Raymond William Nicholson
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Raymond William Nicholson
  • May 9, 1930 - July 14, 2017
  • Indiana

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Dr. Raymond W. Nicholson, 87, of Evansville, went to be with the Lord Friday July 14, 2017 at St. Mary's Medical Center (St. Vincent Hospital), where he himself had been the longest active member of the medical staff. He was born May 9, 1930 on Mother's Day to the late Raymond W. & Helen (White) Nicholson.

"Dr. Nick" as he was affectionately known as by his colleagues and patients was a Christian doctor & man. He was a member and Head Elder of Our Saviour Lutheran Church.

He loved his patients and was deeply devoted to his profession. His purpose in life was to serve others and he did that with great compassion. He was respected by colleagues for his incredible work ethic and skills in making the diagnosis. His patients fondly remember his compassionate bedside manner, and his advocacy for their best care. Perhaps his proudest accomplishment was delivering over 3000 babies during his career, many of whom are now accomplished members of our Evansville community. And yet, his greatest joy came from cheering with family at IU football games.

Dr. Nicholson was President of the Bosse High School class of 1948, and continued to play a key role with alumni events.

As a graduate of Indiana University with a B.A. in Anatomy & Chemistry in 1952, he earned his M.D. in 1955, graduating second in his class, followed by his residency at the I.U. Medical Center in Indianapolis.

He served as a captain in the U.S. Army, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas as a pediatrician running a 300 bed unit.

Dr. Nicholson entered private practice in Family Medicine in Evansville in 1958. He was later joined by Dr. Mark Meyers, his first resident, who for many years remained a loyal friend and his personal physician, and by Dr. Al Satore.

He was Founder and Director of the Family Practice Residency Program at St. Mary's Medical Center, serving in that role from 1970 to 2007, where he taught and mentored over 200 physicians. He was the longest serving Director of a Family Medicine Program in the country. He generously served as Medical Director of the Muscular Dystrophy Clinic in Evansville from 2001 to 2011.

He served as the Health Officer of Vanderburgh County from 2007 to 2014. As a lifelong learner himself, he continued teaching and lecturing after retirement.

"Dr. Nick" was a vital figure and faculty member at the I.U. School of Medicine and the Evansville campus since its inception in 1972, where he volunteered countless hours teaching and mentoring medical students. He and his family established a longstanding medical scholarship fund to help medical students with tuition costs.

He received many honors throughout his career, including the Sagamore of the Wabash designation for his contributions to medical education, awarded by Governor Frank O'Bannon in 1997; Indiana University School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001; EVSC Hall of Fame Class of 2016; Rotarian Community Award 2015; I.U. School of Medicine - Evansville Dr. Gordon T. Herrmann Distinguished Service Award in 2012 for his outstanding leadership and dedication to medical education; Alan Fischer award for outstanding contributions for family practice education in Indiana; St. Mary's Family Practice Residency Distinguished Service Award; Muscular Dystrophy Association Honoree of the Year.

He was a member of the Rotary Club of Evansville, Indiana State Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Association, and Vanderburgh County Medical Society. He served on the Board of Directors of WNIN Public Television, Dean's Council of the IU Medical School, Board of Directors and President of the Lutheran Counseling Service, Past President of I.U. Alumni Association, and St. Mary's Medical Staff President.

He was an involved supporter of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and an Advanced Master Gardener.

Dr. Nick was preceded in death by his sister Inez Castleman, and his first wife of 43 years Joyce (Kratz) Nicholson.

He is survived by his wife Cynthia Nicholson, son David (LaDonna) Nicholson, daughter Diane (Dr. Ken) Combs, stepdaughter Paige Tabbert Davis, grandchildren Lauren (Stephen) Lofthus, David (Carly) Shelton, Leigh (Chris) Spangler, and Anne Shelton; step-grandchildren Chris and Carrie Waggoner, Lili Westphal, Madison and Morgan Cole, and two beautiful great-grandchildren London and Ella Lofthus. In the eyes of his children and grandchildren, the Superman costume he wore every Halloween was a reality.

Services will be held 10AM Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, officiated by Pastor Robert Schneider, with burial to follow in the Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation is Monday, July 17, 2017, from 2-8 PM at Alexander East Chapel and Tuesday from 9AM until service time at the church.

The family wishes to thank his many patients for such a wonderful career, his many colleagues whom he respected for their talents and work ethic, and for the nurses and staff who provided such outstanding care.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Our Saviour Lutheran Church, IU School of Medicine-Evansville, payable to IU Foundation in care of IUSME, or the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra.Condolences may be made online at www.AlexanderEastChapel.com.