Gwendolyn James Bateman Nicholson
Gwendolyn James Bateman Nicholson
  • July 3, 1925 - December 15, 2017
  • Raleigh, North Carolina

Share This Obituary

Gwendolyn James Bateman Nicholson passed away on Friday, December 15, 2017, after 92 wonderful years. Gwen was born in Ahoskie, N.C., and grew up in Tarboro, N.C., the daughter of Gwendolyn James and William Joseph Bateman. She graduated from Virginia Intermont College in 1944.
After graduating, she secured a job in the admissions department at UNC Chapel Hill, where hers was the first pretty face to welcome the returning servicemen at the end of WWII. Henry Gilliam (Gilly) Nicholson, also of Tarboro but several years older than Gwen, was one of those young men reentering school. She arranged for him to give her a ride home for Christmas and that was it for Gilly. Their lifelong love affair began. They married six months later.
In 1958 they moved from Tarboro to Raleigh with their four children and became active in their community. Gwen loved her book clubs, her bridge clubs, swimming, and playing tennis with her many friends.
Gwen and Gilly joined Saint Michael's Episcopal Church and soon were deeply involved in all aspects of church life. Gwen loved raising her four perfect children: Hannah, Gilliam, Gwen, and Bill, and Duchess, a black lab, who ruled the Nicholson household.
Gwen was a dynamo. She wanted to travel and see the world, so she did. She created the Raleigh Theater Bridge Train and she loved taking women to New York by train to see plays. Then she decided that she could also take people on trips to countries all over the world, even though she had never been outside the United States.except for that time they flew to Cuba in a small plane just months before the revolution there. She also started a small business doing antique appraisals for insurance and estate purposes.
Besides her friends from everywhere, Gwen is survived by her four children and their spouses, whom she loved dearly: Hannah and Bob Poteat, Gilliam and Margaret Nicholson, Gwen and Thad Barringer, and Bill and Sharon Nicholson, all of Raleigh. Those apron strings didn't stretch very far.
She is also survived by her grandchildren and their spouses: Hannah Poteat (Mike Johnson), Morgan Poteat Corbett (Brian), Rebecca Barringer McCleary (Kirby), TJ Barringer (Jessie), Nick Barringer (Merritt), Catherine Nicholson (Steve Smith), Bo Nicholson, William Nicholson (Lauren), and Henry Nicholson. Great grandchildren are Charlie Corbett, Essie Corbett, Louise Corbett, Katie McCleary, Luke McCleary, Jones Barringer, Hayns Barringer, and Hudson Barringer. Also surviving are her sister, Billie (Dick) Futrell of Morehead City and her brother, Bill (Brenda) Bateman of Raleigh, and lots of nieces and nephews who loved her and involved Aunt Gwen in their lives. Her family members were her greatest treasures.
Gwen was predeceased by her husband, Gilly Nicholson, her grandson, Hubie Poteat, and her sister, Lois Jean Blanchard of New Bern.
The family is deeply grateful for the care provided to Gwen by the staff at Springmoor and the Stewart Health Center. They, in particular Marcy Spruill, provided loving and supportive care in her final months.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Saint Michael's Episcopal Church, 1520 Canterbury Road, on Friday, Dec. 22, at 1 p.m. A reception in the parish hall will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial to The Holy Michael Foundation in care of St. Michael's Episcopal Church or a charity of one's choice.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh, NC.