In memory of
George Donald Nickoloff
George, beloved husband of Ruth and father of Martha James, Caroline Jones and George Nickoloff Jr, passed away peacefully at Campbell River Hospital on February 27th, 2010 at the age of 83 years. He was born in Edmonton, Alberta on June 23rd, 1926 to Kosta and Donka Nickoloff and a brother to Kay. His family life was enriched by
the cultural traditions of his parent’s countries of origin, Macedonia and Bulgaria. They belonged to a close-knit community of Balkan immigrants in Edmonton and later Calgary that remained in his heart and mind.
George loved growing up in Edmonton. He recounted the stories of Alex Taylor School, his many buddies and belonging to the Edmonton School Boy’s Band as a baritone player. As documented in the family photograph albums, the Nickoloff’s travelled extensively in the countryside of Alberta. He loved nothing better than the acquisition of a large, late model sedan to transport the family to lakeside picnics, canoeing, berry picking excursions, hot springs and mountain scenery. Kosta was busy most summers with his raw fur business but Donka and the children made memorable trips by train to the west coast, the east coast and points in between to visit the many friends and relatives who had also settled in Canada from the “old country”.
In 1949, George graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. On a trip to Vancouver, he was introduced by his aunt Anna, to a beautiful young Jugoslavian girl, an accomplished singer named Goldina Helen Popovich. He was smitten with her and while she was on an extended post-war return to the old country, he wrote her many letters expressing his feelings for her. As a man of means working in the oil industry of Alberta, he managed to convince her to return to Canada and be his bride. They were married on November 30th, 1950 in a double wedding with his sister Kay and husband Chris Filipovich. It was written about in the society column of the Edmonton Journal, describing the two beautiful brides dressed in matching velvet gowns. George and Goldie settled in Calgary where they raised their family, Martha(b.1952), Caroline(b.1954) and George Jr.(b.1963). The family valued their extended family relationships, from Calgary to the west coast, to Edmonton and Toronto. They cared deeply about their Babas, Didos, tetas, uncles and god-parents. All the holidays were spent visiting relatives.
Goldie died tragically in 1978 and so after 28 years of marriage, George was ready for a new life. Fortunately for the kids, he decided that British Columbia was where he would like to spend it. Buying property on Quadra Island was the launching of the Nickoloff migration to the west coast. It enabled Martha and Gorde to have a sheltered beginning to their life as potters and a splendid place to raise a family of two sons, Elliott(b1985) and Alexander(b.1989). Caroline and Darrell came to Quadra for almost all of their holidays since he bought the Smith Road acreage. Their children, Patrick(b.1986) and Carlie(b.1988) have spent each summer near Dido and their cousins on Quadra, creating the close relationships and love that they have for each other today. George chose to settle in Campbell River and it was there in 1987, he met the second love of his life, Ruth. He knew instantly that she was the one for him. He shyly spoke of this woman who was not only beautiful but an independent business woman with a very close family and lovely grandchildren of ages close to that of his grandchildren. She was “the one” and of European stock too! They were married on July 9th, 1988.
George Jr. and Donna were married in a fairytale wedding at Martha and Gorde’s property in 1990 and eventually settled on Quadra as well. The birth of their three beautiful girls Gina(b.1996), Anna(b.2000) and Ruby(b2002) was the light in dad’s life. He loved to come over to Quadra weekly to spend a day on George Jr’s property and help babysit. For 22 years George’s family has blended celebrations with Ruth’s children, Coreen, Roland, Erica and Michael Hack, Stephen, Anita, Stephanie and Rochelle Ott and Sandy, Dwayne Megan and Melissa Harris, as well as Philip Birrer and Ruth’s mother “Grosi” and brothers in Switzerland.
“Dido George” was the role he performed the best. From the birth of his first grandchild, Elliott, he could be counted on for loving childcare at the last minute. Walking the roads and trails of Quadra Island, pushing a stroller and looking for the first berries to pop into eager little mouths, were among his fondest memories. Having wiener roasts on his beach in Shelter Bay, driving kids to band camp from the Quadra ferry, he and Ruth were always the first to arrive and sit in the front row of every band concert. It was that kind of involvement with his grand children that has enriched their lives and given them the gift of security within the family.
George loved his food. He enjoyed doing the shopping around Campbell River where almost all of the Bulgarian staples of life were available to him. Peppers for roasting,
filo for banitza, feta, olives, halvah and day- old bread! He loved a bargain. Ruth became a rival to any Macedonian cook with her banitza and excellent filled peppers and George became a Swiss Dido.
In these past years when George’s health issues became the focus of his family, Ruth possessed the strength to protect and care for him with the expertise of an R.N. When the difficult decision was made about his final care, George was happy and eager to participate until his last day.
George was predeceased by many whom he loved, his dad Kosta, his mom Donka, his first wife Goldie, his sister Kay and husband Chris, uncle Dan, uncle John, aunt Anna, father in-law Eli, mother in-law Anna, Dido Dan, Baba Anica, brother in-law John and god-father to his children, Jovan. Those of us who survive him know that he is part of us and we will always hear his voice.
We love you Dido.
Our family wishes to express their sincere thanks to Dr. Friderichs for the many years of care as his family doctor, the staff of the Campbell River Hospital and New Horizons Care facility. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Campbell River Hospital Foundation. 381 2nd Ave. Campbell River, B.C. V9W 3V2 www.crhospitalfoundation.ca