An Obituary: Raymond S. Nickerson

Raymond S. Nickerson, PhD, 91, of Bedford died on Dec. 13, 2022, at Emerson Hospital after a brief illness.

Ray attended Providence Bible College as an undergraduate, where he met and married his wife of 62 years, Doris Van Sant. He served in the US Army for two years before earning his Master’s degree at the University of Maine Orono in 1959, and his PhD from Tufts University in 1965. 

He became an internationally recognized researcher and author of many articles and books in the fields of cognitive psychology, applied experimental psychology, and human factors. After spending 25 years at Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc (BBN Systems and Technologies), he retired as a senior vice president and returned to Tufts University as a research professor until his death.

Raymond S. Nickerson

Ray and Doris had four children, one of whom, Danny, struggled with multiple physical and cognitive challenges. Ray became very active in advocating for services for people and families facing similar challenges through his work with the Minute Man Arc for Human Services and the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council.

Following Danny’s death, Ray and Doris established the Daniel Raymond Nickerson Foundation that continues to provide small grants to benefit people with disabilities. 

Ray was also very active in church life, both teaching an adult class at the Arlington Heights Baptist Church for many years, and more recently as a congregant at Grace Chapel, where he enjoyed working with the self-named “Council of Olders” that provided maintenance services for the church.

Visitation will be held at the Bedford Funeral Home, 167 Great Rd., Bedford, from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30.

A memorial service will be held at Grace Chapel, 59 Worthen Rd., Lexington, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31 with a reception to follow to share memories and refreshments.

Click here to read the complete announcement.

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