Obituary for Irene Nolan

Obituary for Irene Nolan

Irene Clare Nolan, 70, of Frisco, N.C. passed away on Friday, March 3, 2017 at Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia after a respiratory illness.

Irene was the Editor and Co-Owner of The Island Free Press, an online newspaper that covers Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

After moving to Hatteras Island in 1991, she married C.A. Boxley of Frisco, who preceded her in death. Irene became the Editor of The Island Breeze, a new monthly publication on the islands. For 16 years, she helped build the paper into a popular community publication, focused on local news and activities.

In 2007, she and her business partner, Donna Barnett of Hatteras, launched The Island Free Press, the first and only online newspaper to cover the southern Outer Banks. The newspaper quickly became an important community resource for residents and visitors.

Irene had many friends on the island, and she has served as a volunteer for numerous community organizations and non-profits, including the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation.  She was a good humored, generous woman who always maintained her journalism principles and never held a grudge. She respected people, and they respected her.

Irene was a graduate of the Indiana University School of Journalism, where she also majored in Spanish.  She worked as a journalist her entire adult life.

In 1969, The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., hired her as a clerk in the women’s department. She quickly moved up the ranks, working as a features writer and eventually becoming one of the first female newspaper managing editors in the country. In that position, she oversaw a staff of more than 200 and managed a $13 million news department budget.

It was under her direction in 1989 that The Courier-Journal staff was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, journalism’s highest honor, for the newspaper’s coverage of a tragic school bus crash that claimed 27 lives.

Irene regularly broke ground as a female journalist during her career. She was a news junkie to the core, always on top of breaking news stories and the drama of politics.

Irene was born on October 2, 1946 in Brooklyn, N.Y., and she was the daughter of the late Raymond Jerome Clare Jr. and Jean Rodriguez Clare.

Irene is survived by her two children, Kathleen (Fred) Andres of Louisville, Ky. and J. Christopher Nolan of Lexington, Ky.; and nine grandchildren, Clare, Molly, Parker, Matthew, Caroline and Lilly Andres, and Emma, Abby and Jack Nolan. Also surviving are her siblings, Ray Clare of Carmel, Ind. and Kathy (Grayson) Winterling of Easton, Md; nieces and nephews, Angela (Gabe) Revell, Emily Clare, Bryan Dee and Megan (Kevin) Fisher; and several great nieces and nephews.

She also dearly loved her best friends, Charlie and Daisy, her loyal dogs who kept her company in her later years.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 pm on Monday, March 6, 2017 at Our Lady of the Seas Catholic Church in Buxton, N.C., with the Rev. Toni Wood and the Rev. Pam Stoffel officiating.  A Celebration of Life will also be held in Louisville, Ky. (details pending).

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation, PO Box 442, Hatteras, N.C. 27943,

Twiford Funeral Home, Hatteras is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed at


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