First Responders 08

Victor M. Nowlan

January 19, 2020


Victor Nowlan died quietly at his beloved country home in Erin the evening of January 19, 2020. A private individual, he requested no funeral services at his passing. But it would be remiss not to reflect a bit on a man who served on the Horseheads Police Department for over twenty-nine years. In addition to his years of public service, he was a man of many additional talents.

Victor was born September 29, 1932. As was common in the middle of the depression, the family lived with friends until a home could afford to be purchased. It was not uncommon for country houses in those times to lack indoor plumbing. But running water was still available and plentiful. Folks just ran down to the creek with a bucket to get some! Perhaps it was this daily household chore that birthed a great love of the outdoors in Vic.

Fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing, camping, woodlot management, natural history, geology, astronomy, there wasn’t anything about the out of doors that didn’t interest him. He operated a working farm and woodlot on his property for decades. One of Victor’s favorite passions was firearms. He meticulously studied and experimented with loads for coaxing the greatest accuracy for hunting and competitive shooting events. Other lifelong hobbies included knifemaking, woodworking and in later years operating a small lumber mill on his farm. He studied and worked to master every detail of the pursuit of interest before him. He was an expert in many fields.

Victor served a four-year stint in the Navy during the Korean conflict as a radio operator on a cruise aboard a ship based out of the Mediterranean. Vic is probably best known by many as a public servant of the Village of Horseheads. His years on the village police force spanned from rookie to Chief of Police. As Chief, he felt his greatest accomplishments included upgrading the force’s firearms, continuing the integration of rapidly changing technology into the department and an increased emphasis on physical training for the village’s police officers. He retired from the appointment as Chief of Police for the Village of Horseheads in 1991.

As planting season nears, a private celebration of his life will be held later this spring. Interested, interesting, a lifelong student in pursuit of improving his personal knowledge and skills in many different and varied fields, Victor will be greatly missed by his many family members and friends.

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