Donald F. Nichols



Donald F. Nichols passed away peacefully with family at his side on January 24, 2024, at the age of 92.
Don is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Jeffery M. and Laura Lee (Nichols) Cowan, his son and daughter-in-law James and Carol A. Nichols and his grandchildren Matthew R. Cowan, Scott J. Cowan and Shelby K. Nichols. He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years Janice L. Nichols (2020) and son Robert F. Nichols (2022).
Don was a man of many accomplishments. He was most proud of being an alumnus of both UCLA and USC. Although starting as a zoology major, he graduated from USC in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and followed with a master’s degree in civil engineering in 1963 with a second master’s degree in public administration in 1965. He was rarely seen without the Cardinal & Gold proudly showing his USC pride, especially his love for Trojan Football — Fight On. He also had a great passion for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Don was a California Registered Civil Engineer and spent his entire 38-year professional career with the Los Angeles Flood Control District, now Department of Public Works. He retired as Assistant Deputy Director of Public Works for Hydrology and Water Conservation.
The only child of J. Frank and Francis M. (Bertelli) Nichols, Don was born and raised in Temple City where he was an Eagle Scout and DeMolay. He proudly served in the United States Army, went through basic training at Ft. Riley, KS, and was then stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Don and Jan were proud and longtime residents of South Pasadena, CA. They purchased a lot at auction in 1966 and built their forever home in “Altos de Monterey” in 1967 where they raised their family.
Don was a longtime Little League coach in South Pasadena, a Girl Scout leader, guide at Descanso Gardens and L.A. County Arboretum. He is a past member of the Pasadena Elks Club.
Services will be private.
Don’s spirit will Fight On. Go Trojans.