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  • Writer's pictureLynchburg Welcome Center

Jack Daniel's Pioneer, John Nolen, passes at 90


John S. Nolen, age 90, passed away on December 28, 2022, at his home in Lynchburg, Tennessee.


John earned his B.S. degree in 1953 and his Master’s degree in 1957 – both from Austin Peay State College. Afterward, he served his country in the US Air Force before continuing his studies at Vanderbilt University.


After 35 years of distinguished service as the quality control manager for Jack Daniels Distillery including the development of Gentleman Jack, John retired in 1993. He later retired from his role as the Secretary of the Tennessee Squires Association after serving 26 years and as a master taster for Jack Daniels Distillery after serving 58 years. During his career with the distillery, he also served as Chairman of the Dixie Chapter of the American Filtration Society. Alongside his professional career, John raised cattle on his beloved farm.

John was a long-time member of the Arbor Baptist Church but also faithfully attended services at Marble Plains Baptist Church. For his community, John served as chairman for the deacons of Arbor Baptist Church, County Judge for Moore County, board member to local and regional libraries, and was a 13-year member of the Tennessee Elk River Development Agency Board. He also was a co-founder of the Whiskey Runners Car Club.


Born and raised in Houston County, John was the only son of the late George W. Nolen and Lura Warden Nolen and a brother to the late Betty James Wren (Billy Joe). He is survived by his wife of almost 67 years Joan M. Nolen, sons Chip Nolen of Lynchburg, and Mac (Lisa) Nolen of Murfreesboro, as well as grandchildren Sierra Elizabeth Nolen (Justin) Lowry of Murfreesboro, Samuel John Nolen of Murfreesboro, Savannah Marie (John) Long of Madison, AL and Katie Beth (David) Nolen of Cleveland, TN and great nieces Jessica Wren (Craig) Schultz and Elizabeth Wren (Chris) Hart of Spring Hill.


The family will receive friends on Saturday, December 31 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Jennings-Moore Cortner Funeral Home in Lynchburg, with service to begin at 2 p.m. that same day. In lieu of flowers/gifts donations may be made to the Lynchburg Cemetery, P.O. Box 425, Lynchburg, TN 37352.


* Honorary pallbearers (people that are very special to Joan and John) include Marie Wiser, Lynne Tolley, Tom Brown, Sue, and Gerald Wilkerson, Vicki and Randy Piper, Judy and Fred Landiss, Teena and Troy McKenzie, Kayla and Dennis White, Darrin and Lynn Harrison.

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