ROCK HILL -- Mr. William Joseph "Joe" Nolan Jr., 93, of 1620 Colony Drive, passed away Sunday, August 31, 2008, at his home after a long illness.
A memorial service will be 4 p.m. Wednesday, September 3, 2008, at Northside Baptist Church, with Dr. Jerry Sosebee officiating. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
A native of Morrow, Ga., Mr. Nolan was the son of the late William Joseph Nolan Sr. and the late Bertha Combs Nolan. He was preceded in death by four sisters, Mildred Nolan, Jane Kenner and twins, Ruth Bailey and Ruby Neble.
While still an infant, his family moved to Miami, Fla. As a young boy in Miami, Joe sold Good Housekeeping Magazines door-to-door and later delivered the Miami Herald for several years. Interestingly, among his many clients was the infamous Al Capone. During his teen years, Joe moved with his family to Charlotte, N.C. There he worked in his father's jewelry store while attending Central High School. After graduation, he entered Wake Forest College. Though he only spent a year there, he was elected president of the freshman class and held the distinct privilege of organizing the first dance in Wake Forest history. Joe left Wake Forest to attend Kings Business College and held a job at Buckeye Cotton and Oil Company as a cost accountant for two years. He then went to work for Lance Cracker Corporation, where he was the lead salesman until he joined the U.S. Navy in 1944. He served as a First Loader on a Quad-40 during the entire battle at Okinawa. He served in that capacity and other assigned duties on the LST 818 until the war ended.
After coming home, Joe started his own cracker business and completed four years at Furman University, where he studied to become a minister. He received a degree in Clinical Psychology and Speech, and then went on to New Orleans Theological Seminary. Four years later, he was ordained a minister of the gospel and was a pastor of churches in La., Ga., Ala., N.C., and S.C. He served as assistant pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte for eight years with Dr. Carl Bates. His last church was First Baptist Church in Spindale, N.C., where he retired in 1975.
After retiring, Joe obtained his real estate license and his contractor's license and formed a successful partnership with his son, Bill. Later on, the two pursued different areas, Joe in building and Bill in land development. Due to declining health, Joe retired once again. It was then that he and his wife, Gloria, became foster parents with S.C. Mentor, providing care for dozens of abused children over the next seventeen years.
Joe is survived by his wife of 30 years, Gloria; his sons, William and his wife, Louise, of Weddington, N.C., James of Charlotte and Kelly Greene and his wife, Dawn, of Spindale; his daughters, Shawn Crenshaw and Vicki and her husband, Phil, all of Rock Hill; his grandchildren, William J. Nolan IV, Joshua J. Nolan, Ronnie Nolan, Frederick Hemphil and wife, Daniella, Christine McCall and her husband, Ryan, Maci, Kortney and Kacey Crenshaw, Autumn Greene, Kaitlyn Keisel and Billy Eaton and his wife, Erica; great-grandchildren, Allison and Jordan Nolan, Madeline McCall and Heather and Alea Eaton; and a number of nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the small auditorium of the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Northside Baptist Church, 1140 Curtis Street, Rock Hill, SC 29730 or Serenity Palliative & Hospice Care, 223 S. Herlong Ave., Ste 110, Rock Hill, SC 29732.
Greene Funeral Home Northwest Chapel is assisting the Nolan family and condolences may be made at www.greenefuneralhome.net.