Nola “Darlene” (Rickman) Nickell-Gibson, 68, of Dayton, Ohio, passed away at home on Monday, May 18, surrounded by her loving family. Darlene was born in Detroit, Michigan to Mari Geneva and Herbert Rickman on June 11, 1951, the third of six children. Darlene attended Lebanon High School (Class of ’69) where she met her future husband, Stephen “Steve” Lee Nickell. Darlene and Steve had two daughters, Mari and Mica, before his passing in 1977. In 1979, Darlene married her long-time partner Donald “Don” Eugene Gibson, Sr. Darlene was preceded in death by her mother, Mari; father, Herbert; husband, Steve; adored nephew, James “Jimmy” Dykes, beloved Aunt and Uncle, Nola and Pete Sutherland; Father-in-law, Clifford Nickell; Mother and Father-in-law, Denver and Mabel Gibson. She is survived in death by her life-time partner, Don; four dearly loved children, Mari (Joseph) Levinson, Mica (Christopher) Howard, Scott Gibson, and Donald Gibson, Jr.; five siblings, Carol (Robert) Cox, Vicky Anne (Donny) Dykes, Lonnie (Sharon) Rickman, Irene (Mark) Thomas, and Terri (Eric) Henricksen; seven adored grandchildren, Christopher (Katie) Howard, Jacob (Selena) Carver, Megan Daniel, Morgan Daniel, Denver Gibson, Joshua Levinson, and Ari Levinson; and her much adored great-grandson, Ryland Fain. Darlene also was survived by two “adopted” daughters, Angel (Steve) Grimm and Jade (Jason) Sartin and their children whom she considered grandchildren, Jordan and Austin Grimm & Jasalyn and Jayla Sartin. She also is survived by a multitude of cherished nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Above all else, Darlene loved spending time with her family and friends. Darlene was a ferocious board game player, a lover of Stephen King, a zombie-movie aficionado, a giver of deep belly laughs. Darlene loved Broadway musicals, eating popcorn and Junior Mints at the movies, and watching all genres of television (especially her soap operas). She also reveled in good food (especially jelly donuts) and going out to eat with her family. She also particularly enjoyed bragging about her children and grandchildren – even if she had to stretch the truth to express how wonderful she felt they were. Contrary to her telling, Jacob is not 6’4 and was not capable of picking her up and carrying her around, Morgan is not pitching fastpitch softball on TV, and Megan is not an artist living in downtown Cincinnati (Mari, however, is married to a doctor). Darlene will be deeply and profoundly missed by all those fortunate enough to have known her, laughed with her, and been loved by her.
Due to the global pandemic, a private viewing and funeral service will be at Newcomer Funeral Home, 3940 Kettering Boulevard, Kettering, Ohio, on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 10 A.M. The burial will be held immediately following at Woodside Cemetery in Middletown, Ohio.
Normally, her family would request donations to the American Cancer Society or Hospice of Dayton in her name; BUT Darlene was adamant she wanted lots of flowers. If you are so inclined, pink was her favorite color. Please send to Newcomer Funeral Home in her name.