Celebrating the life of Paul Coe Nicholson
Be the first to share your favorite memory, photo or story of Paul. This memorial page is dedicated for family, friends and future generations to celebrate the life of their loved one.
We ask on behalf of the family that you keep your comments uplifting and appropriate to help all who come here to find comfort and healing.
Nicholson for 73 years, and a lifelong resident of Providence and summer
resident of Bristol, died peacefully on February 3rd, 2018 with his family.
He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, October 12, 1918, the son of Paul
Coe Nicholson and Martha Freeman Sayles Nicholson. He attended the Gordon
School in Providence, Providence Country Day School, graduated from St. Paul’s
School, Concord, N H, and from the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale
University in the class of 1940. Paul and Adelaide married in April of 1942.
Paul then served in the Navy for four and a half years where he was in
charge of ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theatres as Lieutenant
Following the War, he returned to Providence and rejoined Nicholson File
Company, the world's largest manufacturer of files and rasps, where he was
employed for the next twenty-seven years, seventeen as president and CEO and
three as chairman. During his long business career, Mr. Nicholson served on
the board of directors of a number of companies, among them: Nicholson File
Company, Fleet National Bank, Fleet Financial Group, Providence Journal
Company, Allendale Mutual Insurance Company, American Mutual Liability
Insurance Company, American Screw Company, Rhode Island Electric Protective
Company, Sayles Finishing Plants, Inc. and the Moshasuck Valley Railroad. He
was the past president of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association,
and in 1969 he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science in Business
Administration from Bryant University.
The charitable cause always closest to his heart was the Boy Scouts of
America. He served over fifty years on the Executive Board of Narragansett
Council, of which he was a past president. Mr. Nicholson was president of
Rhode Island Boy Scouts for twenty-seven of these years. He was a recipient
of Scouting Silver Beaver Award for “distinguished service to boyhood”.
Among other organizations which he served for various terms as trustee were:
Providence Public Library, Butler Hospital, Roger Williams General Hospital
and Salisbury School, Salisbury, CT. He was a member of the Permanent
Diaconate of Central Congregational Church, Providence.
Mr. Nicholson’s two favorite recreational activities were yachting and fly
fishing. He and his wife owned a long line of sailing boats in which they
raced and cruised extensively until advancing age dictated a more prudent
shift to power. Their travels afloat took them along the whole east coast and to a number of foreign countries. For over forty years they maintained a cottage at the
Blooming Grove Hunting and Fishing Club in Blooming Grove, Pennsylvania
where they spent many happy hours enjoying fly fishing, the other recreation
which meant so much to both of them. Until his death he was a member of the New York Yacht Club, Cruising Club of America, Ida Lewis Yacht Club and the Hope Club of Providence.
Mr. Nicholson is survived by his four children: Paul C. Nicholson III of Osprey, FL; Thomas H. Nicholson of Weston, MA; Martha N. Lohaus of Clarksville, MD; and Adelaide Nicholson of Conifer, CO. He is also survived by ten grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will take place on Friday. May 4, 2018 at 11:30am at Central Congregational Church, Angell St in Providence, RI. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent in his memory to: Rhode Island Boy Scouts, P.O. Box 14777, East Providence, RI 02914.
To send flowers or plant a tree in memory of Paul Coe Nicholson, visit the Tribute Store.