James Nolan


James Nolan, 58, of Middleboro, Oak Bluffs, and formerly Jamaica Plain, died peacefully on June 4, after a valiant battle with bladder cancer. He is mourned by many relatives and friends, but most especially by his wife of just three years, Renée (Surprenant) Nolan.

Although their marriage was poignantly short, they shared many happy years as summer neighbors on Martha’s Vineyard, then best friends, and finally as loving partners. As kids, they kept busy riding their bikes around Oak Bluffs, hanging out with the gang at Pay Beach, or getting up at dawn for backdoor donuts at the Wesley House.

Jim was blessed with the ability to make anyone he encountered a friend, and his amazingly quick wit kept his life alive with laughter and love.

The food and beverage industry was Jim’s passion and profession. He attended Cape Cod Community College and UMass, and then embarked on a career that included ownership of Captain Nemo’s Sub Shop in Vineyard Haven, and Boston Bartending School. He also worked as a restaurant broker in Boston. Most recently, he was loved and respected as Food and Beverage Manager at the Raynham-Taunton Dog Track.

Jim is survived by his wife, Renée; his beloved aunt, Helen Pope of the Villages, Fla.; sisters Priscilla Sinatra and Barbara Nolan of Martha’s Vineyard; and stepchildren Emily Hartford of New York City, Elizabeth Hartford of Jamaica Plain, and Jake Hartford of Middleboro. Jim was pre-deceased by his parents, James and Priscilla Nolan. He will also be sorely missed by Milkshake, his special-needs cat, who was a constant companion and source of joy.

A celebration of Jim’s life will be held at the Portuguese-American Club on Vineyard Avenue in Oak Bluffs on July 24 from 2 to 5 pm. Notification will be posted on CaringBridge.org on the jimnolan site. A full chronology of Jim’s struggle can be read there also. Donations can be made in Jim’s name to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs MA 02557.