Mark Alan Nolan of Niles, Michigan, husband, father, grandfather, machinist, mechanic, and auto racing fan died Saturday morning, April 10, 2021 with his family gathered around at his home in Niles exactly one month short of his 70th birthday. His family is grateful for the kind and compassionate care provided by the staff of Caring Circle Hospice at Home.
He was born on May 10, 1951 in Niles to Paul O. and Frances H. (Friel) Nolan. He graduated from Niles High School and continued his education at Lake Michigan College. He began a career at the former Niles plant of Simplicity Pattern Company in 1969, maintaining and repairing the machines until the plant was closed in 2007. He also drove trucks over-the-road for a variety of area firms including David Davis Motorfreight in Niles and KMH Systems in South Bend, Indiana.
Mark began working on cars while in high school, putting a race engine in his car. He has continued to help family and friends with automotive repairs in his home shop. He has always enjoyed auto racing and attended NASCAR events at many racetracks across the country. He also enjoyed drag-racing, regularly attending the NHRA Nationals. He had attended the Woodward Dream Cruise north of Detroit and once visited Alaska. He was a volunteer and former board member of the Four Flags Area Apple Festival.
On October 27, 1972 in Niles he married the former Vickie Ann Wallace with whom he celebrated the forty-eighth anniversary of their wedding. They were sadly preceded in death by a daughter, Tracee Ann Bartley on February 25, 2014. Mark was also preceded in death by his parents and by siblings Clayton Nolan, Sr., Richard Susan, and Jerry Paddock.
Surviving family includes his wife, Vickie Nolan and their daughter, Stacie Nolan of South Bend; granddaughter Loryn Bartley; and Mark’s brother Elwood Nolan of Niles and several nieces and nephews.
The family of Mark Nolan will gather privately to share memories and celebrate his life. Contributions in memory of Mark may be made to the Four Flags Area Apple Festival, 1740 Lake Street, Niles, Michigan, 49120, https://fourflagsapplefestival.org/ . Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home in Niles. Online condolences may be left at:
Mark enjoyed high-performance engines, the speed of stock-car races, and even faster but very brief drag-races. He was also a longtime, faithful employee, kind to share his mechanical skills with friends, and generous to the Apple Festival. But his greatest excitement, generosity, and love was for Vickie and their family.