Nancy Ann Nickoloff
Nancy Ann “Nicki” Nickoloff had a beaming smile and an enthusiastic hug for everyone she knew. But her joy and exuberance were no match for Covid-19, which extinguished her light and life on December 12, 2020.
Life began for Nancy at Centinela Valley Community Hospital in April, 1957, delivered by her grandfather, Dr. George Arnold. From that time, she was non-verbal, but learned to express herself in other ways, accompanied by her radiant smile and raucous laugh.
Her early years were spent with her family in Los Alamitos, Calif. Her extended family was the Good Shepherd community (now Bethesda Lutheran Communities), where she joined a group home for the developmentally disabled in Laguna Hills in 1985. She spent many years at the workshop for Vocational Visions in Mission Viejo, where she was a source of boundless energy, and enjoyed recent years at RIO (Rehabilitation Institute of Southern California) in San Clemente.
Nancy was one of the early participants in Special Olympics, the competition begun by Sargent and Eunice Shriver in 1968 to recognize developmentally disabled athletes. She also enjoyed the riding program at the Fran Joswick Therapeutic Riding Center (now the Shea Center), where her father, Carl Nickoloff, launched an annual barbecue that has since raised millions of dollars to benefit riders. Nancy’s drive inspired her entire family to help support the developmentally disabled community in various ways.
She taught those around her the beauty of pure love and joy. Her child-like wonder with the world never diminished. She was a shining example that laughter is the best medicine.
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Dolores Rae Nickoloff. She leaves behind her brother, Craig William Nickoloff, and his family. She will be interred next to her parents at Rose Hills Cemetery in Whittier, Calif. A memorial will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a cause that supports the developmentally disabled.