Afton Maycock Nickerson, of Springville, Utah passed away on Thursday, November 16th from complications associated with ovarian cancer. She was surrounded by her loving family. Afton, a native of Springville, graduated from both Springville High School, and the University of Utah, where she majored in business education. From there, she taught shorthand and typing at Mt. Ogden Junior High School. She once gave a creative writing assignment to the class where one of her students, Sue Nickerson Lynch, wrote about her older brother, a recently returned missionary who served in the Sydney, Australia LDS mission. Sue quickly introduced Afton to her brother, Charles Webb Nickerson, and they married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple in1961.
As newlyweds, a business trip took the Nickersons to New York City, where they enjoyed the culture and diversity the city offered. They relocated to the east coast and settled in Summit, NJ, where they raised their family for 30 years. Afton’s career spanned teaching and sales, which led to an executive secretary role in the banking and law industries specializing in trusts and estates.
Afton loved sports, specifically professional football and baseball. She ensured that her children grew up as Giants and Yankees fans. She could impressively hold her own when talking about team stats with fellow fans and offered up relevant commentary on the players and the game.
Afton lived a life of service centered around her many interests which included travel, cooking, music, and teaching. In the 1970s, Afton was one of the organizers of a local gourmet dinner group that focused on international cuisine and culture. It was through that group - where she honed and practiced culinary skills - that she fostered a love of cooking. She encouraged cooking together as a family and educated her children on nutrition and the finer points and respect for the culinary arts.
Afton was known for her love of music and was an accomplished pianist and organist, having studied under Reid Nibley while at the University of Utah and Mary Bird of Springville, UT. Among her many musical accomplishments, Afton and her husband co-produced the annual Handel’s Messiah Sing-In--along with a tremendous team of volunteers--as a free, public, community service through the Short Hills, LDS church in Short Hills, NJ. She served 65 years as an organist in various congregations within the LDS church community. She taught countless students of all ages how to play piano and organ throughout the Summit, NJ and surrounding areas, leaving a musical legacy of various ranges of accomplishment that can be passed through the generations. More recently, she taught piano lessons to her grandchildren through Skype.
A viewing will be held on Saturday, November 25, 2017 from 10:00-10:45 AM followed by funeral services beginning at 11:00 AM. Both will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 55 North Main, Springville, UT. Interment will be at the Historic Springville City Cemetery.
Those who knew Afton knew of her love of the gospel, generosity of service, and the example she set. In honor of her memory and in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Springville Museum of Art, the oldest museum in Utah.
Afton is survived by her best friend and spouse of 56 years, Charles W. Nickerson, their three children; Julie Nickerson of New York, New York; Jill Nickerson of New York, New York; Charles Nickerson (Tamara Jill Dickson Nickerson spouse) of Idaho; and her four beautiful grandchildren, Kate, Thomas, Genna, and Charlotte.