December 21, 1914-February 2, 2009
A Houghton, Michigan snowstorm filled the driveway that December 21st night making it necessary for Bert Nicholas to shovel the snow to enable the Doctor to arrive by horse and sleigh. At 2:20 a.m., the second son, Harold Pearce, of Bert and Mary Jane Nicholas made his entry into this world.
Bert, an ornamental horticulturist, soon after moved to Sioux City, Iowa. It was here at the age of six Harold was summoned home from school to be told of his mothers death from pneumonia. A traumatic experience for a little boy. Later, Iris Williams became a wonderful step-mom for the then three boys, Lloyd, Harold and one year old Bob. A sister, Shirley was then added to the family.
The move from Iowa found them living in Spokane, Washington where Harold helped his Dad build greenhouses.
Inn 1929 Bert purchased 27 acres of the Stimpson Estate in Woodinville, Washington. Soon after that the great depression of 1929 hit the nation. Harold’s responsibility at age sixteen was to get his drivers license, help load the flowers into the delivery truck each morning, taking them into the Seattle wholesale house, having breakfast at a nearby cafe, returning home in time to change into his school clothes and catch the bus at 7:00 am. There was no time for sports or girls as he had to get home to work in the greenhouses.
Harold’s fascination with flight resulted in two disastrous attempts at building gliders. He then snuck off to a small airfield to take flying lessons without his Dad’s knowledge. He received his pilots license at age sixteen. His love affair with flight and aircraft continued until his eighties when because of hip replacements and heart surgery, he had to hang up his wings.
A brief marriage to a school mate resulted in the birth of his daughter Sandra. Unfortunately the union was not a happy one and was terminated.
His father sold Harold the business when he decided to move to California. Harold loved growing flowers but Wes Loback part owner of the Snohomish Airport where Harold hangered his planes called him from Ootsa Lake asking Harold to fly up to look at property adjoining his. Harold fell in love with the beauty and solitude (and the fantastic fishing) of Ootsa Lake. He bought the property, flew home to turn the business over to his brother Bob, who had joined him in the business after he returned home from the navy.
It was here that he met his future wife, Leona. They were married in California in January of 1951. After a three month honeymoon they returned to their beloved Ootsa Lake until Alcan flooded the area. They decided to buy a ranch north of Spokane where they worked improving it for three years. It was then off to other things to be done. Buying and selling aircraft—traveling—back into partnership at the greenhouses. Ranching at “Little Bear” on Ootsa Lake. The good Lord blessed us with a wonderful son after 16 and a half years, Nathan who later met and married our beautiful daughter-in-law Gwyndolyn Williams. Two precious granddaughters, Molly Margaret and Mandolyn Ashley.
It is with heavy hearts we said goodbye to this vital, strong, yet gentle and loving happy human being who brought such joy and happiness into my life these past 58 years.
How blessed we were having the loving care of Dr. Graetz and the priceless nurses and staff at The Pines these past three years. They give of themselves up and above the call of duty.
When the world awakes with the coming of spring and tender green leaves appear and flowers break forth from our frozen earth, we hope all who knew Harold will join us in celebration of his long and fruitful life.
Until then–Sleep gently my love.