Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Friends and family remember Alex Dean Nickerson

Obituary submitted by Amber Nickerson


September 30, 2021

Alex Dean Nickerson passed away peacefully on Monday, September 20, 2021, surrounded by family at home in Seattle, WA after an 8 year battle with Ewing Sarcoma. Alex was 24.

Alex was born on July 11, 1997, in Juneau, Alaska. Alex’s early years were spent living in small Southeast Alaska towns (Haines, Skagway, Wrangell) and the winters were spent in Ellensburg, WA.

When Alex was 5, his family moved to Prince of Wales Island and shortly thereafter settled in Craig, AK. Alex was a proud Alaskan, and his upbringing fostered a love and appreciation of the outdoors as well as lifelong friendships. During elementary and middle school in Craig, Alex and his friends loved the outdoors, baseball, fishing, and of course gaming. During these years, Alex’s sense of humor and quick wit were honed to a razor’s edge and enjoyed by all. Alex loved his brother and sister and was in his element when the three of them did something together.

At age 14, Alex and his family moved to live full time in Ellensburg, where he enjoyed making new friends, dirt biking, and snowmobiling.

At age 15, Alex was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma which turned his world upside down, but Alex handled it all with grace and dignity. He made everyone around him feel like it was no big deal. At the end of 2013, Alex went into remission and slowly returned to everyday life which included high school, making new friends, working in Alaska during the summers, snowmobiling, dirt biking, and playing with his dog Kato. Alex had a goal of completing the Desert 100, an extremely strenuous dirt bike race, which he accomplished in 2016 with his dad.

After high school, Alex pursued his college education in the study of computer science at Western Oregon University, which is where he met the love of his life, McKenzie. On October 19, 2020, Alex and McKenzie set out before the first light of day on a hike to the top of the Diablo Lake overlook in the North Cascades National Park where they exchanged wedding vows in a beautiful sunrise ceremony.

Alex had a love for cars and a natural talent for automotive projects. Throughout the years he bought, fixed up, and sold his Ranger, Subaru WRX, Wrangler, Colorado, and Tacoma. Alex also took on the task of importing and fully restoring his Land Rover Defender from Spain. He enjoyed convincing McKenzie and his family to join him on off-roading adventures that typically ended with camping and fishing. If you couldn’t find him in the garage working on one of his cars you might find him in his office soldering together a custom computer keyboard. Alex also enjoyed online gaming, which is how he stayed connected to his friends from all the places he had lived.

Alex was a realist and could always provide a simple solution to something everyone else felt was complicated. He was an old soul and a wise counselor, and he could be relied upon for advice as he always seemed to know the right answer.

Alex had a wonderful team at Seattle Children’s Hospital that provided him with love and care throughout his entire journey. For this, we are grateful.

Alex is survived by his wife McKenzie of Portland; his father and mother Kelly and Christina Nickerson; his brother and sister-in-law Austin and Lena Nickerson along with his nieces Anna and Ellie all of Ellensburg; and his sister Amber Nickerson of Seattle. He also leaves his paternal grandparents, Norris Nickerson of Gig Harbor and Judy Nickerson of Shelton; his maternal grandparents James Messer of Covington and Toni Messer of Issaquah, and several loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, October 8, 2021, at 2 pm at Canyon River Ranch located at 14700 WA-821 Ellensburg, WA 98926. His family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations in Alex’s memory be made to Seattle Children’s Hospital or Make-A-Wish Foundation.




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