Arnold Nickerson

Arnold Alvin "Joe" Nickerson IV

Thursday, January 7th, 1960 - Thursday, January 23rd, 2020
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Dateline – Arundel
Arnold Alvin “Joe” Nickerson IV 60 yrs., a resident of Arundel died tragically on Thursday January 23, 2020 after his boat, the F/V Hayley Ann sank in the Atlantic Ocean - 50 miles off Portland, Maine.
Joe was born in Saco, Maine on January 7, 1960 the son of Arnold A. Nickerson III and Susan Hanson and graduated from Kennebunk High School, Class of 1978. He attended diving school in California where he received his commercial hard hat scuba diving certification. He was always willing to drop everything to help friends, family, and neighbors.
Joe spent his life on the water. In his early years, he spent time lobstering with his dad out of Cape Porpoise before running a number of fishing vessels out of Portland, Maine and Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
When Joe and his wife had their daughter he purchased his own boat to be home. His vessel the Hayley Ann was named for his daughter and his wife. Joe spend many years fishing off Cape Porpoise and Portland, ME for many years until his final trip.
Joe loved the Ocean and spending time with his family and his beloved grandson, Killian, who he had hoped to one day pass along his knowledge and love of sea. Joe traveled with his wife, daughter and her family annually for many years to his second home in Aruba.
Joe was elected in 2019 as the chairman of the board of directors for the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association. He served as vice chair for the previous 7 years and helped build the organization from a volunteer group of fishermen to one of the most respected commercial fishing advocacy organizations in the country.
He is predeceased by his mother Susan Hanson Spiller.
Joe is survived by his wife of 34 years Sharon Ann Rivard Nickerson of Arundel who he adored; his beloved daughter Hayley Renee Brown and her husband Isaac James and his grandson Killian Jack Brown all of West Kennebunk; his father Arnold A. Nickerson III of Sanford; his brother Andy Nickerson of Portland, ME; two sisters: Bonnie Weeman and her husband Mark of Kennebunk and Patty Walters and her husband Bill of Greensboro, NC; several nieces andnephews and many cousins, including his nephew Joel T. Rivard of Arundel who Joe taught from a young age everything he knew about lobstering and fishing. From the day Joe sat Joel in his captain's chair Joel caught the fishing bug and Joe's love and passion for the industry will live on through him.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday February 1, 2020 at 1pm at the American Legion Hall, 102 Main Street, Kennebunkport (Across street from Kennebunkport Police Department).
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Maine Coast Fisherman’s Association Box 40 Brunswick, Maine 04011 in Arnold A. “Joe” Nickerson’s memory
To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Joe’s Book of Memories
Page at
Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME
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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, February 1st, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Saturday, February 1st, 2020 1:00pm
    Kennebunkport Legion Hall
    102 Main Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Celebration of Life Service.


Donations are being accepted for: Maine Coast Fisherman's Association.


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Jim Doherty

Posted at 07:46pm
All the best to family and friends during this difficult time regarding Joe's untimely passing Joe was a genuine person; you always knew where you stood, and his good nature was infectious. We had some good times at Kennebunk H.S. and I will always remember Joe smiling and having fun . R.I.P. Joe

Roger Hale, Pres. General Marine Construction Corp.

Posted at 10:03am
To the family of my friend Joe. Although I have not known Joe a long time, it is truly amazing how much respect I had for the man. After Joe moved his boat to Deaks Wharf a couple years ago we realized he was a gentle giant. He was always helpful and offered good sound advice. He leaves a giant hole in our wharf family. He will be dearly missed by all on Deaks Wharf.

joseph B. Wodjenski

Posted at 12:13pm
I met Joe when I was a fishery observer aboard the Hayley Ann in 2005. I subsequently observed the Haley Ann a handful of times between 2005 and 2007. I'll never forget my first trip with Joe. He wasn't happy that day because he wasn't catching as many fish as he wanted too. He vented about the govt' to me, like most fisherman do when there's an observer onboard, but he did it in a respectful and thoughtful way that opened up a conversation where in the end I felt like I made a true connection with him. We were only 3 years apart. Joe's enthusiasm and love of fishing and the ocean was intense and I felt it at a level that made clear why he loved being a fisherman. I remember feeling at that time that I'd missed the boat in my career path, literally. That day started calm and got windy. A very large pod of White-sided dolphin showed up just after Joe hauled back and was dropping "F" bombs about his disappointing catch. After watching the dolphin spectacle for a few minutes I looked over at Joe who was also watching the dolphins and he gave me a big smile. I'm still not sure if he smiled because he was enjoying the show too or because he could sense my mutual love for being out on the ocean. Either way it felt to me like we shared a moment of Joy that gave me a glimpse of what a big hearted person he was. After that he always gave me that smile whenever I saw him at the pier in Cape Porpoise, at a meeting or at the fisherman's forum.
Joe will be missed big time!
Joe Wodjenski

Sheila Lecander

Posted at 05:48pm
I remember Joey, Sharon and Haley visiting at my mom, Joan Snow's house. They are like family. So much so that my mom measured them up against our door jam along with the rest of us. Needless to say Joey was the tallest! :)

Dina Brochu

Posted at 04:23pm
We so sorry to hear of this tragedy. We knew how your family was such a close loving family through Rubie. We really have no words but want you to know you will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers as you continue to process during this difficult time. Love Dina and Bob Brochu

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