Young’s Funeral Directors

508 Champagnolle, El Dorado, AR


Justin Murphy Nolan

August 31, 1971May 19, 2020

Dr. Justin Murphy Nolan, age 48, a resident of Fayetteville, Arkansas, passed from this life into the next on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, of a sudden heart attack. Justin is survived by his mother, Betty Linda Nolan, his father, Robert C. Nolan, both of El Dorado, Arkansas, his brother, Robert C. Nolan, Jr., of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, his sister, Carrie Elizabeth Nolan, of Grapevine, Texas, two nieces, Isabelle Hopkins Nolan and Sarah Elizabeth Koch, and two nephews, Robert Calvert Nolan III and William S. Koch, Jr.

He was born in El Dorado, Arkansas, on August 31, 1971. He was, in Grade School, a member of the first “Gifted and Talented” program in the El Dorado School System. He graduated with Honors from El Dorado High School in 1989. At a young age, he knew that he wanted to be a Teacher, and wanted to share what he knew with others, to inspire them, and encourage them. He was awarded a “Presidents Scholarship” to Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, from where he graduated with Honors in 1993, with a B.A. in Anthropology. He gained his master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Missouri in 1996, and his PhD in Cultural Anthropology in 2000. That year he was named Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri. He accepted the position of Visiting Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville in 2002. In 2010 he was named Associate Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Anthropology and was elected Department Chair in 2016.

He was widely published, authoring two books and multiple articles, 11 Book Chapters, 2 book reviews. He was an invited Lecturer in Learning Institutions across the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy. He was recognized worldwide as an expert in his field. Additionally, he was recognized for his knowledge of medicinal plants and herbs and their application in Native American Culture, as well as in the early Ozark settlements. He had a great thirst for knowledge that was never quenched.

He was a gifted photographer, loved the Earth and Sky, and he observed it all with a profound sense of wonder. He studied and chronicled the evolution of human behavior and society with a keen eye.

He was brilliant, loving and kind. Everyone who knew him, loved him, and all mourn his passing. He cast a bright light into every life that knew him, and he will be forever missed.

A private family interment service was held, and a public Memorial Celebration will be announced. Condolences may be expressed at www.youngsfuneralhome.com


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Justin Murphy Nolan

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jerry Rose

June 1, 2020

Justin is the most thoughtful and kindest person I have ever had in my life. Whether in his office or at a social occasion, he gave you his total attention. He met every occasion with kindness and for this I am most grateful. If I happened to do him a small kindness, it was returned a hundredfold. He is the most missed person in my life.
My prayers, thoughts, and tears for his family,
Jerry Rose

Rose R. Hamilton

May 31, 2020

Bob and Betty Linda,
My heart goes out to you. What an accomplished young man! Can’t imagine how difficult Justin’s passing must be. My love and prayers are with you.

Debre Allen

May 30, 2020

I took every available class taught by Professor Nolan when I was majoring in Anthropology at the University of Arkansas. (2008-2013) His energy, enthusiasm, his delivery of information, and his care and concern for his students affected me deeply. I am a high school teacher in New Mexico, and I attribute a majority of my 'style' to that of Professor Nolan. The world was a better place where ever he was, and it is with a heavy heart that I have learned of his passing. With best regards and condolences, D.W. Allen

Scott Simpson

May 30, 2020

Justin was our guest speaker at Rotary several years ago. One could tell by his mastery of his subject and his enthusiasm that he was one of those few teachers that could influence lives. I would have loved to have been in his class. So sorry for his family and friends....he was a gift taken way too soon. Sincerely, Scott Simpson

Margaret Lewis-Mallory

May 30, 2020

With deepest sympathy. Your loved one has left behind special memories that will live in your hearts forever. Please know at this difficult time , you are not alone. We are praying that the knowledge that others share in your grief can comfort you in this time of sadness.

Keeping the family in prayer.
Abberteen Lewis &
Margaret Lewis-Mallory

Ira & Jo Benton

May 28, 2020

We would like to express our most heartfelt sympathy to you the Nolan Family. Our hearts are sadden and we pray that God’s unfailing love and peace fill your hearts in your time of sorrow. Justin always extended kindness to our family and Ira always enjoyed seeing and talking to him when visiting home. God’s blessings of comfort be upon your family.

Casting our Cares,
The Benton Family

The Ralstons

May 27, 2020

Justin was the light and smile of the world. We never saw him without that smile and he would light up the whole room. He cared, he shared and he loved. Justin couldn’t wait to share his life and love with you. Heaven is shinning brighter because of the arrival of Justin Nolan. We will miss you friend but thank you for all you did to make our little part of this world so much better. To Bob, Betty Linda and family, we love you and will always cherish our time with Justin. The Ralston’s - John, Sandy, Jennifer and Julie.

Marion Mace Dickerson

May 27, 2020

I came to know Justin through my son Jim while they were attending Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. He would come to my home for dinner and visits. He joked that I was his adopted mom.
I was so impressed by his open, friendly, and generous way of relating to people. He was extremely intelligent, but was never one to brag about his intelligence.
He gave me an article which I treasure to this day. It was published in the Journal of Ethnobiology. It dealt with the medicinal plant knowledge in the Ozark-Ouachita Highlands. Having spent some time in the Ozarks, I was so impressed, that Justin with his open,likeable manner, could get the reclusive granny-women to share their medicinal knowledge with him.
Justin's influence will continue forever, both in the students he taught and inspired, and in the significant scholastic accomplishments he gave to his field.

Tien Bui

May 26, 2020

I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have met Justin when he was a guest professor at my graduate program in Italy. Although our meeting was brief, I was deeply touched. He was the brightest light I’ve ever met. He showed so much enthusiasm for life and was so kind to all living things around him. I was shocked and devastated to hear news of his passing.

You will always be remembered, Justin. Until we meet again, may your light continue to shine upon those who love you.

Barbara Justiss

May 26, 2020

I remember Justin as a litttle boy sitting with his family at church. He was, truly, a "bright, sweet light".
My deepest sympathy,
Barbara Justiss


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