Dr. J. Laws Nickens Sr., dentist, dies at 91

March 09, 2010|By Jacques Kelly

Dr. J. Laws Nickens Sr., a retired dentist, died Feb. 21 of lymphoma at his Roland Park Place home. He was 91.

Born in Northumberland County, Va., he was a 1938 graduate of Douglass High School, where he was a center on the football team and its captain. He attended Morgan State University, but his studies were interrupted by his service in World War II. He was also captain of the Morgan football team.

Dr. Nickens attended Army Officer Candidate School and served initially in coastal defense at Pearl Harbor. He later took fighter-pilot training at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. After deciding he did not want to be a pilot, Dr. Nickens served the rest of the war as an infantry combat engineer in Italy. He left military service as a second lieutenant.

He then completed his degree at Morgan and graduated from the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in 1950.

Dr. Nickens established a dental practice in Baltimore and had an office for many years at Fulton Avenue and Baker Street. He retired in 1981.

He served on the North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners from 1982 to 2003. He was the vice president of the Maryland State Dental Board of Examiners in 1986 and was a life member of the Maryland Dental Society.

A member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, he played bridge and was part of the Baltimore Congress of Bridge Clubs. He also belonged to the Monumental Golf Club and played in many of its tournaments. Dr. Nickens swam almost daily at the Druid Hill YMCA and was a season ticket holder to the Colts and Ravens.

Services were held Feb. 27 at Union Baptist Church, where he was a member.

Survivors include his wife of 69 years, the former Bernice Young; a son, Dr. J. Laws Nickens Jr., also a dentist; and a sister, Etna N. Blackwell, all of Baltimore.

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