IN MEMORIAM: Wayne Nicholson ‘02

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From his classmates, the Rt. Rev. Jennifer Reddall, Bishop of Arizona, with the Rt. Rev. Gretchen Rehberg, Bishop of Spokane:

The Rev. Wayne Nicholson, Class of 2002, died on June 10, 2019 following injuries from a car accident.

Wayne had recently retired from St. John’s Episcopal Church, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, where he had served as Rector since 2006. Prior to serving in Mount Pleasant, Wayne had been Priest-in-Charge at St. Paul’s in Chester, New York. Wayne was sponsored for ordination by St. John’s, San Francisco, where the kneeling cushions he needlepointed are still in use.

At General Wayne notably helped found an on campus homeless shelter under the umbrella of the New York City Partnership for the Homeless. As a leader in the community discernment process he learned that “while opinions may differ, they can be offered honorably, and can be both listened to and heard [and] regarded with reason. But the bottom line that all share – our point of absolute agreement – has been a deep desire to listen for, and follow, the will of the Holy Spirit.”* He also served as a Sacristan, and found a role as the Chaplain to the 1999 seminary Football team. As such he censed the field at VTS and blessed their team in the name of Mary.

Wayne had a wry sense of humor and was a warm and joyful presence to all who knew him. He was president of the Community Council and presented great pieces at the Follies.  He was such a great cook – he did a wonderful Christmas Day breakfast our senior year using only a microwave, and when he had a real kitchen was a gourmet.  He was blessed with a metabolism which allowed him to use whipping cream for his coffee and eat clotted cream ice cream!  He learned to spin and weave and many now have tea towels and scarves he made. 

Wayne and his husband, Harry Nicholson, made a moving “It gets better….” video in 2016 where they testified to their experience that life as gay men did indeed get better, and that it is possible to find your soul mate late in life. They married in 2014.

Wayne and Harry moved to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, in late 2018 where they made their home near Wayne’s sister, Nikki Moon.  Friends and family gathered on June 15 for his burial office and Eucharist at St. Peter’s-by-the-Sea in Gulfport, MS.  The Rev. Patrick Sanders, Rector, preached and General Seminary was sung.

*The General Seminary News, Summer 2000