Leon “Lee” Albert Nolting
Leon “Lee” Nolting passed away November 7, 2021. He was 84 years old. Lee was born in Waukon, IA on June 20, 1937, the middle son of a German farming family. He loved chemistry and did well at Waukon High School; Lee’s chemistry teacher encouraged him to go to college. He went to the University of Iowa to study chemical engineering on a bus; prepared by his mom to darn his socks. This was a courageous act; his dad wanted him to stay home and take care of the farm.
Following college, Lee took a job in Charleston, WV working for Union Carbide as a chemical engineer. His second job was with the AE Staley Manufacturing Company in Lamont, IL. The Staley Company invented high fructose corn syrup and modified food starch. At the time, these inventions revolutionized the food industry, creating the capacity for manufacturing and storing foods that had not been mass produced before or that had, but needed longer shelf lives for delivery.
In 1963, Lee met Anne Ehrenhardt, a middle school teacher and guidance counselor in Downers Grove, IL. She lived in a nearby apartment and they met when she needed help hanging her curtains. They married in 1964 and became parents to their daughter, Janet “Jan” in 1966. They were married for 40 years. In the last years of Anne’s life, Lee provided loving and exemplary care for her.
In 1971, Lee was transferred to Morrisville, PA. At the time, it was less expensive to transport corn from the Midwest for processing than it was to process it in the Midwest. There, Lee was in charge of the waste treatment process and the lab. He worked there until 1986 when the plant closed. From there, he worked at the Department of Environmental Protection for the state of New Jersey, serving on a model chemical release prevention program until his retirement in 2003. During his work for the State of New Jersey, Lee completed a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Rutgers University. He worked on it while his daughter, Jan, worked on her Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. They enjoyed studying together.
While Jan was growing up, Lee was active in the Parent Teacher Organization at Edgewood School, serving as Treasurer. He was a Table Parent for Youth Club at Morrisville Presbyterian Church and enjoyed working on painting sets for Youth Club plays. He was an avid supporter of the Pennsbury Marching Band. As a member of Jaycees, Lee helped to grow Yardley’s Harvest Day and served as its Treasurer for a number of years.
In his retirement, Lee “traded in one briefcase for two.” He served on the board of the Fairless Hills Salvation Army. He was a member of Rotary International and enjoyed teaching in its Leadership Program. Lee served as the President of the Morrisville Rotary Club. He also served on the Board of the Pennsbury Scholarship Foundation. After Anne’s death in 2005, Lee traveled the world, going to 37 different countries. Some of Lee’s travel included Rotoplast Missions, serving on teams that fixed children’s cleft palates. For as many years as he could, Lee took one trip for service to others and another trip, usually international, to explore. One of his greatest joys was going to some of the places he had spent a lifetime reading about in the National Geographic Magazine. Even with traveling the world, Lee’s favorite place was Sandy Hook National Seashore where he spent hours flying kites and walking the beach. Lee’s family cherishes the memories of traveling together to Malawi and South Africa as well as Hawaii, Disney World and Gull Lake, Minnesota.
When Lee wasn’t serving the community or exploring the world, he worked out at the Newtown Athletic Club. He enjoyed cycling, swimming and exercising, as well as hanging out in the “therapy” pool with the NACC guys, friends who shared exercise, stories and breakfast.
Beyond travel, Lee loved music. He built his own stereo from a kit and would listen to classical musical and jazz for hours. Lee loved pianist Van Cliburn, Louis Armstrong and Winston Marsalis. He was a season ticket holder for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra. When he traveled, he collected CDs of music from all over the world.
For fun in retirement, Lee exercised “the other side of his brain,” taking numerous art classes at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey. There, he focused on studio art with a hope that he would be “painting in his 90s” when he anticipated being less mobile. Even after being diagnosed with frontal temporal dementia, Lee continued being an artist through the Art Therapy Program at Iona Senior Services. Iona’s collaboration with the Phillips Gallery meant that Lee had several pieces exhibited at the Phillips Galley in Washington DC, including one that was the lead painting in the show “Creative Aging” several years ago. Exhibiting art at the Phillips Gallery was an important achievement for Lee. He said, “I am a real artist. My work is in a show.”
Lee was a resident of Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County for 45 years. He loved his home, especially his backyard “sanctuary.” Lee moved to Harrisburg, PA, Washington DC and then Allentown, PA to be near his daughter, Jan. Lee died holding Jan’s hand.
Lee is survived by his daughter, The Reverend Dr. Jan Nolting Carter; his grandson, Seth Jordan Carter; his granddaughter, Sarah Elise Carter of Allentown, PA, as well as his sister and brother-in-law, Marlys and Duane Martins of Waukon, IA; his nieces: Lisa and Lynne Martins; and nephew, Lonnie Martins. Lee was predeceased by his wife, Anne Nolting; and his brother, Leroy Nolting.
A Service of Witness to the Resurrection will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 29, 2021 at First Presbyterian Church of Allentown, 3231 W Tilghman Street, Allentown, PA 18104. A time of visitation with the family will begin prior to the service at 10:00 a.m. The service will be officiated by friends of the family: The Reverend Stephen Emick and The Reverend Taylor Hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, 800 Corporate Drive, Suite 110, Harrisburg, PA 17110 (www.harrisburgsymphony.org) or to Iona Senior Services Art Therapy Program, 4125 Albermarle St NW, Washington DC 20016 (www.iona.org/tribute with a note in Memory of Lee Nolting).
Lee’s family has entrusted his care to Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory in Mechanicsburg, (717) 766-3421. Read Lee’s full obituary, view his memorial video, offer condolences and sympathy, share stories and memories, upload photographs and videos, light a candle and sign his official guest book by visiting Buhrig.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Leon "Lee" A. Nolting, please visit our floral store.