Page 50 - October 2021
P. 50

 A toast to the great Bill Nolan Friends, family and colleagues gather to finally honor one of FOP’s finest
Bill Nolan’s extended family attended the Celebration of Life and Memorial, along with his wife, Carol (center) and Bill’s son, Bill Jr. (standing on Carol’s right).
Hundreds of people filled the FOP Hall to properly memori- alize a Lodge 7 icon on Sept. 23. It was a Celebration of Life and Memorial for Bill Nolan, an FOP giant who served 41 years in the Chicago Police Department.
“It was overwhelming,” said Carol Nolan, Bill’s wife and com- panion. “Truly it was long overdue.”
Bill was a three-term Lodge 7 president from 1993 to 2002, Easterseals chairmain of the board of directors, National FOP board member and the list goes on. He was a mentor who never said “no” to a chance to help.
“I learned a lot from Bill,” said Rocky Nowaczyk, a National FOP trustee, Illinois State Trooper and FOP/Easterseals Nation- al Committee chairman. “He recommended me for the chair- man position when he stepped down, and almost 30 years later, I’m still in that position, thanks to Bill.”
William J. Nolan passed away on April 21, 2020, and left a leg- acy of strong leadership, great integrity and a kindhearted man- ner. He set a standard not only for union members, but also for friends, family and colleagues, and his passing left a gaping hole in the many hearts he touched.
The funeral would have stretched for days, perhaps even weeks, but the COVID pandemic limited attendance. That’s when John Manglardi, a dear friend for 30 years and chairman of the Easterseals New School and Capital Campaign Commit- tee, knew he had to plan a better way to honor Bill.
“It was tragic for all the friends,” Manglardi recalled. “Because we were not able to go in and see Bill off in a proper way. We couldn’t pay our respects. So I promised Carol I would never forget Bill.”
When COVID restrictions were lifted in Chicago in June, more than a year after the funeral, Manglardi kept his promise. It took a committee, dubbed the “Nolan Team,” and weekly meetings for months to plan the celebration. In addition to Manglardi and Carol, Nowaczyk and Easterseals Metropolitan Chicago COO Barbara Zawacki, Development Manager and Board Liai- son Dorothy Dohoney and Carmelita Wagner, a colleague from
the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, helped plan the event. Manglardi floated the idea of holding the celebration at the FOP Hall because that’s the building Bill bought and made into Lodge 7’s home during his presidency. Thanks to FOP President John Catanzara, the team secured the building and set the date
for Sept. 23.
The morning before the celebration, Carol took a moment to
look at a photo of Bill.
“OK, Bill, we’re getting there,” Carol relayed to him. “Tomor-
row is the big day.”
A framed certificate and flag, brought by Bill’s son, Bill Jr.,
were presented on a table for attendees to see at the FOP Hall. The flag was flown at the U.S. Capitol after Bill passed, thanks to his granddaughter, Kylie, who worked with former U.S. Senator Pat Roberts at the time.
“She indicated that [her grandpa had passed] to the senator,” Carol mentioned. “They had the flag flown in honor of Bill and everything he did in the law enforcement field.”
Of the hundreds who went to pay respects to Bill, the first was Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, who made the special trip even though he had another obligation. He was one of the countless connections Bill made in his career, proven by the photos on display of him with former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, former Chicago mayor Richard Daley and Illinois Secre- tary of State Jesse White.
“I didn’t know he knew all those people that he touched,” Do- honey explained. “I know people always say, ‘We’ll never forget him, he was a great guy.’ And I know one of the speakers said that praise is tossed around a lot, but Bill really was a great guy.”
Following the prayers from Deacon Bill Burns and Rabbi Moshe Wolf, Manglardi and Nowaczyk hosted the proceedings. Then they turned it over to nearly 10 speakers, including Bill’s partners from CPD and the Sheriff’s office, who offered tributes.
All the testaments had the same message: Bill was a giver who was always available to listen and help wherever he could. He was one of a kind.
“It was very uplifting,” Carol noted. “Especially a year and a

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