Eugene Nickens, longshoreman

Eugene Nickens, a retired longshoreman and an outdoorsman, died Friday of kidney failure at the Joseph Richey House hospice in Baltimore. He was 87.

The son of Eugene Nickens, who worked in a dry-cleaning establishment, and Annie Nickens, a housekeeper, Eugene Nickens was born in Baltimore.

When he was 11, he moved with his family to the historic African-American community of Pumphrey in Anne Arundel County, where they settled on a chicken farm.

Mr. Nickens attended Wiley H. Bates High School in Annapolis until the 11th grade, when he left after the death of his father to help operate the family farm.

A resident of Pumphrey for more than 70 years, Mr. Nickens later worked as a chauffeur and at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point plant before taking a job as a longshoreman on the Baltimore waterfront, where he rose to supervisor. He retired in the 1970s.

An outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing, Mr. Nickens also was a gun and rifle collector. He was a member of the Virginia Hunting Club.

Mr. Nickens was a longtime active member of Community Baptist Church, where he served as a trustee and sang with the choir.

His wife of 57 years, the former Minnie Ballard, died in 2003.

Funeral services for Mr. Nickens will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at his church, 5912 Belle Grove Road, Pumphrey.

Mr. Nickens is survived by a son, Eugene Nickens III of Florida; three daughters, Ingrid Nickens and Renee Nickens, both of Baltimore, and Francesca Sanders of Florida; a sister, Ruth Hopson of Odenton; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Another son, Kurt Nickens, died in 2013.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad