Nadine Avis Nickens died peacefully on April 9, 2022 in her son's home in Chatham County, North Carolina. She was 105 years old.
She was born February 1, 1917 in D'Lo, Mississippi as the first child of Robert Leo Nickens and Lilian Mae Johnson. Her father's work in forestry led to a childhood in remarkable locations. She shared vivid stories of the beauty of the landscapes of Três Barras, Santa Catherina, Brazil; Tenmile, Oregon; and Norman's Castle, Abaco, The Bahamas.
She attended St Joseph's Academy in St Augustine, Florida, then lived with her aunt Modena Holland to graduate from high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She moved to Florida where she worked for Southern Bell.
She met Georgia Representative Laurier Sheffield Bush of Mitchell County, Georgia and married him on June 11, 1940 in Columbia, Florida. They lived on their farm, about nine miles south of Camilla, Georgia. Her son Laurier Ross was born in 1941. The family moved to Homestead, Florida in the 1950s. There, Nadine and Laurier divorced. Nadine met Benjamin (Ben) Allen Shuler and they were wed on July 17, 1956. They lived at 235 NW 19th St in Homestead for many years.
Nadine worked for Southern Bell. After retirement, she took up painting, mentored by Florida painter A. E. Backus. Her work delighted the friends and family who received her canvases of Georgia and Florida landscapes, poinciana trees, and increasingly abstract works.
After Ben died in 1993, Nadine moved to Sun City Center, Florida where she met Charles Hugh Draper. They married July 4, 2002 and enjoyed cruises and travel.
As they became less active, Nadine's niece Constance Pettit helped them live comfortably and safely. Her gift of care meant Nadine could be at home through her 105th birthday. Her spiritual life was evident in her kindness and warmth. She had an ability to uplift and inspire friends and strangers with her positive thinking. She was a Religious Science Practitioner for over 65 years, and was trained during Ernest Holmes' life by his cousin, Idella Chadwick. Every morning she read the Daily Guides of Science of Mind Magazine and did what she called her "work," praying for everyone and the world.
Nadine was predeceased by her parents; stepmother Abigail (Abbie) Collins; husbands Laurier Sheffield Bush, Benjamin (Ben) Allen Shuler, and Charles Hugh Draper; stepchildren Eugene Dale Shuler and Dan Draper; her brother Robert Leo Nickens Jr., and one step-granddaughter.
Surviving is her son, Laurier Ross Bush and his wife Marie of Apex, NC, her stepchildren Christine Dimitrijevich, Arlene Byrne, Lisa Draper, Kathan Draper, Bruce Draper, and Charles (Reg) Draper; three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, and nine step-great-grandchildren.
Cremation arrangements entrusted to Piedmont Cremation & Funeral Service of Graham, NC.
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