Dan and Ruth Nicholas

Ruth and Daniel Nicholas are seen in this undated photo. Daniel Nicholas recently passed away at age 93. He was a past Rockford Park District Foundation president and the Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens is named after his family.

ROCKFORD—The man responsible for efforts to add beauty throughout the Rockford community, and one of the main reasons Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens exists today has passed away.

Daniel J. Nicholas passed away on April 5 at age 93. He was the first Rockford Park District Foundation Board President from 1993 to 1999 before going on to serve as a Rockford Park District Commissioner from 2001 to 2003. He then continued his volunteer efforts with the Foundation Board and was named an Emeritus Director in 2019.

Nicholas and his wife Ruth are credited for establishing the City of Gardens program. Dan Nicholas was also one of the namesakes for Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens is named after the Nicholas family, who in March 2006 announced their donation of $2,150,000 toward the Conservatory project in honor of their parents, William and Ruby Nicholas.