Nikki Ann (Agee) Tilroe, 63, of Derry, NH died September 1, 2005 at her home after a battle with kidney and liver disease. She and her husband Robert D. Tilroe celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary on August 27, 2005. She was born in Los Angeles, CA on December 26, 1941 the first daughter of two children of the late William Richard Agee and Helen Bennett (Davis). Nikki was a resident of Derry for eight years and formerly lived in Wollaston, MA, Toronto & West Hill, Ontario, Canada. She also lived in New York City, Syracuse, NY and California, with homes in Los Angeles, Red Wood City, Los Altos and San Mateo.
In addition to receiving her High School Diploma, Nikki studied with Bohuslav Olshina, Czech puppeteer, mime in Canada with Paul Gaulin, ballet with her mother in Los Altos, CA. She also studied at schools such as Robert Joffery in NYC, Hanya Holm Modern Dance, NYC, and BUYO in Canada and Japan. Her professional Japanese name was Fujima Chikuyoheki. She danced and taught BUYO in Canada and the US.
She worked as a freelance performing and creative artist (Dancer, Mime, Puppetmaker, Performer, Stage and TV Director and Teacher). She was Artist in Residence, performer and teacher at White Pines College, Chester, NH. She received “Best Teacher” listings in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” (years 2000/2001). She also was a REIKI Master and Workshop leader regarding “crystal awareness”.
In 1975 Nikki received a “Citation of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry” from the late Jim Henson, Chair of UNIMA-USA. In 1993 she received an EMMY Award as Head Puppeteer of “The Land of I” from the California Chapter of the National Academy of TV Arts and Sciences. She performed for Shari Lewis in the 1995 TV EMMY Award winning “Lamb Chop in the Haunted Studio” and other TV productions.
As “SNUGGLE” Nikki worked with Kermit Love (“SNUGGLE” and Sesame Street puppet creator) sponsored by Lever Brother’s Snuggle Fabric Softener in cooperation with Children’s Miracle Network for visits to pediatric units nationwide to help children and their parents cope with the hospital experience. Nikki as “Snuggle” did radio and TV interviews, performed in hospital wards and with families one on one. She also appeared at the White House with Kermit Love as his puppeteer in 1987.
Nikki taught puppetry performing at the University of Hawaii and places such as Toronto Teacher’s College in Canada, NH Public Schools, at Puppeteers of America Festivals and for Puppetry Conferences at the O’Neill Theater Center in CT. In addition, Nikki was active with the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry and also through FROG Print Theater in Canada with the Ontario Puppetry Association. She worked with Kermit Love coaching local puppeteers for “Sesame Street” in Finland, Spain, Turkey and Portugal.
Nikki’s company performed at Puppet Showplace Theatre, Brookline, MA and she directed Puppeteer Paul Vincent Davis in new productions. Nikki’s mime work was seen with Paul Gaulin in Canada on a Red Skelton “Funny Faces” TV special with Marcel Marceau. She had also authored several booklets.
In addition to her husband of Derry, she is survived by her stepmother, Dolly Agee of Virginia Beach, VA, her brother, Bob Agee of Alexandria, VA, her brother-in-law, George Tilroe and his wife Connie of Ellesmere, NY, also several nieces and nephews.
Following cremation, a memorial service was held on Saturday September 17th at 1:00pm in the Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 15 Birch St., Derry.