John J. Nolan, 82, of Drexel Hill, a builder and repairer of elevators, died of heart failure May 30 at Bryn Mawr Hospital.
Born in Philadelphia, he was a 1944 graduate of St. Thomas More High School. He enlisted in the Navy, became a medical corpsman, and was preparing to ship out for the invasion of Japan when World War II ended.
Mr. Nolan's daughter, Sally Campitelli, said that he was a union subcontract worker, beginning with Otis Elevator Co. in the 1940s and then with Westinghouse Corp. from the 1970s until he retired in 1986.
"His big claim was [helping to construct] the elevators in the Delaware Memorial Bridge" at the southern end of the New Jersey Turnpike, his daughter said.
"Later on in his career, he was a troubleshooter," she said. "If the elevators weren't working" at Drexel University," she said, he would help repair them.
Mr. Nolan was a 40-year member of Local 5 of the International Union of Elevator Constructors, and was a member of American Legion Post 214.
"He loved horse racing," his daughter said. He would take each daughter, one at a time. "He knew how to handicap, he taught me to handicap, and it was fun."
And, she said, "he was a caring and devoted husband and father."
Besides his daughter, Mr. Nolan is survived by his wife of 62 years, Mae; a son, John C.; daughters Carol Gillespie, Kathy Roberege, Karen and Joan; seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. A son, Robert, died in 2001.