Jonathan Wallace Nolan

November 5, 1948November 8, 2013

Jonathan Wallace Nolan, 65, of Portland, Maine, died Friday after living for two years with advanced esophageal cancer. He was born in Portland, on November 5, 1948, the son of Herbert Wallace Nolan and Diane Kremm Nolan, and attended Portland public schools, Hyde School and Beloit College during the turbulent 1960s. He left college in his sophomore year and began a life of adventure, working for sail lofts in Portland and Ireland and then crewing for two years on an Ocean 71, Miss Two, during which he made three transatlantic voyages. In 1976 he returned to Maine to work for Hurricane Island Outward Bound School. He served in a number of capacities for ten years at their Hurricane Island base and then as director of the Florida Sea Program in the Florida Keys, making life-long friends who were a source of laughter and support to him through his life. In 1986, he started FineLines Construction with a friend, building and renovating houses in the Portland area, including four on Cushings Island, where he had grown up and his family has gathered for four generations. After a number of years working for Resort Sports Network, where he was able to travel and indulge in his passion for skiing, he took on what he viewed as the best job ever – being a stay-at-home dad to his three small children. Through his activities with his children, he became an energetic and enthusiastic volunteer and advocate for Portland’s Longfellow Elementary and King Middle Schools, where he worked to strengthen their fundraising efforts. At the time of his cancer diagnosis and subsequent retirement, he was King Middle School’s partnership developer. He leaves his wife, Eliza Cope Nolan, his three children, Oliver, Robert and Sophia, his siblings, Amy Nolan Osborn, Victoria Nolan Crolius and Herbert W. Nolan, Jr., and their families, the extended Cope family, and his family of friends. A fund has been established in Jonathan’s memory to benefit King Middle School. Gifts may be made to the “Jonathan Nolan Make Stuff Happen Fund” c/o Michael McCarthy, King Middle School, 92 Deering Avenue, Portland, Maine 04102. A memorial and celebration of Jonathan’s life will occur at King Middle School on Saturday, November 16th at 2 p.m. All are welcome. Care for Jonathan and his family has been entrusted to the Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home of Portland, ME.


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, November 16, 2013

Jonathan Wallace Nolan

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paul balser

November 17, 2013

to the whole clan - jonathan was always someone to look to for guidance, friendship and inspiration. whether as part of the cushing's community, or as my HIOBS instructor - he was always there as a guide. my deepest condolences - paul balser, jr.

November 16, 2013

Thank you for the memories!! Such a special place in my heart. My favorite philosopher...phi·los·o·pher noun \f?-'lä-s(?-)f?r\
: a person who studies ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature and meaning of life, etc.

Frank will be very excited to greet you!! Play hard boys!!

Love, Mo

Mark Bryant

November 16, 2013

Liza, kids and Nolan Family,
We are saddened by the loss but proud of a life well lived by our cousin Jonathan. With you always,

Daniel Porta

November 16, 2013

Eliza, Oliver, Robert and Sophia,
We are so very sorry for Jonathan's passing. I admire courage above all other human virtues. Jonathan will remain an inspiration to me because of his courage these last two years. May Jonathan's memory be a blessing on our neighborhood. Peace to you all.
Dan and Lois Porta

Diane Smith

November 16, 2013

My condolences to Eliza and family. I worked with Jonathan in the 1980's when he did some work on the administrative side at Hurricane Island. He stands out in my memory as a wonderful human being who was fun to be around--I know my life was made better knowing him way back then.

Jeff Davison

November 15, 2013

Eliza and Family,

I never knew Jonathan really well, but he was the type of person you felt would be great to get to know and you would really be enriched for the connection. Regretfully, I was making plans to visit him just as he was being taken by his illness. Jonathan came by our house once when I was in the throws of improving a derelict house that we purchased and I was feeling overwhelmed. Jonathan sensed that emotion and understood it, having been in my position many times. He offered encouragement, praise and made me feel good about our choices. All done with that endearing smile. A great man indeed and he will surely be missed.

My Sincere Condolences,

Jeff Davison

Nathan Smith Family

November 14, 2013

Jonathan had such an infectious laugh and smile. When Dana and Jack babysat Oliver, Robert and Sophia, they always said how much they enjoyed the warmth and energy of these kids, no doubt a reflection of their father! While we won't have Jonathan physically with us, his spirit will be remembered and expressed by those who knew and loved him. Our love and prayers to you all from the Smiths, Nathan, Eleanor, Jack and Dana.

November 14, 2013

Dear Liza and Family,
My condolences, thoughts and prayers on the passing of Jonathan. Do your best to focus on the many happy times you shared together.

Mr. A (Charlie Aleksiewicz)

Trish Lyell

November 13, 2013

oh Liza. I wish I could live this backwards-in reading the heartfelt, vivid article about Jonathan's death, I so want to meet him and now I can't. Reading what his/your friends have said here makes clear he was someone special indeed. I am sending much love and sympathy, from an old, if not often seen, friend...Trish

Lauren Shuster

November 13, 2013

Dearest Eliza and family, On behalf of your fellow Bancroft classmates, I wish to extend my deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to you and your family. With sincerest sadness, and sending you hugs, I am thinking of you.