James Dorris “Bezo” Nicholson, 89, departed this life on Saturday June 30, 2018 at his home in Newport, Arkansas.
He was born on January 16, 1929, in Grubbs, the son of the late Samuel Stuckey Nicholson and Mary Edith (Sutherland) Nicholson. He grew up on a dairy farm outside of town that supplied much of the milk to Newport in the 1930s.
Bezo attended Newport High School, where he was an All-State tackle for the Greyhounds. “Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em, Bezo block ‘em!” was a cheer commonly heard from the hometown stands on Friday nights. He joined the army in 1946 then returned home to marry his high school sweetheart Emma Retta (Hanshaw) Nicholson in May of 1947. Together for 71 years, they raised three boys and built Nicholson farms, a multigenerational farming operation that has grown cotton, wheat, soybeans, rice, and milo all across Jackson County. Farming was his passion and his every day thought, and he did it well. He was a member of First Christian Church in Newport and the American Legion. Bezo enjoyed watching his sons and grandchildren play sports and could often be heard instructing from the stands or lining out the occasional referee. He loved his family well, was always there to lend a hand to a fellow farmer, and lit up around his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Bezo took great pride in everything he did. He never quite retired from a life working the fields and was always a good steward of the land that God had entrusted him to care for.
He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother Kenneth “Stoney” Nicholson, and two sisters Wilma Tiner and Betty Doty.
He is survived by his wife Emma Retta Nicholson of the home, three sons Jimmy Don Nicholson, Samuel Stuckey Nicholson (wife Lynn), and Gary Wayne Nicholson all of Newport, one brother Larry “Buckshot” Nicholson of Newport, three sisters Rosemary Fortenberry of Hot Springs, Sammy Byford of Searcy, and Ann Norman of Searcy, three grandchildren Jimmy Don “Nick” Nicholson Jr (wife Andrea) of Tuckerman, Brett Nicholson (wife Nikki) of Newport, and Kelly McKinney (husband Paul) of Newport, six great-grandchildren Bailey Nicholson, Alex Nicholson, Hannah Nicholson, Ty Nicholson, Lila Nicholson, and Josh McKinney, and a host of lifelong friends. His family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to Marlene Hughes and Teresa Cheshier for the loving care they extended to him during these last few years.
A visitation will be held on Monday, July 2nd from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Jackson’s Funeral Home in Newport. Funeral services will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 3rd at Jackson’s Funeral Home in Newport, followed by interment at Walnut Grove Cemetery in Newport. The pallbearers will be Larry “Buckshot” Nicholson, Jimmy Don Nicholson, Sam Nicholson, Gary Nicholson, Brett Nicholson, Nick Nicholson, Alex Nicholson, and Paul McKinney. Honorary pallbearers are John Minor, Dub Sullivan, Gilford Dudley, Tommy Bain, Brouse Holden, Junior Hinkle, and all employees past and present of B&G Agri.