OBITUARY

Thomas Edward Nolan, Jr.

April 3, 1951February 16, 2021

Thomas E. Nolan Jr. was born on April 3, 1951 and peacefully passed away on February 16, 2021. He was 69. Tom is the father of two, Greg and Meredith, who already miss him dearly, and the son of Earlene and Thomas Sr., who are now reunited with their son.

Tom lived his entire life in Pensacola, and he lived that life fully. He loved Pensacola’s beautiful beaches and literally had to get his knee replaced from the thousands of miles he walked on them. He was an entrepreneur for nearly a half century, starting his own business, Thomas E. Nolan Insurance and Investments, in his early twenties and continuing with it through to his passing. If you love what you do for a living, he often told his children, it will never feel like work. And he loved what he did—getting to know his clients and helping them to make their hopes for the future a reality.

A philosophy graduate from the University of West Florida, Tom was a lifelong learner who never stopped asking the big questions in life. Even in his later years, it was not uncommon for him to challenge his own assumptions under a favorite philosopher’s or theologian’s framework.

Music played a large role in Tom’s life. He decorated his home with album covers from the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and other favorite artists. He owned three guitars, a keyboard, and way too much stereo equipment—all of which he used every chance he got. Aside from their memories and character, probably the best gift he leaves to his children are recordings of music that he wrote, sang, and played.

Tom instilled in his children an enduring optimism, faith in themselves, and zest for life. It’s not often that the same person teaches one both the value of grit and determination and how to take time to smell the roses, but that is what Tom did. He taught this through example. He routinely worked long hours, well into the night, to do everything he could for his clients. Yet he could also drive to Pensacola Beach, breathe in the salty air, take in the water’s hues, the blue of the sky, and the warmth of the sun, and just smile that big smile he had when completely satisfied and present. And he could stay like that for hours.

His children will remember him most for the hundreds of movies they watched with him late into the night, long summer swim sessions, for his always being there for them as children and adults, for inspiring them to pursue happiness and meaning, for being a steadfast confidante and source of strength, and mostly for being the best damn father and friend that anyone could have ever hoped for.

Services

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Memories

Thomas Edward Nolan, Jr.

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Will Rollins

February 25, 2021

We are so sorry for your loss Greg, Meredith, and Nolan family. Tom sounds like he was such an incredible and fun person. Reading this also brought a smile to my face because I know that, even though they are no longer with us, our dads would’ve gotten along quite well given their mutual love of music. I hope they’re rocking out to some good jams in the stars tonight.

Ralph Whitmore

February 25, 2021

Tom was my best friend and like a brother for 50 years. We shared many times together talking philosophy and religion and life in general. He came to see me at 3 AM after my triple bypass heart surgery. I could always count on him for things like that when I needed someone. He also helped me very much when he took me to our vet the day I had to put down my 17 year old dog. He knew I couldn’t see to drive.
We went through so much together. I was the only one that was invited to all three of his Christmas parties each year. Each day now is so different without him. I will miss him greatly.

Laura Porter

February 22, 2021

Dear Meredith and Greg:
I am so very sorry for your loss. I worked for your dad part-time for about five years back in the early nineties. I was also attending what was at the time, PJC. While I learned a lot at school, it was your dad who helped build the foundation for my future career. I learned so much from him, and I am so very thankful for the knowledge and experience I gained from my time working with him.
We developed a great friendship, and my husband and I have been clients of your dad’s for many years now. We both were so incredibly saddened by the news of Tom’s passing. We will always remember him fondly.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you both!

Laura and Sonny Porter

Amy Gruenloh

February 22, 2021

Greg and Meredith,
So sorry for the great loss you are dealing with at your Dad’s passing. He loved you kids so very much. I hope the many happy memories you shared with him bring you comfort now.
Loved him like family! If there is ever anything I can do for you, just let me know.
Love,
Amy Gruenloh

Nancy Lemke

February 20, 2021

So sorry for your loss, Greg. I worked for your dad for six years when I first came to Pensacola. He taught me many things that helped me in my career as a law firm administrator. My daughter used to babysit you when you were young also. He gave my husband and I great financial advice over many years. He was very proud of you. So sorry for your loss.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY