Barry Desmond Nolan


Barry Desmond Nolan


Barry Nolan
Barry Nolan

Barry Nolan, 88 of Billings, passed away on January 24, 2013 of natural causes. Barry was born on February 18, 1924 in Great Falls, Montana to Francis H. and Lillian A. Nolan. He joined his brother Frank and sisters Lillian and Alice. He spent his early years on their ranch in the Little Belt Mountains near Monarch, Montana and attended grade school at the Longfellow and the Ursaline Academy in Great Falls and Great Falls High School. He attended Montana State College and graduated with degrees in Chemical and Electrical Engineering. While in college, he met the love of his life, Margaret Ann Simpson, and they were married in December, 1947. He went to work for Carter Oil Company, now ExxonMobil, as a junior engineer. He rose through the ranks and was promoted to Refinery Manager in 1966. He and Margaret Ann adopted their only child, Gregg, in 1960. In 1974 the family moved to Baytown, Texas where Barry became the Process Manager of one of the largest refineries in the world.

In 1981 he retired and moved back to Billings and started a second career as a real estate agent, management consultant, and was named Senior Vice President of Powerine Oil Company in Los Angeles. He moved back to Billings in 1984 and continued his real estate and consulting business until 2007, when he finally retired.

Barry was very active in business and community organizations. He was a Professional Engineer and a life time member of NSPE. He was chairman of the Montana Petroleum Association, member of the Rocky Mountain Petroleum Association, and served on the boards of the Montana Chamber of Commerce, the Montana Tax Payers Association, the Billings Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Justice Petroleum Reserve, the Public Works Board of the City of Billings, and many others. He was Chairman of the Montana Air Pollution Advisory Council and was a candidate for the Constitional Convention for Montana in 1972. Since joining Rotary in 1966, he has served as Club President, District Governor of the State of Montana, and is a Paul Harris member many times over. Community activities during his career included: Boy Scouts Council, Chairman and board member of Special Transporttion Inc., Chairman and board member of Friendship House, board member of Family Service, Chairman and board member of Yellowstone Council on Aging. He was a board member and member of the Finance Committee of United Way for many years and was United Way’s “Man of The Year”, Chairman of the Treasure State Girl Scout Council and board member and Treasurer of the Girl Scout Council of Montana and Wyoming, Regional Director of The National SCORE Association and a SCORE counselor for over 25 years, was on the St. Vincent Hospital Board for many years, and was a charter member of Deaconess senior group. He was a member of the board of the Big Sky Economic Development Authority and was its Interim Director. He was a Charter Member of the Yellowstone Club and a Board member of the Hilands Golf Club, where he enjoyed playing golf. Barry was a member of Billings Lodge 113 of the Masons and was the first President of the Masonic Association Board. He was also a member of The Scottish Rite and Al Bedoo Shrine Temple.

Barry and Margaret Ann traveled extensively, visiting England, Europe, Spain, South America, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, Alaska and Canada. They loved spending time with family at cabins in the mountains south of Red Lodge and on Pilgrim Creek in the Little Belt Mountains.

Barry is survived by his son Dr. Gregg S. Nolan and grandson Jackson of San Antonio, Texas. His wife Margaret Ann preceded him in death in 2011. He also is survived by a sister, Lillian Shultz, of San Leandro, California, her two sons Jeff and Thad, by nephews Earl and Gary Griffith of Helena and Bozeman and Craig and Mark Huisenga of Billings and Springfield, Oregon, niece Debra Schulz of Cannon Falls, Minnesota, and many cousins.

Memorials may be made to The Al Bedoo Shrine Hospital fund or the American Lutheran Church.

The family will receive friends for visitation on Friday, from 5-7 p.m., at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. The casket will also be open prior to the funeral. Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 P.M., Saturday, Feb. 2 at American Lutheran Church, with a luncheon to follow. Interment will be held at Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park after lunch.

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0 thoughts on “Barry Desmond Nolan”

  1. Bill and I just read in the Baytown Sun about Barry. Our most sincere sympathies to Gregg and his family. They will be in our thoughts and prayers often. Barry was such a special man, husband, and father.

    The last email I had from Barry was wishing us Happy New Year in 2013. I always thought how great it was that Barry was on the computer! He always called when he was Baytown…in fact he would send an email before he came. He came by, we visited, enjoyed a cocktail, and then to dinner. We didn’t realize that would be the last time we would see Barry. Needless to say, that time will always be special to us.

    I was Barry’s secretary in 1980/1981 when he was the Process Manager at the Baytown Refinery. What a special time in my Exxon career! Barry was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. His dry sense of humor and/or joking gave way to fun times as well. One fun thing Barry and I never stopped joking about through all these years was: Barry had a meeting scheduled in his office, and he asked one of the visitors to go tell ” “what’s her face” ” to get us some coffee!” You must know that he DID NOT get by with that! I reminded him later about what happened to “the boss” in the the movie “9 to 5″…!

    And through all these years, Barry and Margaret Ann still came to Baytown to visit. Barry would go out to the Refinery to visit, catch up at Rotary meetings, etc. Margaret Ann also had her favorite places to catch up on as well. They “headquartered” at Frank and Martha Hester’s home during their visits. We always scheduled an evening to have dinner out with our families while they were here…..Frank and Martha, Bill and I, and Lisa and Clay Wheeler (our daughter and her husband)… We always chose a restaurant where Margaret Ann could get seafood and Barry could get a steak. We would still talk about Barry not eating anything that “swims or flies”!

    Margaret Ann took such good care of Barry, and Barry did the same for her when she was ill. Barry still came even after he lost Margaret Ann. He will be missed greatly.

    I will alway remember Barry as “one of my special bosses”.

    Again, our sincere sympathies to Gregg and his family.

    Elizabeth and Bill Carpenter
    Baytown, Texas

  2. My sincere sympathies go out to Gregg and his family. I remember Mr. Nolan as very special person. Someone who didn’t mind having a bunch of “Buds” hanging around his home. I’m also sad to hear Mrs. Nolan passed in 2011. Both were very nice folks. And I’m sure will be truely missed.

    Prayers go out to Gregg & family

    Brent Miller
    SugarLand Texas

  3. Marty Hughes Jung

    I am so sorry to read of your Dad’s passing. Both your Dad and Mom were pretty special folks to put up with all of us crazy teenagers.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

    Marty Hughes Jung
    Comfort, TX

  4. My sincere condolences to Barry’s family. I had the pleasure of working with Barry as a board member for Treasure Trails Girl Scout Council and in other supportive roles for Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming. He always approached every issue with an open mind, fairness, a desire to find solutions for the good of all, patience, and creativity. With his calm and intelligent approach, he could bring about compromise in the most difficult of situations. He was a mentor to me many times over, and the thousands and thousands of girls in our region benefitted from his wisdom and experience without ever knowing about him acting behind the scenes. In the way he lived his life he exemplified the Girl Scout Promise and Law, which begins, “On my honor, I will try…” Everyone who knew him will miss him terribly.

    Marilee Duncan
    Billings, Montana

  5. Barry enriched my life.

    He was an insightful Rotary mentor offering wise counsel and alternate viewpoints. Chartering the Glendive Rotary Club is a visible legacy to his commitment to Rotary International’s future in Montana.

    He and Margaret Ann were congenial hosts offering good food, jovial stories invoking laughter and meaningful conversation.

    Barry’s wise advice and positive support lifted my spirits during my bout with cancer. Today, five years later, a printed version of his sage advice is taped to my computer printer.

    My condolences to Barry’s family. When you look at nighttime’s spectacular display, Barry and Margaret Ann’s stars’ shine brightly.

    Bill Campbell
    McArthur, California
    Past District Governor
    Montana Rotary Clubs

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