Stanton Peelle Nolan, MD

Class Year




Posted on: October 3, 2022

Dr. Stanton Peelle Nolan, 89, passed away peacefully at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge on September 19, 2022 in Charlottesville, VA.

Stan was born in Bethesda, MD on May 29, 1933 to James Parker Nolan and Ellen Dubose (Peelle) Nolan and was the middle son of three boys. Stan married his wife, Ruth Marion Nolan (deceased), with whom he had two children.

Stan has always been known for his humble manner, attention to detail, and desire to learn from those around him. These qualities, alongside his dedication to learn, led to a highly decorated lifelong career in medicine.

Stan attended the Landon School and went on to graduate from Princeton University with a degree in Philosophy. Upon graduation, Stan attended the University of Virginia for medical school which began his outstanding lifelong career in the field of medicine. Graduating with his MD in 1959, Dr. Nolan began as a research fellow for the University of Virginia’s Medical Center later becoming Chief resident for General Surgery, and ultimately the Chief of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery. In 1966, Stan moved back to Bethesda, MD to begin working for the National Institute of Health and National Heart Institute as a Senior Research Associate. After spending two years at NIH, he returned to the University of Virginia as an Assistant Professor of Surgery, and eventually became Professor of Surgery, Surgeon-in-Charge, and Medical Director for the Thoracic Cardiovascular Post-Operative Unit. He was appointed the Claude A. Jessup Professor of Surgery from 1981 – 1998 and was acknowledged as Professor Emeritus of Surgery for the University of Virginia in 2005, throughout his career he traveled around the world to different institutions to share his knowledge and expertise on Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery and helped pioneer, advise, and fund groundbreaking research on aortic valves. His 173 publications were evidence of his dedication and desire to keep expanding the field of medicine, his legacy is through his many titles but what he often remembered for is his quality of care and professionalism with the hundreds of lives he saved through cardiovascular surgery. He always made time to get to know his patients, visit them on holidays if they were in the hospital, and provide a level of excellence of care which was inspiring to the many future surgeons he trained.

Alongside his pioneering career in the medical field, Stan had a love for the arts, frequently bringing back pieces of art for his wife from his travels. Stan and Marion often attended theatre and opera productions and Stan always supported his beloved wife’s art foundation CHALFA. Even after retirement, Stan remained dedicated to learning and education. Oftentimes you found Stan taking new courses on American history, artwork, and Shakespeare or engaged in intellectual discussions with fellow residents of Westminster about theology, medicine, and politics. Stan reminded everyone around him that although we may not have control over many things, we can always seek to educate ourselves further. He instilled this love of learning to his family, many colleagues, and lifelong friends. His legacy will remain influential for the future of medicine, the many lives he changed, and his family who are undoubtedly grateful for being raised by and getting to love and be loved by Stan. Up until his passing, he took pride in his children and grandchildren’s successes, having daily phone calls with his children and frequent visits with his granddaughter.

Stan is survived by two children, Stanton Jr Nolan (FL), and Tiphanie Clarke (England), and grandchild, Ione Clarke (TN).