Date of Birth
Date of Death
Richard J. "Rick", "R.J." Nicholson,Age 50 of St. Petersburg, Florida, passed away unexpectedly, Tuesday, May 21, 2007 at his home, following an acute heart attack. BORN: He was born February 10, 1957 in DeKalb, IL, the son of Richard Joseph and Emily Elaine Flint. When he was four, his family moved to Crystal Lake, IL, where Rick grew up, was confirmed at the First Congregational Church and graduated from Crystal Lake High School. The Rev. Arn Schaper who confirmed Rick, and kept-in-touch with him the rest of his life, remarked that whatever Rick did in life, whether good or bad, he did it three-hundred percent! Smiling through their tears, loved ones agree as they recall the life and times of Rick Nicholson. EARLY YEARS :Three-hundred percent was the way he played hockey. It was a style of play that earned him respect on the ice and frequently landed him in the penalty box. If there were a "poster child" for strong sons, it would be Rick. Yet, when his parents went their separate ways, his mother remembers the many "little things" Rick would do to help her. He grew up rapidly in many ways, but deep within, the rambunctious, bold and boisterous "boy" inside of Rick, became the gregarious, charismatic man that so many knew and loved as "R.J.". After high school, Rick studied food science at Elgin Community College and worked at Quaker Oats. It was a brief interlude in his life but that education would one day fuel his inspiration to start his own company. Shortly then, Rick went to Wisconsin to sell cars. He was a natural salesman and that talent led him into heavy equipment sales. In the early eighties, Rick moved to Florida where he was known as R.J. He met and married Cindy and had a son, Daniel Joseph Nicholson. It was there his ingenuity and sales savvy found new careers in the food and hospitality industry, like his father. Recognizing a need for fruit juice concentrates, Rick started his own company, Florida Son Beverages and became a supplier to a broad range of providers from restaurants to schools and even churches. R.J.’s spirit shone through with every person he met and never was it more on display than during his time serving as bar tender and hospitality host and manager at several fine restaurants and hotels including Casa Gallardo and Burns Steakhouse. He also enjoyed and was very proud of his time at Conch Republic and Don CesarIn his personal time, Rick’s big heart was drawn to work with the Miracle League for handicapped children. There, he "stepped up to the plate" to help challenged children know the thrill of batting a baseball and hearing the cheers of the crowds as they circled the bases and safely crossed home plate. R.J. loved life and his spirit felt most at home when he attended Christ the King Church in Largo. Those who knew both the boy and the man, knew someone whose spirit was "larger than life". R.J. loved the beach and enjoyed the "surf" as well as the "sandy turf" that brought him peace of mind. He had recently rekindled his love for the game of golf as it was, bar none, a life-long favorite pastime. Although he struggled at times, there was no doubt that when he was on target, R.J. would grip it, rip it and "hit the ball a ton". When he wasn’t on the links, R.J. indulged in his love of cooking gourmet meals complete with beautiful presentations.SURVIVORS He is survived by his mother, Emily Gibson of Crystal Lake, ILOne son, Daniel Nicholson of Baltimore, MD,Two sisters: Kimberly (Roger) Lake of Raleigh, NC, Tamra Hall of Crystal Lake, IL;One brother, Tod Gibson of Raleigh, NC (spelling of Tod is correct)One niece, Melanie Horton of Crystal Lake, IL;His Aunt June Buttleman of Ormond Beach, FLAnd Uncle Charles (Nadine) Flint of Kaneville, IL and many cousins. In addition he leaves his special friend, Darlene Menth, of St. Petersburg, FL and a family of countless friends. PRECEDED He is preceded in death by his father, Richard. One loving aunt, Eleanor Ritts, and uncle, Robert Ritts.
VISITATION / FUNERAL Florida Memorial Services will be held Thursday, May 31st, 2007, at 2:30 pm, with visitation preceding from 1 pm to 2:30 pm at Reese Funeral Home, 6767 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL. The Rev. Michael Thurau will officiate A Celebration will be held immediately following the service.Illinois Memorial Services will be held Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 4:30pm with visitation preceding from 1 pm to 4 pm at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL. The Rev. Arn Schaper will officiate
Cremation interment will follow immediately, at Kaneville Cemetery, Main Street Rd., and Kaneville, IL. MEMORIAL In lieu of flowers, a memorial to remember Rick has been established in his name. Checks may be made to the Rick Nicholson Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Personal tributes and memories may also be mailed to the same address or forwarded to the family through a link from his obituary at www.conleycare.com