Donald Herbert Nikolaus, Lawyer and Corporate & Community Leader | Obituaries

Donald Herbert Nikolaus, 79, of Silver Spring, PA, passed away on Tuesday early morning, February 1, 2022, at the University of Pennsylvania Medical center, Philadelphia, PA, immediately after a lengthy sickness.

Don was born in Columbia, PA on April 17, 1942, the youngest son of Paul Joseph and Alma Marie (Baker) Nikolaus.

He attended Holy Trinity Catholic Faculty (now acknowledged as our Woman of the Angels Catholic University) and graduated from Lancaster Catholic Large College in 1960. Don then attended Villanova College and graduated from the Commerce and Finance University in 1964. He was lively in lots of university organizations including the Blue Important Culture, Delta Pi MU Fraternity and the Economist Modern society.

Following acceptance less than the preceptorship of Legal professional Wilson Bucher (later President Judge of Lancaster County), Don entered the Villanova School of Regulation, the place he served as a resident assistant in the Undergraduate Faculty, graduating in 1967 with a Juris Physician Diploma and passing the Condition Bar examination that year. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court docket and the Lancaster County Bar in January 1968.  Following Legislation School, Don practiced regulation below the steerage of Lawyer Wilson Bucher, his Preceptor. Subsequent his tenure with the Bucher Law Firm, Don joined the legislation follow of Columbia attorney William Blank. In 1968, Colonel Blank assigned Don the responsibilities of giving authorized tips to the Columbia Borough College District, an account taken care of to this day by the Nikolaus & Hohenadel Regulation Agency.

In April 1972 Don joined with fellow Columbian and Villanova Law Faculty graduate John P. Hohenadel to type the law business of Nikolaus & Hohenadel. The organization has grown above the several years with 20-3 (23) lawyers at four (4) areas servicing the greater Lancaster County area. Don continued practising legislation proper up to his recent passing, encompassing an awesome legal job with main emphasis on corporate, estate and municipal legislation.

In 1972, adhering to an introduction to J. Edward Charles, President and CEO of Donegal Mutual Insurance coverage Co., Don was appointed as the youngest member of the Board of Administrators of Donegal at the age of 30. In 1981, adhering to the untimely and sudden demise of Mr. Charles, Don was voted as President and CEO, a position he held right up until 2018. He also held the posture of President, CEO and Director of Donegal Group, Inc. from 1986 to 2016. Don took a compact place insurance plan business, whose first mission was to deliver fireplace and casualty insurance policies to farmers and expanded it to a nationwide company. By way of his corporate acumen and foresight, the enterprise started to extend, acquiring compact comparable insurance policy vendors across the U.S. and quickly Donegal was recognized as a important part of the insurance plan business. Beneath his leadership and acute sixth feeling of organization, Donegal entered the banking services market forming Province Financial institution and acquiring the former Union National Mount Pleasure Financial institution. Donegal also expanded into the title insurance coverage discipline with the acquire of Conestoga Title Coverage Co., an acquisition he pursued for many many years. At the time of his loss of life he was the Chairman of the Board of Donegal Mutual Insurance Co. and Chairman of the Board of Conestoga Title Insurance policies Co. compiling a fifty (50) yr career in that field. He also served as earlier Chairman of the Insurance plan Federation of Pennsylvania.

In addition, Don turned concerned with the Columbia Water Co., 1 of the oldest personal inventory-owned drinking water businesses in the U.S. He served as President of the company and applying his gifted enterprise logic, released the h2o business on an expansion program which integrated acquisition of the former Marietta Water Gravity Co. and expanded the services area to include things like the Boroughs of Columbia, Marietta and Mountville as effectively as 4 (4) townships in Lancaster and York Counties. The pumping and filtration plant in Columbia was expanded and modernized, a project spearheaded by Don and a single which brought him an huge perception of accomplishment.

Don’s group affiliations ended up large and various. His most considerable was the Columbia Catholic Housing for the Elderly. He took the original plan offered to him by the late Mary Loreto, a Columbia legend, and with the late Msgr. Rudolf Fuhr, developed what would turn out to be the two (2) significant increase condominium structures in Columbia identified as Trinity Dwelling and St. Peter’s Apartments, providing excellent housing for senior citizens.  He was very instrumental in developing the Housing Growth Corporation (HDC) serving as a director for lots of decades. Don served as Director of lots of neighborhood organizations, which includes Columbia Healthcare Foundation, Financial Advancement Corp. of Lancaster Co., Lancaster Alliance, St. Anne’s Retirement Group and Previous President of the Columbia Rotary Club.

Don was a lifelong member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Columbia, the Holy Identify of Jesus Culture, St. Vincent de Paul Society and served as a member of the Parish and Diocese of Harrisburg Finance Committees. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, Columbia Council 2294 and the Santa Maria General Assembly Fourth Diploma.

Don considered the finest honor bestowed on him was his invitation to sign up for and become a member of the Knights of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Catholic Order launched in 1099 A.D. and in continual existence given that that time. He was inducted into the Get at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York Town.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, brother Paul J. Nikolaus, Jr. and a lot of beloved aunts and uncles. He is survived by his spouse Elizabeth (Rankin), daughters Lauren Zink of Lancaster, PA, Anne Nikolaus of Haverford, PA and son Matthew Nikolaus of Silver Spring, PA, grandson Tyler Zink, granddaughters Lindsay and Kate Zink, all of Lancaster, PA and Victor Nikolaus-Pereira of Haverford, PA. He is also survived by his brother Gerald Nikolaus, sisters-in-law Lucretia Nikolaus and Margaret Nikolaus Bransby, all of Columbia, PA Mary Stadden and Julie Fulmer of Lancaster, PA and brothers-in-legislation Richard Rankin of Fairfax, VA and John Rankin of Salisbury, MD.  Also surviving is his mom-in-regulation, Lucy Lolli Rankin.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 409 Cherry St., Columbia, PA on Saturday, February 12, 2022 at 11:00 A.M. with Fr. Stephen Kelley as celebrant. There will be no community viewing.

In lieu of bouquets, individuals wishing to honor Donald could do so by making a contribution to Our Woman of the Angels Catholic College, 404 Cherry St., Columbia, PA 17512. Individuals however preferring to deliver flowers must immediate the delivery of the bouquets to Holy Trinity Church, 409 Cherry St., Columbia, PA 17512 to get there there by 9:30 A.M. on Saturday, February 12, 2022. Personal hand penned condolences will be considerably appreciated and may be mailed to the Clyde W. Kraft Funeral Household, 519 Walnut St., P. O. Box 231, Columbia, PA 17512.

The Funeral Mass livestream could be considered at

Preparations by the Clyde W. Kraft Funeral Property, Inc., Columbia/Landisville.