Edward Patrick Nolan, devoted husband, father, grandfather, and brother, died on April 23rd in the company of his loving family at Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow. As his family grieves this week and reaches out to his wide circle of friends, colleagues and former classmates, the stories are different, but the sentiment is the same - “Ed was simply the best guy I knew. We were all lucky to know someone so kind and good for as long as we did.”
Edward - nicknamed “Eddie Pat” by his mother - was born in New York City at St. Clare’s Hospital in 1946. He was the oldest of five siblings, born into a devout Catholic family that ultimately left the Bronx for the suburbs of Mamaroneck. There, he attended Holy Trinity School and Salesian High School, developing into an avid swimmer and diver. His summers were spent lifeguarding on the beaches of New York, where he often said he was “never dry” for all of the people he ended up having to save. He also earned his Eagle Scout commendation, a fact of which he was proud till the day he died. When discussing his scouting days, anyone querying him about his achievements needed to speak in the present tense. “I am still an Eagle Scout,” he frequently declared.
Eddie Pat graduated from Salesian in 1963 and enrolled at Fordham University. He dove for the university’s diving team and studied political science, working his way through college by caddying at Winged Foot Golf Club, where his father, Edward A. Nolan, was a legendary locker room attendant. It was from a member at Winged Foot that he bought his very first used car for $300. The experience was formative, as Eddie Pat would go on to purchase a series of old, used, beat-up cars for various amounts of cash throughout his life. Car loans were not permitted - you bought the car you could afford with the money you had. More on that later.
He enrolled in the Peace Corps in 1967, journeying to Tunisia to teach English. His two years in Africa catalyzed a lifelong love of traveling. Per his various travel companions, his love of travel was afflicted by far too much sightseeing.
Eddie Pat returned from Tunisia and enrolled in Fordham University Law School’s night program, this time working his way through school as a teacher in Harlem. After his years of international travel, he returned to Mamaroneck only to marry one of his neighbors. He and Toni Healey were married in June 1971. A baby was on the way as he graduated from law school in June 1973, and he and Toni moved north to Briarcliff Manor, where he would raise three daughters and reside for the rest of his life. Toni’s influence on Eddie Pat was intense and storied. Notably, it was very stubborn Toni who would finally convince Eddie Pat to buy a new car off the lot. Still, when they chose an ice blue Chevy Malibu station wagon for their growing young family, he paid cash.
As a newly minted lawyer, Eddie Pat joined the Manhattan firm of Windels Marx Davies and Ives, where he would work for more than 50 years. He became a partner in 1978 and as recently as last week, was still boarding the morning train for Grand Central to serve his clients. His knowledge of Manhattan’s real estate law was vast and startlingly detailed and he liked nothing better than telling a truly great New York City real estate story. People who left their Manhattan condos to their pets were always his favorites and he would tell them as he clutched his belly and laughed.
Toni died young and suddenly in 1997. But Eddie Pat, shockingly and unexpectedly on his own, lucked out yet again with a neighbor. In 2000, he met Elaine Tompkins, also recently widowed, and the two were married at St. Theresa Church on April 15, 2000. In Elaine, Eddie Pat found the travel companion he always wanted and the new couple set out on a delightful twenty-two- year marriage full of exotic trips and excessive sightseeing. Visiting them at their home undoubtedly meant being subjected to hundreds of photos from their most recent trip. The viewing was peppered by obscure historical facts from Eddie Pat and surprisingly personal stories about various strangers Elaine met and befriended. And while narrating the lengthy photo exhibitions, they both would just laugh and laugh.
Together, Eddie Pat and Elaine would grandparent 20 grandchildren, blending two families together to become beloved Grandpa Ed and Grandma Elaine to all of them. He loved and served his community, voluntarily chairing the Briarcliff Planning Board for decades and becoming a fixture at the podium of St. Theresa Church, where he often lectored masses.
As his grandchildren grew and introduced him to the wonders of technology, his inability to grasp them became one of his most endearing qualities. To the very end, he was perplexed by hotel wifi, saving someone’s phone number after the person had called you, which side of the iPhone the camera was on, how to turn on his own television and the Bluetooth in his (fully paid for) car. And he was loved all the more fiercely for it.
Eddie Pat is survived by his wife Elaine; his three daughters Caroline, Pamela and Jane; Elaine’s four children, Craig, Scott, Gary and Lynn; his sister, Mary, and brother, Denis; and all 20 of those adoring grandchildren.
Reposing, Waterbury & Kelly Funeral Home on Tuesday from 4-8 PM. Funeral Mass, St. Theresa’s Church, Briarcliff Manor, NY on Wednesday 10 AM. Interment, Oakwood Cemetery, Mt. Kisco, NY to follow
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department at: Briarcliff Manor Village Hall.1111 Pleasantville Road, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510
WATERBURY & KELLY FUNERAL HOME
1300 Pleasantville Road
Briarcliff Manor, New York 10510
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Edward Patrick Nolan, please visit our floral store.