Jack Richard Nolen

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Jack Richard Nolen, 74, died on January 14, 2005 in an airplane accident in Eastern Oklahoma.  He was found on February 14.  He was a private pilot for many years and had recently returned to flying, which he loved so much.


He was born in Alexander City, Alabama.  He lost his own father in an accident at the age of four, yet worked hard and eventually earned his way to a B.S. degree at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn) in 1951 and then an M.D. degree at the University of Alabama in 1955.  After an internship and residency, he served two years in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps Reserve in the Naval Hospital in Key West, Florida.  In 1962, he began more than 20 years of private practice in obstetrics and gynecology in Gadsden, Alabama.  In the later years of his medical practice, he relocated to Philadelphia, PA, Aberdeen, WA, and Louisburg, NC.  In the 1990s, he changed careers to be in hospital administration working in Newark, NY and finally as Medical Director at Muskogee Regional Medical Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma.  He retired January 1, 2005 although was continuing to work part-time.


As a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, he was a faithful Christian who never let his talents go to waste.  He was most recently volunteering at the Good Shepherd Health Clinic and a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Muskogee, Oklahoma.


Jack Nolen always treasured his family and was a loving father and grandfather and faithful husband.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Thirwell Murfee Nolen and Cleona Black Nolen, by his eldest son, Norman Edward Nolen, by his oldest brother, Thirwell Murfee Nolen, Jr., and by his first wife, Suzy Bernell Gray Nolen.


He is survived by sons Thirwell Matthew Nolen of New York City, Timothy Richard Nolen and wife Sharon of Kingsport, Tennessee, Philip Andrew Nolen of Orlando, Florida, Jack Richard Nolen, Jr., of Birmingham, Alabama, and daughter Susan Paige Nolen of Muskogee, Oklahoma.  He has a grandson, Samuel Richard Nolen and a granddaughter, Abigail Lynn Nolen, both of Kingsport, Tennessee.  He is also survived by a brother, John Frank Nolen and wife Sara, of Gadsden, Alabama, by a sister-in-law Julie Nolen, and by ex-wife Susan McColley of Muskogee.  He is also survived by a niece, Jane Gargus and nephews John Henry Nolen and wife Elizabeth, and Thirwell Murfee (Trey) Nolen, III and wife Stacy of Gadsden, Alabama.


The family is grateful to the many volunteers and law enforcement officials who aided in the search for his lost plane.


Memorial contributions in memory of Jack Nolen may be given to the Shepherd Health Ministry, c/o St. Paul United Methodist Church, 2130 West Okmulgee Street, Muskogee, Oklahoma 74401.


A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church in Gadsden, Alabama on Saturday, March 5th at 5 p.m.  Officiating will be the Rev. Kenneth Casey.  There will be a visitation time in the parlor at First Methodist from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.