Pipkin Family Association

Joe & Phyllis Nickel Hoggatt

Submitted by Phyllis Nickel Hoggatt

[Phyllis was one of the founding members of the Pipkin Family Association in 1963 and served in the capacity of Secretary/Treasurer for over 30 years.]

Phyllis Lenore was born December 29, 1925 in Bingham, Utah, daughter of Ernest F. Nickel and Lenora (Ashcroft) Nickel. She was taken to Las Vegas, Nevada when she was 10 days old, where her father was working for the Railroad.

Phyllis married James R. Leemer on June 6, 1942 at the Las Vegas Gunnary School Chapel. James was a soldier in California. Phyllis lived in Los Angeles in 1944 and worked for the Aircraft X-ray Corp. She and James divorced in 1944.

Phyllis moved back to Las Vegas and worked at the Gunnery School, now Nellis Air Force Base as a civilian truck driver. She met Joseph Ferrara, a soldier from Kingston, NY and they were married on January 6, 1945, just six weeks after they met. Joe was in the Army-Air Force for 12 years and they were stationed in California, Arizona, Utah and Florida. After leaving the service they returned to their home in Las Vegas. Joe worked for a concrete company and poured concrete in the building of the Riviera, Fremont and other hotels in the 1950’s. Phyllis became a telephone operator and worked at the Riviera Hotel before going to the Sahara Hotel where she became the Chief Telephone operator until August 1961 when they moved to Banks, Oregon. Phyllis’ parents lived in Jewell and her sister Joyce Griswold and her husband Gene also resided in Banks, Oregon.

In Oregon Phyllis worked at Sawyers, and later as a waitress and an assistant cook at Camp Kiwanilong and Astoria Jr. High School and Tektronix before working as a proof reader for the Forest Grove News Times. It was at this time that Phyllis wrote her book on the Benjamin Nickel Family, as she had been interested in genealogy since she was 13 years old. In 1972 Phyllis began working at the Washington County Courthouse, at the Tax Office, then as a secretary for the Maintenance department before retiring in 1980. Phyllis and Joe lived in the Thatcher area, northwest of Forest Grove for 26 years. Joe and Phyllis were married for 47 years.

Phyllis met Kenneth Hoggatt at St. Vincent Hospital where Joe and Kenneth’s wife were both on dialysis. Joe had been ill for several years and both Joe and Kenneth’s wife died in 1992. Phyllis married Kenneth July 24, 1993 in Forest Grove.

Since both Phyllis and Kenneth were interested in genealogy, they decided to record all the cemeteries in Washington County in memory of their deceased spouses. They wrote two books and loved photography and traveling. They took two trips across the US searching for information on their ancestors. She was preceded in death by Kenneth.

Phyllis collected dolls for several years and had hoped to have a doll museum. She had been president of the American Legion Post #51 while living in North Las Vegas. In Oregon she was president5 of the Tualatin Valley Historical Society in Forest Grove, Secretary of the Hillsdale Bible Church in Forest Grove, Regent of the David Hill Chapter DAR, President of the Diller Dollar Doll Club and Chairman of the United Federation of Doll Clubs Region I Conference that was held in Portland in 1991 and President of the Washington County Family History Society.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest F. Nickel and Lenora Nickel. She is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, thirteen grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren, five great great granddaughters, one niece, three nephews and numerous cousins.

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