Dr. James Nicholson

Memorial Service

11:00 am
Monday, November 20, 2023
Wilmot United Church
473 King Street
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Obituary of Dr. James William Gordon Nicholson

It is with great sadness that the family of Dr. James William Gordon Nicholson announce his passing in Frederick Hall at the Shannex, Fredericton, NB on November 14th. Jim was born in 1931 in Crapaud, PEI, and was the son of the late John and Gladys (Dunsford) Nicholson. 

Jim met the love of his life, Betty Nisbet, at the Youth Group of the Charlottetown YMCA, they married in 1955 and had four children. 

He is survived by his four children and eight grandchildren: Dan (Barb) Nicholson, their son Greg (Ali Kaminskas), daughter Katie Nicholson, and son-in-law Daniel Hachey; Betsy (Jorn) Landva and their daughter Karin (Ethan Green); Andrew (Paula) and their two children, Emily and Laura; as well as Arnold (Clare) and their three children Tom (Nicole Beckett), Alexa (Adam Brittain) and Sarah. He is also survived by his very special great-grandchildren Ayden, Ava, Ashton, Abbie, Izzy, and Henry; as well as his brother George of Crapaud, PEI, and many nieces and nephews.

Jim is predeceased by his parents, his wife Betty and, most recently, their granddaughter Jennifer Hachey.

Jim began is educational journey in a small, two room school in Crapaud, then went on to the Prince of Wales College, earned his BSc at the McDonald Campus of McGill University, and finally his MSc and PhD at Cornell University.

He had a 40-year career with the research branch of Agriculture Canada beginning in Charlottetown upon graduation from McDonald College in 1951 where he established the first research program on dairy cattle. While there he was granted educational leave to complete his MSc and PhD at Cornell University. In 1960 he transferred to Nappan, NS where he was responsible for the research on beef cattle. In 1965 he accepted a transfer to the National Institute of Dairy Research in England. Upon returning to Canada in 1966 he was transferred to the Fredericton Research Station in New Brunswick to set up a research team on animal nutrition. He was an internationally recognized animal nutritionist, author or co-author of over 100 peer reviewed publications and several book chapters.

He was an active member of many national and international organizations including the Canadian Society of Animal Science where he was awarded a medal for excellence in research, served as president, and became a life member. He served as Director and was elected a fellow in 1988 with the Agricultural Institute of Canada where he also became a life member. He was also a member of the International Dairy Federation; a Canadian consultant to the OECD for the cooperative project on food production and preservation; the American Society of Animal Production, and the American Dairy Science Association.

A strong believer that research was of no value until it was applied, in 1969 he initiated a semi-monthly news column called “Animal Production Pointers”. Initially only for the Maritime Farmer publication in Sussex, NB, it quickly expanded to over 50 newspapers, magazines, and radio stations. He was the coordinator of this project and wrote over half of the 500 articles published.

A lifelong member of the United Church he took an active role in the congregation, including Superintendent of Sunday School, Chair of Trustees, and Chair of the Committee for Youth Groups. A past President of the YMCA, he was active in the Y’s Men Club in Charlottetown, PEI, Amherst, NS, and Fredericton, NB (Epsilon Club). 

Jim took up curling at the Capital Winter Club in Fredericton, serving on many committees including a term as President. Always an avid gardener, he joined the Fredericton Botanical Association, serving as Chairman of the Site Development Committee and was also a member of the Fredericton Garden Club.

Jim, affectionately known as Grandad regardless of relation, was never happier than when he was working in his garden, flipping pancakes for his children and grandchildren, enjoying a game of bridge with friends, or just watching the sunset at his cottage on the beautiful Maquapit Lake.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McAdam’s Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at Wilmot United Church on Monday, November 20th at 11:00 a.m.  For those who wish to make a donation in Jim’s honor, the family requests consideration of the Fredericton Botanic Garden Fund held by the Fredericton Community Foundation or the United Way.


For those who are unable to attend in person, this service will be livestreamed by the church, the video may be found on their website https://www.youtube.com/live/NYBQNpdOiNk?si=PnYjcEZPDsCMv9bl

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