Ellen J. Nolan, 74, of Spring Lane, died peacefully at home in Chamberlain on April 30th, surrounded by family and friends after a courageous 10-year battle with cancer. She was the beloved wife of eight years of John J. Nolan.
Born Ellen Jean Callahan on July 20, 1943 at Saint Margaret’s Hospital in Dorchester, Massachusetts, she was the daughter of the late Edith L. Plummer and Francis J. Callahan. She graduated from Concord-Carlisle High School in Concord, Massachusetts in 1961, and later received a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Science Education from Eastern Connecticut State University in Windham, Connecticut.
Ellen is survived by her husband, John; son, Charles; brother, Paul; and sisters, Edith and Eileen; and was predeceased by her parents; her son, Brian; and her sister, Janet.
She worked in administrative jobs in Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Camp in Connecticut and later in life worked as a farmer raising chickens, Dexter cows, and sheep at the Riverbend Farm in Waldoboro, Maine. She loved the peace of her farm and gardens.
Ellen supported the community as a facilitator in a local grief support group and as a Pastoral Visitor Volunteer at Miles Hospital. She was also a communicant at St. Patrick Catholic church in Newcastle, and sang in the choir there.
Ellen was also a serious birder on Nantucket, Cape Cod, and throughout New England. Her lifelong interests included working in pastels and painting in watercolors and writing poetry. She was a published poet. Here is an example of her poignant poetry:
Rain – gentle summer rain – whispering
Soft, warm secrets in the night.
Aromas of damp soil; pine
Peaceful, nurturing, nourishing.
Quiet – Sounds muted by dampness
Feel the river beyond the open window
Winding slowly seaward – feeding the land.
Carrying memories in its placid depths.
All my life moving toward this place -
Longing for this peace and solitude.
A rocky and treacherous road - To this
Expression of my truth.
All the false beginnings and detours
Necessary parts of the whole.
Ellen is best remembered for her qualities of warmth and love. She brightened up a room with her smile, her concern for others, and hugs. She touched many with her caring presence and listening, and cared to pray for those in need. She was an example for us all.
A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Newcastle on May 4th. If desired, contributions in Ellen’s memory may be made to: Miles and St. Andrew’s Home Health & Hospice, ℅ Development Office, 35 Miles Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for her family, may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com.