In Memory of Ralph W. "Ace" Nicholson

Ralph W. "Ace" Nicholson
Ralph W. "Ace" Nicholson
Born: October 26, 1915
Died: May 3, 2014
Age: 98
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Ralph W. "Ace" Nicholson
October 26, 1915 - May 3, 2014
From: Ida Grove, IA

Ralph W. “Ace” Nicholson, age 98, of Ida Grove, Iowa passed away on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the Horn Memorial Hospital of Ida Grove, Iowa.

A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 AM, Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at First United Methodist Church of Ida Grove, Iowa. The Reverend Chad Lierman will officiate. Burial will follow at the Ida Grove Cemetery of Ida Grove, Iowa with Military Rites conducted by the McNamara-Moore Post No. 61 of the American Legion. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church of Ida Grove, Iowa. The Christensen ~ Van Houten Funeral Home of Ida Grove, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online to


  Ralph Willard Nicholson was born on October 26, 1915 in Moorehead, Iowa to Willard and Sarah Nicholson. The family made their home on a farm in the Denison area, where Ralph attended country school and then worked on the family farm. The family then moved to Ida Grove, Iowa in 1941.

Ralph worked on the family farm with his folks until 1944 when Ralph was drafted in to the Armed Forces and was stationed overseas in France. While serving his country Ralph was severely injured with a gunshot wound. He returned home to Ida Grove in 1945 and received the Purple Heart for his service to our country and was honorably discharged.

After recovering for several months, Ralph started working for a local Garage in Ida grove for several years before becoming the cemetery sexton at the Ida Grove Cemetery. Ralph met his sweetheart Lorraine Barthel and the couple where united in marriage on September 28, 1952 at the United Methodist Church in Storm Lake, Iowa.  The couple where blessed with three children, Jim, Ann, and Joyce.

They made their home on the family farm southwest of Ida Grove. This is where Ralph loved to spend time with his children and his favorite dog Nick.

After working at the Cemetery for 20 plus years Ralph then retired. He enjoyed:  flying his plane, riding his motorcycles, tinkering on motors, playing instruments by ear including the accordion, guitar, and organ just to name a few; gardening, camping, the outdoors, wildlife, and visiting with friends and family.

Left to cherish his memory are his loving children, Jim (Denise) Nicholson of Ida Grove; Ann Prichard (fiancée Clark Brauninger) of Correctionville; Joyce Lawson of Ida Grove; and ten grandchildren: Luci Glisar, Ryan Harger, Dylan Nicholson, Adam Nicholson, Caleb Nicholson, Kevin Prichard, Lori Prichard, Heather Lawson, Jeremy Lawson, Tasha Reed; two great grandchildren: Brooklyn Hoffman, Brooke Little; sister Doris Bryan of Ida Grove, as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.

Ralph was preceded in death by his loving wife Lorraine, his parents, brothers: Floyd Nicholson, Dale (Margaret) Nicholson; sister, Dorothy (Welcum) Figley; brother-in-law, Kenneth Bryan, Sr.; great nephews: Kevin Carney, Mike Nicholson.


11:00 AM, Wednesday,
May 7, 2014

First United Methodist Church
Ida Grove, Iowa


The Reverend Chad Lierman


One Hour Prior
To The Service
At The Church

From 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

First United Methodist Church
Ida Grove, Iowa


Geraldine Dankert, Organist
Trisha Hoffman, Vocalist

Congregatinal Hymns:
"How Great Thou Art"
"In The Garden"


Ida Grove Cemetery
Ida Grove, Iowa

Military Rites
McNamar-Moore Post No. 61
of the American Legion


Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 9:13 PM
“I was sorry to hear of Ralph's passing. I had a nice visit with him a few months ago at Willow Dale. He and my Father, Victor, were friends and 'Ace' gave me my first airplane ride. My Father was a pilot also. He was a nice guy. He lived a wonderful long 98 years. I am sure you will all miss him. ”
- Marsha [Lunzman] Kjar
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 9:54 PM
“Are thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of loss of a family member. Ralph was a good friend of Wilmas brother who spent time together in service.

Don Wilma Schafer”
- Don & Wilma Schafer
Monday, May 5, 2014 at 9:52 PM
“Dear Joyce & Ann,

I am very sorry about your dad, but he was suffering in the end. May you always remember the good times you had with him, for Ralph was a good person.

Peaceful blessings for you guys & your families.

Cindy Peters
- Cindy Peters
Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 9:52 PM
“Our sympathy to the families of Ace Nicholson, Blessing to you to see you through this
hardship. Hugs to many of you. Hope your memories fill your hearts.
Robert and Shirley”
- Robert and Shirley Ruser
Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 8:02 PM
“So sorry to hear of Ace's passing. He will be missed at Willow Dale where he made a lot of friends. He led a full long life and left many memories. Condolences to all. ”
- Mareta Vermeys
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