Barbara Ann McBride Nolan, 67, a nurse and longtime zoo volunteer who taught visitors about animals and nature, died on Wednesday, Dec. 5, of ovarian cancer at her home in Springfield, Delaware County.

Mrs. Nolan became enamored with nature, animals, and conservation while growing up on a farm in the Valley Forge area and parlayed that love into 23 years as a docent, or volunteer teacher, for the Philadelphia Zoo.

During that time, she served on many zoo committees and participated in several animal behavior programs. She and her husband, Jim, went on zoo-sponsored trips to observe elephants in Arkansas and eagles in Alaska.

"At one time, she had a skunk for a pet, and another time she and her husband went out collecting turtle eggs in Costa Rica in a thunderstorm," said her daughter, Mary Nolan Deppen.

She graduated from Lower Merion High School in 1963 and from Misericordia Nursing School in 1965. During nursing school, she met Nolan on a blind date.

He was a city boy from West Philadelphia; she was from the suburbs. They married in 1966 and compromised on Plymouth Township as a suitable place to raise a family.

Mrs. Nolan and her spouse moved to Springfield in 2009 to be closer to their children and five grandchildren.

Mrs. Nolan spent 46 years as a maternity nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital and Chestnut Hill Hospital. She retired in December 2011 from Alere L.L.C. in Conshohocken, where she monitored high-risk pregnancies by computer.

In addition to her husband, daughter and five grandchildren, she is survived by two sons, John and Jim; and a brother. A son, Joseph, died previously.

A funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10, at Daylesford Abbey, 220 S. Valley Rd., Paoli, Pa. 19301. Visitation is at 9:30 a.m.

Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery at 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Donations may be made to the Philadelphia Zoo Docent Council, Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19104.

Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 215-854-2611 or bcook@phillynews.com.