Margaret M. Nolan died peacefully at home with her family on October 6, 2021. Born on Sept. 20, 1929, to Rose (O’Neal) and Edward L. Burke, Margaret Burke grew up in Gary, IN. She graduated valedictorian from Horace Mann High School in Gary, received her BA from St. Mary’s of the Woods College in Terre Haute, IN, and her Master’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. While at IU, she reignited a friendship with Gerald R. Nolan (Jerry), who was in medical school at IU. The two had known each other since kindergarten. The couple were married in Gary on August 29, 1953, and moved to Ft. Wayne, where Jerry set up a medical practice.
In addition to making a loving home for their eight children, Margaret found time to engage in many philanthropic and educational organizations, including the Antiquarians, Tri Kappa, PEO, Art Appreciation, Child Study, Medical Auxiliary, Friends of IPFW, substitute teaching at her children’s school, and her devoted bridge club for over 50 years. Managing to escape the kitchen and laundry room every now and then, she and Jerry loved to travel, enjoying many adventures around the world, when Jerry was able to convince one (it often took two) of his loyal nurses to agree to take charge of the brood.
Margaret was a tireless volunteer throughout her life, teaching her children the importance of giving back to one’s community. She acted as docent, meals-on-wheels deliverer, ambassador for families moving to Ft. Wayne, historic educator for area school field trips and other groups, to name a few. Margaret was a woman of strong faith, who loved God and family above all else. She started every day with an unfailing and infectious cheerfulness. She was fiercely independent, dangerously smart, and drew upon all of these traits to deal with life’s challenges (mostly visited upon her by her eight children...).
This remarkable woman was predeceased by her loving husband, Gerald Nolan, MD, of 48 years, and is survived by her brother, Edward Burke of Merrillville, IN, sister, Mary Ann Krach of Ft. Wayne, as well as her children, Thomas (Cynde) Nolan, James (Becky) Nolan, Catherine (Mark) Balay, Jeanne (Duane) Rice, Carol (Joel) Skinner, Sheila Nolan, Amy (David) Piazzon, Patrick Nolan, many beloved grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Memorial Mass will be 10:00 am Saturday, October 23, 2021, at St. Mother Theodore Guerin Chapel (Cathedral Chapel), 1102 S. Clinton St., with calling one hour prior, followed by a celebration of Margaret's life at the Ft. Wayne Country Club. Visitation also Friday, October 22, 5-8 pm at the Divine Mercy Funeral Home, 3500 Lake Ave, Ft. Wayne. Graveside service will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations preferred to St. Mary's of the Woods College, or Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The world is undoubtedly a better place as a result of Margaret’s journey here on earth. Godspeed.