OBITUARY: Francis P. Nolan

Below is an obituary from Nichols Funeral Home:

WILMINGTON, MA — Francis Patrick Nolan passed away on Monday, March 28th, 2022. Beloved husband of Norma Nolan. Loving father of the late Kevin Nolan, Lydia and her husband Richard Herlihy, Christopher and his wife Brenda Nolan, Scott and his wife Darlene Nolan, Jonathan Nolan and his partner Milena Aguirre, and Allison and her husband Joseph Giannino. Francis was born in East Boston in 1928 and was one of 8 children and a twin.

Francis was the loving “Papa” to nine grandchildren. Colin, Jessie, Kevin, Erin, Dana, Devon, Candace, Jonathan and Claire and great grandchildren. Francis and Norma enjoyed the many visits and good times with their grandchildren at their retirement home on Cape Cod . Papa adored all of his grandchildren and his fun-loving personality made the kids laugh and never want to leave.

Francis met the love of his life Norma Centracchio when he returned from his military tour as a Paratrooper. He was stationed in Japan at the end of the World War II. They married in 1955 and have been married for 66 years. Francis went on to be Valedictorian of his graduating class at Salem State while becoming a father to his two eldest children, Kevin and Lydia. After graduation he started his career in the Wilmington School system and moved his family there and stayed for the next 28 years. He loved working with kids and because of this accepted a position in the Guidance Department. He furthered his education and achieved his Master’s degree and credits towards his Doctorates while the family grew to 6 children. Francis was loved and treasured by the students and faculty at the North Intermediate School.

Francis and Norma were avid campers and traveled up and down the east coast and across the country with all six children every summer for 15 years. Many adventures and good times were had and an educational experience their children will never forget. After Fran and Norma retired, they were able to travel overseas and visit many countries. It was some of the best times of their lives.

A talented man, Francis loved to spend his time as an artist, painting, drawing, woodworking and making furniture for his home. An avid sports fan, Francis enjoyed participating in all athletics in his youth and never missed one his children’s sporting events.

Francis will be remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather. He had a great sense of humor and would never fail with a pun to make you laugh. He said a kind word about everyone and only saw the good in people. His warm and sincere personality could bring a smile to anyone he met. To know him was to truly love him.

There will be a private service for family and friends at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Friday, April 1st from 11am – 12:30pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Francis’s memory may be made to the Kevin Nolan Scholarship Fund. Checks can be made payable to the WHS Booster Association, PO Box 216, Wilmington MA 01887 c/o Kevin Nolan Scholarship Fund.

Francis Nolan

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