Obituary: Calvin “Jitter” Nolen
October 23, 1924 – August 13, 2021
We are saddened by the passing of Calvin Cleave Nolen, 96, of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, August 13, 2021. While given the name of Calvin Cleave at birth, he was most known as “Jitter,” a nickname given him during his Boy Scout days by a fellow Boy Scout. Jitter was born in Pueblo, Colorado October 23, 1924 to Elmer D “Ed” and Selina Adeline Williams Nolen. While he was still young, the family moved to Austin, Texas where Jitter joined the Boy Scouts of America in 1936. In 1938, he was tapped for the prestigious Order of the Arrow, a rite designed to recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. The recognition requires those selected to remain silent for two days. It was during this time the name by which he would forever be known—Jitter—was written on his forehead by a boyhood friend.
The moniker comes from an early 20th-century comic strip about a mischievous little monkey. Throughout his life, he would remain the consummate scout encouraging others to do the same: “Be prepared, do something nice for someone every day and save for the future.” He was an Eagle Scout with two palms, and a silver Beaver Award. Bringing people together, It’s what he did best.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Jitter graduated from Austin High School in 1942. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas and later, an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree (LL.D.) from Texas Christian University. After graduating high school, He enrolled in the University of Texas in 1942 but after a year of school, joined the Navy College V-12 Training Program where he trained as an operating room technician stationed at Kaneohe Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii until his discharge in 1947. Continuing his service in the Naval Reserves, he retired in 1984 as a Commander. After serving three years in the Navy, he returned to the University of Texas where he finished his degree while also serving as a varsity cheerleader, member of the Friar Society and president of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity. He remained a life-long supporter of the University of Texas and Texas Exes.
Jitter married June Dameron of Hereford, Texas in 1949. Although their marriage would end in divorce in the early 1980s, together, they welcomed two beautiful daughters.
Jitter’s 29 year in administration included: Director of UT Student Union; Associate Director UT system development board; Vice Chancellor for Development, Texas Christian University; President, North Texas State University; President, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine; President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Foundation, South Central Zone; and Vice President for Development, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, a position Jitter would hold for 15 years.
In April of 1988, Nolen married Patricia Wolff Schultz, a social worker. The couple made their home in Oklahoma City until Nolen’s retirement from OMRF in 1994, moving that same year to their current home in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Retirement brought new freedom and opportunities for Jitter and Patricia. They found community and purpose as organizational and development consultants. They freely gave their time and talent to churches and learning institutions.
Jitter and Patricia played tennis, skied, and hiked. Together, he and Patricia made the most of their home in the Colorado mountains. There were few hiking trails Jitter hadn’t crossed off his list. He and Patricia were active members of the Colorado 100 Club. Jitter achieved a 3000-mile hiking pin at age 95. World travel and visiting family and friends also occupied much of their free time.
Regardless of where he called home, Jitter’s unwavering Christian faith would always be the foundation. He remained active in church and serving selflessly as he was able. His most recent church home was Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Glenwood Springs.
Jitter is survived by his wife, Patricia; children, Cindy (Kim) Page, Pearland, TX; Lysa (David) Holmes, Rocheport, Missouri; Three Grandchildren: Kylie (Brian) Coughlin, Drew (Monica) Holmes, Callie (Daniel) Gates and five great grandchildren: Abigail, Caleb, and Andy Coughlin; Cason and Ryland Gates, and one sister, Zoe Wright. He is preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Sue Nolen Biggs.
The family wishes to express its deepest gratitude to Hospice of the Valley as well as neighbors and friends who enabled Jitter to be home with his family.
Known for his ability to make friends, knowledge of many subjects, and stories and “tall tales,” Jitter will be missed by family and many friends.
In lieu of flowers, friends may make contributions in his name to…..one of the institutions he served or a place of your choice.
In keeping with CDC guidelines, a Family only service will be held at 11:00 a.m. September 20 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Glenwood Springs, Colorado followed by a visitation/reception at 1:00 PM under a tent in Sayre Park, Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
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