Emmett Duane Nolan
September 11, 1925 to
December 17, 2019
Captain Emmett "Rosy" Nolan
was a real "American Hero"
who represents all that is
great about the "Greatest
Generation". He was born
Emmett Duane Nolan on
September 11, 1925 on the
family farm in the Wauhillau
(Cherokee for "Eagles Nest"),
just outside Stilwell, Oklahoma
as the youngest of a family
of 11. He was also known as
"Top", "Coach" or "Rosy".
Times were tough in the
Eastern hills of the Ozarks.
He never knew his father
because he was gravely injured in an accident the day of his birth and died 3 days later. Then times really got tough, the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl soon followed. They all had to learn how to fend for themselves to stay alive. No grocery stores, cars, electricity, plumbing and no money. Emmett could not attend his senior class party because he did not have a quarter, nobody had one. His family included: Parents: Robert Emmett and Elizabeth Parlee Nichols Nolan, Brothers and Sisters: Byrl"Jake", Weneford (Eugene), Robert E. Lee, Erma Dee, Half-brothers and sisters: Regina, Linzy (Cooney), Lafayette (Fate), Birdie, Reba, and Edith.
When Pearl Harbor was attacked, Rosy was a senior in high school. Immediately his three older brothers joined the army. But Rosy was not yet 18 years of age. His mother said if he would just graduate, she would sign the papers for him to enlist.
When Emmett graduated, he volunteered for a new parachute division, the 101st Airborne, also known as the "Screaming Eagles," and sent to Fort Benning, Georgia for training. From boot camp, they were shipped to England as a member of the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions to prepare for the Normandy Invasion on D- Day.
On June 6, 1944, the night before the beach landings, both divisions, parachuted into Normandy. They fought the Germans through France for the next 40 days. They regrouped to go back to England to prepare for the next European invasion. The 101st and 82nd were then attached to the British 2nd Army to invade and liberate the Netherlands. After 70 days in Holland, both divisions joined the U.S. 1st Army near Rheims, France. In December 1944, Emmett and the 101st were surrounded by seven German divisions near Bastogne, Belgium later to become known as the "Battle of the Bulge". The battle started seventy-five years ago to the date. One cold December morning crawling out of a foxhole, another soldier said well there's ol' Rosy cheeks and the nickname stuck. In Bastogne after 40 days in sub- freezing temperatures, he suffered from frostbite on both feet. All three of his brothers were also wounded in battle and received "Purple Hearts". ol' Rosy suffered from frostbite for the rest of his life. Brother Robert E. Lee Nolan (Bob) was in the 1st Armored Division under General George Patton serving from North Africa, Italy, France to Germany in several tanks and wounded many times.
The survivors of the "Battle of the Bulge '' and the 101st then moved to the 7th Army front in southern Germany to capture Berchtesgaden and Hitler's hide out the "Eagles Nest". Soon the War ended and the 101st Division occupied southern Germany and Austria until December 1945. The 101st and 82nd then sailed back to New York on the Queen Mary and they all marched in the ticker tape "Victory in Europe Parade" on Fifth Avenue. Discharged in January 1946, Rosy took advantage of the GI Bill to enter college at Northeastern State College in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He played football and earned a BS in Physical Education.
Rosy met and married a young Tahlequah schoolteacher, Zoe Covington, they both taught school and he also coached high school football. Rosy was a member of the Oklahoma National Guard, 45th Infantry Division of "Thunderbirds", and the first division to be activated at the break of the war in Korea.
The 45th Division trained in Fort Polk, Louisiana. General James Styron summoned Rosy to coach a 45th Division Leadership football team. The team was undefeated and won the service championship twice.
After returning from Korea, Rosy and a few of his players attended the University of Oklahoma to pursue his Master's Degree. He ended up on the coaching staff for Bud Wilkinson. That year marked the beginning of the University of Oklahoma's famous 47 game winning streak.
Upon graduation, Rosy returned to high school coaching at Pawhuska, Oklahoma and then Tulsa Central High School. Rosy and family left Oklahoma for California in 1965 to Oxnard High School and then Thousand Oaks High School and Newbury Park High School. Rosy and Joe Howell ended the losing streaks of Thousand Oaks High School and led the team to years of winning.
Both Rosy and Zoe had a combined 90 years of teaching school. They both touched the lives of thousands of young minds. In 1995, they hung it up and retired and spent their remaining years growing avocados and orchids in Camarillo, which they spent a great deal of time selling at Farmers Markets.
They also spent countless hours speaking to students, prisoners and community youth groups about Education, Freedom and the Military.
Rosy never lost his other main interests, football, especially the "Sooners' ' and cattle. The old farm home place in Oklahoma is still an active cattle operation. Rosy's Military decorations and awards included:
Two Presidential Citations with Oak Clusters

Total Price: $739.62
Parachute Wings with two Stars for two jumps in Normandy and Market Garden. French, Holland and Belgium Croix de Guerre.
European Ribbon with three Battle Stars, Normandy, Holland and Bastogne.
The Bronze Star and the Korean Freedom Medal.
In 2005, the Military Order of World Wars (MOWW) named Rosy the "Patriot of the Year" at the annual event held at the Reagan Library.
Rosy is survived by his son Danny and Sue Nolan; Daughter Linda and Jim Williamson. Grandsons, Chris Troxell, Matt and Katherine Mays, Ryan Mays, Justin and Nina Nolan, Cory Mays, Sam Nolan; and several great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Please feel free to join us at Conejo Mountain Funeral Home, 2052 Howard Road on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. to celebrate and share your memories.
Reception immediately following at Conejo Mountain Funeral Home.
Published on December 23, 2019


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Ed Brocksmith
Dec 25, 2019
Thanks for you service to our country. I believe I knew your brother George Nolan at NSU. RIP.