Charles Nickelson, age 103, of Elizabeth Township, died at home on April 27, 2022. Born January 8, 1919, in Mt. Oliver, he was the son of the late Nicholas (Nicolou) and Antonia (Bukes) Nickelson, who both immigrated from Mamarion, Greece, and beloved husband of the late Mary (Crne) Nickelson for over 60 years. Mr. Nickelson was a US Army Veteran who served on the island of New Caledonia in the South Pacific during World War II. His infant son James was born and died in McKeesport during this period. Mr. Nickelson never saw his son. When he returned home, he worked for his older brother James who owned the Penn Clair Hotel in Clairton. He and his wife Mary opened the St. Clair Restaurant in Clairton, which they operated for over 30 years until their retirement in the late 1970s. He worked in his family’s restaurants and candy shops as a young boy. He learned how to make chocolate candies from his older sister, Sophia, who owned the popular “Candy Land” in McKeesport. He continued to make chocolate candies for family and friends until he was about 95 years old. He had an excellent aptitude for mechanics and became computer literate in his 70s.
He was active daily on his desktop and laptop computers until days before his passing. Charles had an extensive knowledge and understanding of history, geography, and world events. He was a member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in White Oak. Uncle Charlie was one of the last surviving members of the “Greatest Generation,” and he will be missed. Charles is survived by two nieces, Toni Seth, of Philadelphia, and his primary caregiver, Kathleen (Duane) Gephart, of Elizabeth Township; nephews, Joseph (Joanne) Hoffman, of White Oak, Thomas Matich, of St. Louis, MO, and James (Donna) Matich, of New London, CT and also great-nieces and great-nephews. In addition to his parents and wife, Charles was also preceded in death by his brother, James Nickelson; sisters, Sophia Bukes, Maria "Mary" Matich, Elizabeth "Betty" Hoffman, Georgia Isbir, and nephew, Nicholas (Joyce) Matich. Arrangements were entrusted to Willig Funeral Home & Crematory. Military honors will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2022, at the McKeesport & Versailles Cemetery chapel at 10 a.m. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.willigfuneralcremationservices.com. The family is very appreciative for the kindness and generosity of his caregiver Audrey Pellecchia. Charles Danforth, Supervisor
To send flowers to Charles' family, please visit our floral store.