TOWN OF VARICK- Margaret Ellen Greene Nicklin ("Peggy"), 71, passed away peacefully on March 6, 2019, at Geneva Living Center North, following a valiant year-long battle with cancer. A celebration of life memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday April 22, at Geneva Presbyterian Church, 24 Park Place Geneva, NY 14456. Burial will follow in the Grace Willowdale Cemetery.
Peggy was born on January 5, 1948, in Bradford, PA, welcomed into her home by her parents (the late) Robert C. and Jeanne M. (Purnell) Greene, and older brother Robert C. Greene Jr. ("Bobby"). A few years thereafter, another brother joined the family, Howard David.
Her childhood family of five later moved to Bellefonte PA, where Peggy attended elementary & middle school, and participated in Brownies & Girl Scouts. As part of the latter, she enjoyed swimming, camping, and boating — combining two of these during a multi-night overnight adventure at camp, in which members of her troop gradually canoed a long stretch of the Susquehanna River, in Pennsylvania.
In the early 1960s, her family moved again, this time to a cottage home on Seneca Lake, where her aquatic interests were expanded — she soon learned to sail, and became a skilled and avid waterskier. On the weekend of Labor Day 1963, she became the one of the first two people to ski the length of Seneca Lake on one ski (a feat accomplished at the same time by fellow waterskier and good friend Laura Young).
Also during this same time period, Peggy was joined by two more siblings — her childhood family had now grown to seven, following the births of younger brothers Christopher and Peter. (together sometimes humorously described by her mother as "my second litter").
In her teenage years at Romulus Central School, Peggy was Vice President of her class, member of Junior & Senior National Honor Societies, and participated in pep, drama, language, & newspaper clubs, as well as chorus. In her senior year, she was voted "most likely to succeed" by her class, along with another classmate.
After high school graduation, Peggy attended Cornell University (Martha Van Rensselaer School of Human Ecology), earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Consumer Economics. Also while at Cornell, she was a member of Kappa Delta sorority, Omega Chi chapter.
Following graduation from college, Peggy began a career in teaching (Home Economics). It was during this time that she met and married Robert A. Nicklin ("Arnie"). While this marriage would later end in divorce, he was also the man she would retrospectively describe as "the love of my life". The marriage produced two children, William ("Bill") and Carolyn ("Carrie").
Most passionate of all of Peggy's pursuits were her family and children, and from the late 1970s to the early 1990s she stepped away from her teaching career to dedicate time to raising her two children as a full-time parent. Parallel to this she was an active volunteer in various organizations, including Cub Scouts and Brownies, and served as president of the school PTA.
In the early 1990s, with children now in their teenage years, Peggy began to prepare for a third career by studying nursing at Mankato (Minnesota) State University, completing a second bachelor of science degree in 1996. As a child and adolescent, Peggy had imagined one day being a nurse as an adult. This aspiration was now realized, and she worked serving patient needs for over a decade as an RN in both Minnesota and Virginia.
Over the years, and through various life transitions, Peggy lived in many towns and homes in Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Minnesota, and Virginia. Following retirement, she settled back into her cherished childhood home on Seneca Lake.
Amongst her many hobbies and interests were sewing, gardening, refinishing furniture, reading, history, and travel. She had a great fondness for 1960s folk music, NPR radio programs, and various television dramas, all of which she would dovetail with one of her most passionate interests, quilting. Beginning in the 1980s, and continuing for the next 30 years, Peggy lovingly created nearly 50 quilts, all stitched by hand.
During best of times, Peggy was a purveyor of boundless enthusiasm. When confronted with the spectre of cancer, she was both optimistic and pragmatic, embracing the outlook of, "hope for the best, plan for the worst". And while looking back retrospectively, she would acknowledge with gratitude and appreciation, "I've lived a good life". She was much beloved in her many roles, including mother and dear friend. She will be greatly missed.
She is survived by her son, Bill Nicklin of Geneva; daughter, Carrie (Jason) Gordon of Chaska, MN; brothers, H. David Greene of East Aurora, NY, Christopher C. Greene of Suwanee, GA, and Peter P. Greene of Rogers, AR.; grandchildren, Landen and Kinley; fourteen nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, Margaret was predeceased by her brother, Robert C. Greene Jr., and two nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to radio station WEOS and the American Cancer Society.