Parade regular will be missed this Fourth

Nancy Stickles won't be in her traditional spot at the Towson parade this year. A parade regular who only missed two Towson parades in her whole life, the Lutherville native died April 22 at age 82 after a stroke.

But she will be remembered. At her death, in lieu of flowers, mourners made donations to the parade fund, according to her daughter, Dawn Schneiderman, of Towson. Because of her request, her picture appears with donors on the website. Her name will be mentioned by the master of ceremonies during the parade, as well.

"It's wonderful to see this 70-year tradition she was a big part of," said Nancy Hafford executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, the parade organizer this year. "It's one way of keeping her memory alive."

Stickles attended her first parade as a child when her father, a member of the Elks and a Towson barber, was a parade founder more than 70 years ago.

"She liked the traditions and the fact the holiday brought all the family in," Schneiderman said. Attendance at the parade was required for both Schneiderman and her brother, "Buff" Stickles, of Cockeysville, and later for the four grandchildren and great grandchild.

His mother often reminded Buff Stickles that his birth was one of the reasons she missed a parade. Illness kept her from last year's parade, as well.

But before that, she was up at 4 a.m. every Fourth of July, setting up the family's traditional spot along the parade route. She changed locations only once — and that was the year the parade route changed.

"She was Miss Holiday," her daughter said.

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