J. Russell Nicolas Jr., 63, of New Milford, died May 18, 2010, at New Milford Hospital.

Mr. Nicolas was born Dec. 25, 1946, in New Haven, son of J. Russell Sr., and Ruth (Selmquist) Nicolas.

He attended New Haven schools and graduated from Hamden High School in 1964 and from Southern Connecticut State University in 1968.

Mr. Nicolas joined the staff of New Milford High School in 1968 as a history teacher and retired in 2000, after 32 years of teaching.

During his 42 years as a resident of New Milford, he was involved in many community activities.

For several years, he was a member of the former Board of Selectmen. He joined the Lions Club in 1974, serving as secretary in 1978 and as president in 1982-1983.

Mr. Nicolas continued to be active, serving as the Lions' historian and wrote the cover letter for their 75th anniversary book.

He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the John Pettibone Memorial Scholarship Committee since 1992.

The committee awards scholarships to New Milford High School seniors, and his role was to pre-screen applications and schedule interviews.

For the past two years, he served as one of three board managers of Harrybrooke Park, a private park in New Milford.

Mr. Nicolas is survived by a sister, Malin Atnes, and her fiance, Ted Sarris, of Cheshire; a brother, Robert Nicolas, and his wife, Janice, of Hamden; three nephews, Brian, and his wife, Nancy Atnes, of Manasquan, N.J., Kevin Atnes, of Cheshire, and Michael, and his wife, Jessica Atnes, of Southington; a great-nephew, Justin Atnes; and a great-niece, Peyton Atnes, both of New Jersey; and many cousins.

The Lillis Funeral Home of New Milford was in charge of arrangements.

Contributions in his memory may be made to Harrybrooke Park, P.O. Box 364, New Milford, CT 06776.