Daniel James Nicholson, age 72, of Hudson, died on April 21, 2012 at the Golden Living Center in Stillwater, Minnesota, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. Daniel was born August 21, 1939 in Minneapolis, MN to Daniel Joseph and Jean Craigie Nicholson. He graduated from Froid, MT High School and Montana State College, Bozeman, MT. After earning his Masters Degree in Mathematics at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, he worked as a computer programmer for Pioneer Seeds in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1967 he began work at IBM in Rochester MN. He left IBM in 1978 to help start 4-D Interactive Systems, Inc with three others. 4-D developed many of the first games for home-computers, such as Battle of Britain, Zaxxon and Spy Hunter. He also was a pioneer in role-playing games, being one of the first dozen people to play and help develop the game which was later published as Dungeons and Dragons.
In 1988 he left to work as a Systems Manager for Combustion Engineering and later DynCorp at the Electronic Proving Grounds at Fort Huachuca, AZ. He returned to Wisconsin to work for Insight Industries in Platteville, WI and then Wadia in River Falls, WI. He also worked as a consultant in the Twin Cities for Development Resource Group, Medtronic, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
His hobbies and past times included swimming, the reading of Science Fiction as well as military miniature roleplaying and war gaming. He has met weekly to play war games with many of the same friends he has played with since college.
He is survived by his wife Helen (Wallner), children Anne M. (Russell) Vossbrink of Phoenix, AZ, Daniel H. Nicholson of Madison, WI, grandchildren Jack and Helaina Vossbrink, sisters Deborah Nicholson of Wyoming, Dana (James) Bledsoe of Florida and mother Jean Craigie Ballou of Hudson, WI.
Funeral Services for Daniel, will be held at 11am on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the Mount Zion Lutheran Church in Hudson, WI. Burial will take place at 3:30pm at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Stewartville, MN. Visitation will be held for 1 hour before services at the church as well as on Wednesday, April 25, from 4-7pm. Services are in the care of the O’Connell Family Funeral Home – Hudson Chapel. 715.386.3725