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Billy "B.J." Nolen


1924 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Billy "B.J." Nolen Obituary
Billy "B.J." Nolen met his Savior on Monday morning, Sept. 9, 2013, after a lifetime of faithful service. Service: The service celebrating Bill's life and "homegoing" will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Lamar Baptist Church, with the Rev. Joe Atkinson officiating and assisted by the Rev. Harvey Pendley. Visitation for family and friends will be 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Arlington Funeral Home. Bill suffered from some physical challenges during the last few years but maintained a cheerful spirit in the midst of these trials. His strong constitution, only exceeded by his faith in God, enabled him to conquer these challenges over the years. Bill found great joy in being with friends and family and visiting with the other residents of the Masonic Retirement Center, but his greatest joy was in serving the Lord. Bill had a servant's heart through and through. His spiritual gift was mercy and he exhibited it in numerous ways, from hospital visits, to sitting with families during a loved one's surgery and helping total strangers whom he met with various needs. "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-3. Bill was born in Climax on Sept. 5, 1924, to Joe and Pauline Nolen. He grew up in McKinney, where he graduated from McKinney High School in 1943. After high school, he enlisted in the Army where he served in the European theater during World War II and captured a German platoon escorting a German colonel behind enemy lines. After being honorably discharged from the Army at the end of World War II, he moved to Arlington, where he married the former Mary Cathryn Millican on Dec. 22, 1945. He graduated from Arlington State College (now UTA) with a bachelor's degree in business. Bill and Mary raised two sons, Robert Nolen and Ronald Nolen, into their adult years. He worked as a rural letter carrier for many years until retiring in 1979. Bill and Mary were active members of Northside Baptist Church and later Lamar Baptist Church. For many years Bill maintained an active hospital visitation ministry, sometime spending 35 to 40 hours a week at the hospital, exercising his spiritual gift of mercy. Bill was so experienced at hospital visitation that he instructed new hospital chaplains on the proper way to conduct a hospital visit in a patient's room. Bill had a passion for the advocacy of people with mental handicaps and was the founder and first president of The Arlington Association for Retarded Citizens. He lived at the Masonic Retirement Center for the last 10 years, part of that time with Mary until her passing in July 2008. Bill was predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Mary; his parents, Joe and Pauline Nolen; and his sons, Robert Nolen and Ronald Nolen. Survivors: Bill is survived by his sister, Nell Shockley, and her children and grandchildren; numerous cousins; adopted children, Mike and Tonja Adams; adopted grandchildren, Logan, Lawson and Lucas Adams, who greatly loved their "PaPa Bill"; and numerous close friends from Lamar Baptist Church and the Masonic Retirement Center.
Published in Star-Telegram on Sept. 12, 2013
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