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Francis Nolan
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Obituary for Francis Nolan

Francis James Nolan passed away peacefully on Monday, October 30, 2017 at his home in Walnut Creek, California. Frank was born in West Hartford, Connecticut on July 13, 1928. He graduated from Harvard in 1950 where he also played football. On August 23, 1952, he married Rosemary Ann Drohan, the love of his life.

Frank's career with Dow Chemical took him and his growing family from Massachusetts to Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, and finally to California, where the family moved in 1973.

Frank was a complex, intelligent man to whom education, hard work, honesty, humor, justice for all, and the importance of family were valued. He was not easily impressed by material wealth or social status - what mattered to him was character. Frank was a life-long Red Sox fan. He also enjoyed football and was a voracious follower of the news. He remained interested and active in social justice throughout his life. Frank loved to read and he treasured the ocean and family vacations along the Maine or California coasts or in Hawaii. Generous and charitable to the core, Frank's modesty, humility, faith, and his sense of humor defined him. He was supportive and generous with his family and compassionate with those in need. Over the last several years, Frank lived with the debilitating effects of Parkinson's disease with dignity and courage. Our family is forever grateful to the amazing caregivers who provided meticulous and loving care over the last ten years.

Frank is survived by his beloved wife Rosemary Ann Nolan and his four remaining adult children: Faith Nolan and Dierdre Wood of Walnut Creek, Elizabeth (Betsy) Hafner of San Rafael, Ann Scheley of Burlingame, and their respective husbands: Kevin Wood, Bron Hafner and Chris Scheley. Frank is also survived by his grandchildren whom he adored: Rion Nolan, Mary Rose Wood, Frances Wood, Katherine Hafner, Christine Hafner, Elizabeth Scheley, C.J. Scheley, Nolan Scheley, and Katilyn Colvin. Frank was preceded in death by his sons Stephen Francis and Francis James Nolan III.

A funeral Mass will be said on Friday, November 17, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary's Church, 2039 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Walnut Creek. In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to the Okizu Foundation at

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Francis Nolan, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Memorial Mass




10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
St. Mary Church

2039 Mt. Diablo Blvd
Walnut Creek, CA 94596


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