Lucille Maxine Nolan
December 22, 1921 – July 18, 2020
Lucille Maxine Rankin Nolan was the first born of redheaded identical twin girls on December 22, 1921, to John and Katie Tate, in San Antonio, Texas. She peacefully passed away on July 18, 2020 with her loving family at her side. She was twice widowed by her husband Ernest Paul “E.P.” Nolan and husband William “Bill” Wright. She was preceded in death by her daughters Billie Marie Duke and Phyllis Marie Smith, sons Ernest Patrick Nolan and Paul Michael Nolan, brother E.H. “Sonny” Rankin, sister Cecille “Sue” Turner and granddaughter Christy Nolan Busby. She is survived by her brother David Leon Rankin of Laredo, daughters Jeannee Bates and husband Wayne of San Antonio, Susie Breen and husband Neil of Austin, Kay Beard and husband Bobby of Beaumont, and grandchildren, Danny Nolan, Shelley Nunnery Scarbrough, Ernie Nolan, Ray Campbell, Greg Campbell, Ronnie Smith, Steve Duke, Jessica Nolan Hallmark, Holly Breen Olds, Michael Breen, Pat Breen, Brian Breen, Casey Beard Bird, Katy Beard Puckett, Carrie Beard Wright, Kallie Beard Dreher, Buck Beard, 21 great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.
As a young girl in the great depression, Lucille’s family was forced to move to her grandparents’ 200 acre ranch in Miguel, Texas. She sought refuge at this rural ranch, with dirt for kitchen floors. With only two dresses to wear and one pair of shoes, she helped on the farm milking cows and learned how to live on the land as a young child. Later she attended San Antonio Tech High School and played on the volleyball team. Lucille and her beautiful twin Cecille thrived even in these circumstances and were voted head cheerleaders. Due to the hard economic times, they could not afford the cheerleading uniforms and had to decline. Her blessing still continued as Lucille was awarded a full scholarship to Baylor University. Unfortunately, she also declined college admission to work and help support her widowed mother and siblings.
On December 26, 1950, she married Ernest Paul “E.P.” Nolan and moved to Beaumont. Lucille and E.P. opened the first Merle Norman Cosmetics studio in 1957, in the Hotel Beaumont building downtown. Like her twin sister, Lucille was beautiful from the inside out, and enjoyed helping other women look and feel beautiful in her hometown. Over the span of 33 years, she owned six Merle Norman studios across Southeast Texas. Lucille became an important spiritual influencer to many of her treasured employees as well as her beloved customers.
To her family, she was an inspirational female leader. She demonstrated with her actions true kindness, beauty, poise, strength and grace. Her faith and love for the Lord was her most contagious and obvious trait. Everyone around her knew and felt her love for God. She laughed often, even when times were hard. She knew that God was in control and she trusted the Lord in all circumstances. Lucille loved to laugh and laughed about everything. She was the picture of overflowing joy! ”She laughed at the days to come.”
She was an active member of the Beaumont Business and Professional Women’s Club, the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, Concerned Women of America, and the Christian Women’s Club of Beaumont. She spent her life involved in all aspects of church work including teaching Sunday School, leading Girls Auxiliary, and volunteering at the Baptist church youth camps. After retiring her retail cosmetic studios career, she became a Baptist Hospital volunteer until loss of vision prohibited her from continuing.
One of her greatest passions after retirement was volunteering with her late husband Bill Wright. They spent their time serving as missionaries by pulling their 5th wheel across the country building and renovating churches with Texas Baptist Men Ministry. They joined other TBM’ers two weeks out of every month all over Texas. Lucille and Bill loved to serve others.
Lucille was always “on the go” and wanted everyone to join her. As a widow she founded the “Golden Girls,” a group of widows that traveled together and played bridge. She traveled the world abroad with Sue, Susie, Neil, Kay and Bobby to Europe and Israel, the Caribbean, Canada and Novia Scotia. She traveled to see her favorite preacher, David Jeremiah, and the Gaither’s on a Caribbean cruise. Not only did she visit most states in the US, she loved to see the world. Even at the age of 98, she was still walking a mile four days a week at the mall.
Lucille was a financial supporter of Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, her church, Texas Baptist Men, Urban Harvest Ministries and Samaritan's Purse.
Lucille, who was often called “Lou” by E.P., had many Lou-isms! She laughed loudly while saying her homemade colloquialisms such as “What you ought a do...” or “Dingy, everybody knows that”. Her most famous one was “100 years from now, you’ll never know the difference”. Ironically, Lucille was with us almost 100 years and has made such a difference, leaving everyone that knew her with a full heart.
The Proverb 31 woman represents Lucille in many ways. Her field was Merle Norman Cosmetics. She came from the hard times of the great depression and became an American success story. Her husband was proud at the city gates of Beaumont, Texas. She provided her children with the finest, while working day and night. She was an industrious housewife, exceptional business woman, enterprising trader, and generous benefactor. She was a wise, virtuous and noble teacher.
Lucille had an undying passion for the Bible and the truth of eternal life through Jesus, His sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection from death. Lucille knew who she was - a child of the King, a Princess who would receive her crown in heaven. She lived her life looking forward to that glorious day when she would see the Lord.
A special thanks to her amazing private caregivers and later the wonderful and loving staff at Pelican Bay Assisted Living.
Celebration of Life
Friday, July 24, 2020
Lucille Maxine Nolan
July 27, 2020
I have many fond memories of Lucille's service as a volunteer at Baptist Hospital. She was always so flexible in serving where we needed her in various assignments. She was a wonderful and caring lady inside and out.
Director of Volunteer Services
July 24, 2020
Lou was a very precious lady. I was able to visit with her last November with her nephew Ken Camp. We had a nice lunch with her in her facility and was so glad to visit with her. We will all miss her but we know she’s with the Lord now and that peace. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
July 22, 2020
I always thought Ms. Nolan to be a beautiful woman inside and out. I am to this day a Merle Norman client and Ms. Nolan was the first representative I met. To her family may God comfort during this time,
July 21, 2020
Kay and Family,
It was a privilege to know Lucille. She was a Gracious and Beautiful Cristian Lady. She was a Blessing to so many! She lived her life by the principals of The Beatitudes.....so Faithful. She loved her Lord, her Church and her Family and her Family truly Loved Her. I remember how much she Loved BSF and always invited everyone to come. She will be missed! Prayers to all during this difficult time. Brenda Brown