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We lost Nikki this winter after a six-month battle with cancer. She left a fifteen-year-old daughter, Emily, in the care of Nikki’s sister.

Nikki Mitchell had been our daytime cashier for more than six years, working what are often termed “mother’s hours”. We would have loved to have had her here more, but Nikki was a single mom, who wanted to be there when her daughter was home from school. If you are a night or weekend shopper, you may not remember her. If you were a weekday shopper, you knew her great smile, great sense of humor, and very friendly and efficient way of getting you in and out quickly and with the right products.

Before opening and between customers, Nikki helped keep us organized. She proofed our receipts, checked that we wrote out “sold tags”, wrote two operational manuals, reminded customers of their Pool School classes, called customers when their special orders arrived, scheduled pick-ups, scheduled billiard services, prepared and shipped “Thank-You” gifts, folded, inserted and mailed thousands of envelopes, and she even installed electric cords on pool pumps.

Nikki was very creative: possibly our best at stylish displays in the store. She was a talented jewelry maker and crafter at home; making gifts for friends and family, and for sale at craft shows. Michael’s Craft Stores may notice the drop in business from Nikki’s passing, as well as Dunkin Donuts!

Of course, none of that was important compared to her only real job: Mom. And no job in the world is more difficult than a single mother with no child support and only a part-time income. Her daughter, Emily, is a great kid who has matured beyond her years as she watched her mother get sick, travel from specialist to specialist trying to find a cause, and then to discover late stage cancer.

Nikki died at the Merrimack Hospice House on February 25th, only three days before her 45th birthday. Emily is being cared for by Nikki’s sister Tricia and Tricia’s husband Dean. They have been wonderfully supportive to Nikki in her life and battle to live. They have welcomed Emily.

You may understand that parttime cashiers do not leave large estates – or any estate at all. You may wish to help out. We have collection boxes at the registers and we can deposit larger contributions into “The Fund for Emily Mitchell” at Citizen’s Bank. Details are at the store. Thank you.