Nolan Brunson was born in El Paso, Texas on December 1, 1927 and passed away in Hobbs on February 12, 2022 at the age of 94. Nolan moved to Hobbs with his family in the summer of 1944 and graduated from Hobbs High School in 1945. He remembered a town filled mostly with dirt and caliche roads with only a few paved streets. After graduation, Nolan attended Texas A&M University for one year before joining the US Navy. He was a machinist mate aboard the USS Boarfish. He returned to Texas A&M following his service and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1951. He married Jacquelyn (Jacquie) Price of Roswell, NM whom he had met during his junior year in high school in Roswell and intended to attend Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law when his father offered him an opportunity to enter the family business, wholesale oil and gas. Jacquie and Nolan made their home in Hobbs and were married for 52 years before Jacquie died in October 2003.
In his more than 75 years in the oil and gas industry, Nolan was very involved in his community and state. He served as President of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association upon its reorganization in 1970 and 1976 and had been a member since 1960. He was active in the Republican party, serving as Lea County Chairman.
Nolan was a man of many interests and talents. He, along with several local businessmen, was instrumental in bringing the Confederate Air Force, now known as the Commemorative Air Force, to Hobbs in 1970. He was an avid private pilot who logged thousands of hours in the cockpit. He loved fishing and was a certified river boat pilot. He also raised citrus fruits in the Rio Grande Valley and had a 320 acre pecan orchard outside of Hobbs.
He served on the Hobbs City Commission from 1972 to 1976 and as Mayor from October 7, 1974, to June 16, 1975.
Nolan received the Free Enterprise Award from the University of The Southwest in 2007 and was an Eppright Distinguished Donor – Texas A&M 12th Man Foundation.
He had been a member of the New Mexico Amigos, an organization that serves as Good Will Ambassadors for the State of New Mexico since 1963 and served as President in 1974.
He married Eleanor Margaret (Maggie) Baker in May 2006. They enjoyed traveling and had very strong interests in history. Nolan and Maggie donated the Lister Building in Lovington to the Lea County Museum as well as artifacts from the oil and gas industry and Nolan’s military service.
Nolan is survived by his widow, Maggie, of Hobbs; his three children, Christi (David) Roberts of Arvada, CO; Hal (Katie) Brunson of Ruidoso, NM; and Cliff (Ruth) Brunson of Hobbs; nine grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, one sister, Ann Brunson Tanner of Washington, UT and Mary Margaret and Sarah of Northern Virginia.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Boys and Girls Club, the New Mexico Junior College Foundation, or the Salvation Army.