John Francis Nolan, 88, of Haverhill, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at Merrimack Valley Hospice House Tuesday, March 14.
Nolan was born May 15, 1928 in Gloves Middle, Athenry, County Galway, Ireland, to Michael Nolan and Delia (O'Dea) Nolan. He grew up working on his father's farm and helped build the rectory at Esker Church, the village church in Athenry. He served in the British Army before moving to Massachusetts in 1948. He held several jobs, including working for his uncle at the Old Kerry bottling plant in Haverhill. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He married his wife, Barbara Lydon in 1957 and they shared 60 years of marriage. After attending the Massachusetts State Police Academy, he served on the Haverhill Police Department from 1963-1983. He patrolled Washington and Merrimack Streets and Bradford, where he was well known, respected and liked by the local business owners. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, listening to Irish music and traveling back to Ireland when he could.
In addition to his wife Barbara, "Papa" is survived by his five children, Theresa Susen and husband Peter, Patrick Nolan and wife Cheryl, John Nolan and wife Julie Herget, Barbara Nolan and significant other Richard DeMatteo, and Kevin Nolan and wife Kristen, all of Haverhill; eight grandchildren, Matthew, Andrew and Jeffrey Susen, Sean, Lauren and Joshua Nolan, John Herget-Nolan, and Addison Nolan. He also leaves siblings Tommy and Martin, Theresa and Nancy, and many nieces and nephews in Ireland. He was preceded in death by his siblings James, Michael, Mary Jennings, Kitty Kincaid, Sissy Burk, and Sister Theresa Patrick of the Order of the Sisters of the Poor.
Visiting hours are Friday, March 17, at Driscoll Funeral Home, 309 South Main St., Bradford, from 4 to 7 p.m. Services are Saturday, beginning in the funeral home at 9 a.m. Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Sacred Hearts Church, 165 South Main St., Bradford, at 10 a.m. Burial with Haverhill Police Department Honors follows in Elmwood Cemetery.