may not have recognized us in the last few years. David and I love being around originals, and Margaret was one, for sure. We feel forever enriched by our contact and friendship with her.
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