Annette Reid Nolan, 83, died peacefully in Oak Park in home hospice on Jan. 23, 2022, her children at her side, holding her hands as she gently left this place to join her husband in a long-awaited embrace. Born on Nov. 23, 1938 in Fort Smith, Arkansas, her early years were spent in Oklahoma. Her parents raised their five children across Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee, wherever he was called to serve in his capacity as a Presbyterian minister.
She was smart, athletic (basketball), played piano in church and won a Virginia statewide singing contest; she was crowned Homecoming Queen her senior year of high school. As a young woman, she lived in Richmond Virginia and worked at the Bank of Richmond, then pivoted to nursing school at Birmingham Baptist Hospital in Alabama. There she met her husband and together they participated in the Civil Rights Movement. After they married, the couple moved to Chicago around 1966.
She found her calling in psychiatry, working first as a psychiatric nurse at Michael Reese Hospital, then accepted a nurse manager position on a psychiatric-substance use inpatient unit at Hines VA Medical Center. In her spare time, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Xavier University in Art History, because art was one of her passions. To say she was an avid reader simply does not capture her long-term relationship with local librarians and the tenderly worn books shelved and stacked all throughout the family home. She also loved bird-watching, action movies, football, koi ponds, driving fast, gardening, cooking Indian and Mexican dinners, the Sugar Hill Gang, advocating for the Democrats, MSNBC, Stephen Colbert, and watching dolphins swim the Atlantic from her porch perch in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. A more accepting, loving ear for one’s personal crisis, struggle or story there never was. She was an informal therapist to many from the privacy and warmth of her kitchen table.
Annette was the daughter of Rev. Milton Prentiss Reid (d. 1989) and Myra W. Phelps (d. 1941); stepdaughter of Eleanor Reid (d. 2013); sister of Cameron Reid (d. 2018), Milton Prentiss Reid II, Judith Reid MD, and David Reid; wife of Philip Nolan (d. 2019); mother of Kisten Devine Nolan and Verdant (Philip Ravia Reid) Nolan (married to Jeanne Pinsof Nolan); grandmother of Nicholas Philip Laughton (10), Kye (Kisten Leslie) Nolan (14), Thea Day Atkins (20), and Kendall Brinkley Laughton (22); and aunt to many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life is planned for July 30 at 2:30 p.m. in their Waupaca, Wisconsin home. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to an organization/cause she felt passionately about, Planned Parenthood.