Philip Nolan, 78

Inventor, public health advocate, Renaissance man

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Phillip Nolan, 78, of Waupaca, Wisconsin and former Oak Park resident, died peacefully at his home, as he wished, with the wind at his back and his wife by his side on Aug. 27, 2019. Born on Aug. 11, 1941 to the late Dr. Philip and Charlotte (Peterson) Nolan in Appleton, Wisconsin, he was raised primarily in Bronxville, New York. 

He graduated from Antioch College with a B.A. in Philosophy and in his college years pursued diverse interests. Post-Antioch, he moved to Birmingham, Alabama to study Anatomy and Physiology at the University of Alabama where, among other jobs, he was responsible for training medical students in the anatomy lab. 

He met his wife in Birmingham, and they participated in the Civil Rights Movement together and then married. They moved to Chicago in 1966 and he earned his master's degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois. His adult career focused on advocating for at-risk populations throughout the Chicago area. He coordinated after-care services for at-risk youth in Chicago's West Side, was a mental health administrator at Madden Mental Health Center, and a nursing home administrator for a publicly funded nursing home, which housed developmentally disabled older adults. 

On the side, he was a jazz enthusiast, Sanskrit student, chef, yoga and meditation master, theater lover, political activist, photographer, joker, raconteur, swimmer, environmentalist, democrat, poet, clarinetist, public health conference presenter, not to mention inventor. He invented the Aquasight dive mask system in 1991, and his latest collaborative concept (patent pending) reduces/recycles industrial CO2 emissions. 

A celebration of his life was held on Sept. 7 at Maple Crest Funeral Home of Waupaca. The family suggests donations to organizations which were dear to his heart, Habitat for Humanity and/or Planned Parenthood.

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