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October 1932 - March 2023
After a lengthy battle with Father Time, our dad finally won, and passed away as peacefully as he could in his sleep. At the time of his death, he was a resident of St. Norbert Personal Care Home, and the family takes this opportunity to extend our sincerest gratitude for their boundless care and compassion that they showed our dad through difficult times.
He immigrated to Canada in 1957, first touching Canadian soil as the plane refueled in Gander, NL.
He was born in Dublin, Ireland, the second oldest of eight children. Emigrating was not an easy thing, nor was it an easy choice. It was the post war years, and The Troubles had already begun, though not officially. Dad had very strong and very legitimate feelings about the political state of things back home, and he communicated these articulately.
His journey through life had its share of ups and downs, highs and lows, and wins and losses. As with so many others, he dealt with some of the disappointments that make up the fabric of life.
He was married, then divorced, then remarried. His first marriage to Helen saw the start of the family, with Yvette being the firstborn, followed by Michael, and lastly, Patrick. The family moved from Ontario, to Saskatchewan, eventually settling in Winnipeg. Unfortunately, the marriage underwent dissolution, and for a time, dad was operating independently and without a spouse. After a period of time, he met Lucy, the woman who would become his second wife. In this marriage, it appeared that he had genuinely found the life he always wanted, with each complementing the other's life. Tragically, he lost Lucy to illness. This was a profound loss felt by all, and represented a point in dad's life that was a quantum shift as we all look back.
Along the way, he made a difference in many people’s lives. He once helped save a bunch of students from a burning school.
For a guy who came over from Ireland alone over 65 years ago, he did alright. He encountered adversity and was able to endure, overcoming very real challenges along the way to emerge from this and be a contributor.
He watched his children grow, he saw his grandchildren, and had a great-grandson. Yeah, for a guy who walked into Canada alone, he had a good run.
Our dad, he loved his coffee…watching the news, and, well, being cranky. He was most certainly a man who was unafraid of sharing his opinions, of which he had many. Be it federal or municipal politics, economic policies, evolving social justice issues, or the state of the health care system, he always had something to say. When he could combine an unpacking of the news of the day, coffee and being cantankerous, he was having a good day.
The last decade, he sat and waited for his demise. He had his thoughts as to what was waiting on the other side. And he had moments of deep, contemplative self-reflection with regards to what end of life not only looked like for him, but also how each one of us as individuals makes our own choices.
He always spoke of going through a door, and walking again through the hills back home in Ireland as he sipped a cup of coffee. Ireland was always home.
We hope he found it. We hope his spirit made its way home.
Kevin Nolan is survived by his three children, Yvette, Michael and Patrick (Susan), three grandchildren, Melissa, Andrew and Harper, and one great-grandson, Finley.
Rest well dad, you did good.
For those who wish to sign the online Guest Book please visit www.chapellawn.ca
Chapel Lawn Funeral Home
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 22, 2023
Condolences & Memories (4 entries)
Kevin changed the course of my life. Married to my sister, Helen, they travelled to our aboriginal community in Quebec. My sister asked if I wanted to come and live with them. I did not hesitate. Then Kevin entered my photo for the hostesses of Canada Pavilion in Montreal, Quebec. I was selected and it opened my eyes to a whole new world. Only God knows what course my life would have taken, had he not submitted my name and photo. Thank you Kevin, thank you Helen,. Heart-felt condolences to Yvette, Michael and Patrick. - Posted by: Stella Chabot (Sister-in-law) on: May 30, 2023
I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Big Kevin when we both worked with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation. I was a young student back then and Kevin was a department head. From my perspective, Kevin always had the desire to help other people less fortunate and spent a lot of time back in the day, working on getting the government to improve on its attempts to provide indigenous Canadians with better affordable housing. I also loved big Kevin’s humour! Lang May yer lum reek Kev! My condolences to the family. - Posted by: Doug Leeies (Professional) on: Apr 24, 2023
Kevin and I had very different musical tastes - he classical, me jazz. Saturday evenings, there was a classical concert 6.30-8 on the only radio in the house, clashing with a jazz half hour 6.30-7. He used to pull rank as the eldest brother. Our mother had to make a ruling that whoever was at the radio a 6.30 took precedence, which satisfied me but not him. - Posted by: Richard Nolan (Brother ) on: Apr 24, 2023
I was Kevin's companion for 10 yrs but unfortunately my health has deteriorated & I could not be there the last year. Kevin is finally at peace. My condolences to all the family. - Posted by: Merrilyn Fiori (companion) on: Apr 22, 2023
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