Dr. Fred H. Nicklason, 81, a humble champion for many, passed away April 12, 2013. Born in Swatera, Minnesota on May 5, 1931, he was raised by Gotfred Nicklason, of Sweden and Rose Nicklason of South Dakota, whose family had emigrated from Norway. He grew up with his siblings, Carl, Robert, and Louise, primarily in Remer, Minnesota before he attended Gustavus Adolphus College followed by his pursuit of his Masters Arts from University of Pennsylvania.

After serving two years in the US Army, he taught business at Colorado College and then returned to school to earn his Ph.D in American history from Yale University. After teaching at Amherst College, moved to the Washington DC area in 1965 where Dr. Nicklason continued his career in American history as a Professor at University of Maryland. There he met and married Charlotte Cannon, had daughter, Victoria Bristol and son, Jeffrey Nicklason, and then they were divorced. In 1974, he married Judy (Halsey) Nicklason, with her five children, Kimberly Overman, Brooke Halsey, Brandon Ellis, Cheramie Ellis, and Erin Ramsey. As it turned out, he was perfectly prepared to be a wonderful husband to Judy for almost 40 years, and a thoughtful and wise father, grandfather and great-grandfather to all of his seven children, eighteen grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

His champion spirit to help those in need and his love of history blended into a life long career of teaching at University of Maryland, as well as founding Nicklason Research Associates in 1972. A professor of American History and Native American Policy at the University of Maryland, Nicklason was an ardent supporter of American Indian interests, and believed that professionally trained historians and researchers could provide invaluable expertise in finding historical evidence for Indian land, accounting, water rights, and other resource management claims. Together with historian and dear friend, Mark Leutbecker and a small team of associates, Dr. Nicklason worked on finding key evidence to support hundreds of Indian claims in state and federal courts. Using his research skills and knowledge of the National Archives, Library of Congress, the Smithsonian National Anthropological Archives, private, local, and state historical societies, university libraries, as well as government offices, he was able to uncover issues that supported over 85 Native American tribes in their litigations over land claims, water rights, resource and tribal money management and much more. He testified over 17 times in state, federal courts, including the Supreme Court. His mission to expose the truth of what had happened to the American Indians was driven by his deep moral character, which he has instilled in those that he loved and cherished through out his life.

In 1997, he retired due to an early diagnosis of dementia, which progressed to Alzheimer's disease over the years. He and Judy spent his last years traveling to the places he loved, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and the eastern shores of Maryland, Delaware, and Florida and enjoyed the community of Riderwood Village in Calverton Maryland.

His champion spirit and deep appreciation of using the knowledge of the past to guide our present will be remembered always.

Services to celebrate Dr. Nicklason's life were held at Riderwood Chapel on April 17, 2013. Dr. Nicklason's guest book for condolences can be found at http://www.legacy.com/link.asp?i=ls000164291011.

Donations to the Alzheimer's Association in honor of Dr. Fred H. Nicklason can be made online at http://www.alz.org/join_the_cause_donate.asp.