William Conlin Nolan Jr. died at the Medical Center of South Arkansas, in El Dorado, on Monday, March 12, 2012, as a result of a short and sudden illness.

Bill was a life-long resident of El Dorado and a graduate of El Dorado High School, Yale undergraduate school and Yale Law School. He was widely recognized throughout his adult life as a leader in community and state affairs and in business. Bill was elected to the board of directors of Murphy Oil Corp. in 1977, chairman of the board in 2002 and served until his death. He also served on the boards of First Commercial Corp, Arkansas Power and Light, First Financial Bank and Noalmark Broadcasting Corp., among others. 

He was a partner and general counsel of Munoco Co. He was also a partner in the law firm of Nolan and Alderson, which he and Edwin Alderson formed in 1969. Their legal and business endeavors were successful due to the fact that they thoroughly enjoyed working together and blending their talents to meet their opportunities and challenges. Bill was a co-founder and president and CEO of Noalmark Broadcasting Corp. since 1973 and built it from a two station local operation to becoming the owner and licensee of stations in Arkansas, Texas and New Mexico. He had a deep affection for and dedication to the numerous employees of Noalmark.

Many of his greatest civic achievements were in the health care area. He served for many years on the board of directors of the American Hospital Association, Warner Brown Hospital, Medical Center of South Arkansas, the SHARE Foundation, and South Arkansas Regional Health Center. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Arkansas Hospital Association in 1986. He also served on the boards of the South Arkansas Arts Center, Boys and Girls Club and the Chamber of Commerce. Bill was elected to the Arkansas Constitutional Convention in 1969 and served as a legislative assistant to David Pryor when he was governor of Arkansas.

One of his favorite hobbies was running and he completed over 70 marathons, many under three hours. He loved fly fishing and camping with his friends and family. At one point, Bill served on an officiating crew with his friends for high school football games in Arkansas. Recently, he loved gardening with his wife, Deborah.

He was predeceased by his father, William Conlin Nolan.

He is survived by his wife, Deborah S. Nolan; his mother, Theodosia Murphy Nolan; brothers, Charles Murphy Nolan and his wife, Eleanor C. Nolan, and Robert Calvert Nolan and his wife, Candi E. Nolan; a sister, Theodosia Nolan Roddy and her husband, Jimmy Roddy. He is also survived by his daughter, Diane Nolan Landen and her husband, James E. Landen, together with their sons, James E. Landen Jr., Wilson Matthews Landen, and Charles Fullar Landen. He is survived by a son, William Conlin Nolan III and his wife, Carla C. Nolan, and their sons, William Conlin Nolan IV, and Alex C. Nolan, and their daughter, Catherine Claire Nolan. He is survived by a son, Jeffrey Westbrook Nolan and his wife, Cara B. Nolan, and their three sons, Jack Murphy Nolan, Henry Fuller Nolan, and Hayes Thomas Nolan. He is also survived by his wife, Deborah’s children, Rebekah Kaufman and her husband, Nathan Voorhies; their children, Eli K. Voorhies and Henry K. Voorhies, and her son, Robert Henry Niehuss.

Bill was an extraordinary person – combining the right balance of intelligence and good judgment. He was a trusted advisor and counselor to many, and a friend to all. His leadership and the lasting impact he made in his business and civic life are legendary. He was a devoted and loving husband, father and son. He was greatly loved and will be missed.

Funeral arrangements are being made by Young’s Funeral Directors. He will be buried in a private ceremony and there will be a funeral service at First Methodist Church at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Visitation will be held from 5 until 6:30 p.m. today at Young’s.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the SHARE Foundation, 403 W. Oak, El Dorado, AR 71730.

An online registry will be available at www.youngsfuneralhome.com.

Published: 03/14/2012