Richard John Nickelson, 73, passed away on
June 24th at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center in Gilbert
AZ from complications of esophageal cancer.
He was born August 5th, 1948 in Bozeman, MT
to Huston R. “Nick” Nickelson and Eleonore B.
As a young boy he lived on a ranch in Lemmon
SD. The family also lived in other places including
WA and AZ. As a teenager, the family moved to
Anaheim CA where he graduated from Loara High
School. He attended Orange Coast College and
Long Beach State College taking classes in
On August 17th, 1968 he married Wendy Jean
Graham. They lived in Anaheim, then Fountain
Valley CA, until they moved to Florence, MT in
They had 3 children, John 1970, Matt 1973, and
Richard was always interested in building.
He worked for “Hallamore Homes” and “Fredericks
Development” in CA before starting Nickelson
Construction in MT in 1979. He taught the 3 boys
all that he knew about construction.
He and the family were always busy camping,
boating, skiing and spending time on 4H projects.
The family moved to Fallbrook CA in 1988
where they worked, met many friends, and enjoyed
the beach until 1992, when they returned to
Missoula, MT. Recently, Rich and Wendy moved to
Eloy, AZ where they have enjoyed the beautiful
winters and drove their motorhome back to MT and
WY for the summers.
Richard is survived by: his wife of 53 years
Wendy, son John & his wife Deb and their kids
Meaghan and Sean, son Matt & his wife Tina and his
son Connor and daughter Shaelee & her husband
Freddy, and son Andy & his wife Samantha and their
daughter Keeley and his kids Luke and Brenna.
He is also survived by 3 great granddaughters,
his brothers-in-law Rick & Colleen Graham, Steve &
Lynette Graham, his sister Sandra Hanson and her
kids, his Aunt Marlene McLees, his aunt Deannie
and her husband Dick Mauro, and many more
cousins, nieces, and nephews.
There will be a funeral service in Missoula, MT
at Garden City Funeral Home on Thursday July 14th
at 2:00. His ashes will be buried at the Florence
Carlton Cemetery in Florence, MT as well as in
Lemmon SD where his parents are buried.