The late Saratoga County Republican John Nolan in 2012 at the Saratoga Springs Holiday Inn. Photo by Thomas Dimopoulos.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – A legendary chairman of the Saratoga County Republican Committee passed away on Sunday, April 1 after battling the symptoms of dementia, according to an obituary published online by the William J. Burke and Sons/Bussing and Cunniff Funeral Home.
John (Jack) “Jasper” Nolan “was a man of conviction and unwavering faith. He was a loyal supporter of his family and friends, his beloved Saratoga Springs and our country,” the obituary reads.
The funeral home, located at 628 North Broadway, has scheduled calling hours for Nolan from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, April 6.
The obituary indicated that Nolan was 83 and had worked as a teacher for more than 30 years.
Nolan served as chairman of the county’s Republican Committee between 1985 and 2012. He also was actively involved in a local Knights of Columbus chapter, the Wilton Elks lodge, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and other groups.
Steve Bulger, another respected Republican and former committee chairman who recently took a position in the federal Small Business Administration, said he had not seen Nolan in several years. Bulger called him “absolutely one of my mentors.”
Apparently, Nolan had relocated to Connecticut to be closer to a daughter.
“They really took good care of him these last few years,” Bulger said of the family.
As a history teacher, Bulger explained, Nolan “had a great historical perspective” that he could apply to many different subjects.
Bulger said that Nolan’s specialties in politics included a mastery of running campaigns and “how to hold elected officials accountable…to conservative principles.”
“He wasn’t just good at election time. He was a leader all the time,” Bulger added.
In a statement emailed on Tuesday, Saratoga County Office of Emergency Services Director Carl Zeilman further expressed the sentiment of local Republicans following the announcement of Nolan’s passing last weekend.
Zeilman, the current Republican Committee chairman, said Saratoga County “lost one of its greatest champions.”
“Jasper was a giant of a man who led the Saratoga County Republican Committee for nearly three decades, achieving unmatched electoral success,” he said. “Under his leadership, Saratoga County grew into one of the most successful counties in the state, with a thriving economy and growing population. Chairman Nolan was recognized across the state as a king maker in the party, but to most of us he was a mentor, a friend, a leader and a man who epitomized the values and commitment we hold so dear.
“On behalf of all the entire Republican Committee,” Zeilman added, “I offer my most sincere sympathy to the Nolan family and ask that we all hold them in our prayers in this trying time.”