Downtown gazebo named in honor of 'Mr. Barrington'
It's only fitting the name of a man known to many as "Mr. Barrington" will be on a prominent gathering place in the village.
Village board members Monday night enthusiastically agreed to name the gazebo at Hough and Main streets for David F. Nelson.
Not only is Nelson known for many years of community volunteerism, but he also served as a Barrington trustee and village president and just retired after 20 years as Cuba Township supervisor.
Nelson thought he was invited to village hall Monday to be recognized for his Cuba Township work. Instead, he received the surprise honor and an artist's rendering of his name hanging from the David F. Nelson Community Gazebo.
"It's like a centerpiece in the community, so it's very meaningful," Nelson said.
Village President Karen Darch said the gazebo honor for Nelson is well deserved. As part of the kudos, Nelson was named grand marshal of Barrington's Fourth of July parade.
"He is Mr. Barrington," Darch said. "He served as village president and as a trustee, but it's all of the things he's done for all the years he's lived here. He's the go-to guy for any worthy community project. He gets people together to get it done."
Nelson has compiled a lengthy volunteer resume since moving to Barrington in the early 1970s. His efforts have included American Cancer Society Relay For Life co-chair, founding member of the Barrington Area Community Foundation and an organizer of Hospice of Northeastern Illinois, which became JourneyCare in 2012.
His wife, Carol, accompanied him to village hall for Monday night's festivities. Nelson, who also worked as an investment firm executive, thanked his wife for her support.
"I'm proud for him," she said. "Total surprise, but he's been so involved in the community for so many years."
Nelson, 70, was village president when the gazebo was built. Construction occurred after Barrington kept the state from widening Main Street and the bought a business property for the gazebo.
"It's a country town with very warm people that are extremely generous," Nelson said of Barrington. "I've had to do a fair amount of fundraising in the community and it's so easy to do fundraising, because people are so generous with their support. If you have a good idea, it gets supported in this community."