NAPLES, Fla. — Truly David Nolen, the charismatic longtime leader of the pest control company with the same name, passed away at his Naples, Fla., home on Tuesday. He was 89.
Truly David Nolen is best known for his successful and vibrant companies – Truly Nolen of America (based in Tucson, Ariz) and Truly Nolen International (based in Orlando, Fla.) and their fleet of yellow “mouse cars” and antique vehicles. Today, there are over 320 Truly Nolen offices in 63 countries. Truly had many tremendous personal and professional accomplishments and earned many awards throughout his life. His favorite times were often spent on a boat, piloting a plane, or behind the wheel of a beautiful car. A photo of him aboard his small sail boat at the age of 16 was published in the Baltimore Sun in 1944, after he successfully navigated from Miami Beach, Fla., to Annapolis, Md. He married his wife Vickie on his favorite sailboat, the Ticonderoga, and could always find a reason to fly or sail.
Truly’s “rules to live by” were, “Find humor in everything, even adversity. Stay positive and persistent to the extreme. Work hard, play hard. Do what you want to, not just to make money. Don’t be afraid to be different – take a chance!” Truly had a famous sense of humor, often quoting films by Mel Brooks or his personal favorite, Airplane!
Truly David Nolen: A Look Back
Truly David Nolen was a member of the PCT/Syngenta Crown Leadership Class of 1999. PCT Publisher Dan Moreland sat down with Nolen to learn about his fascinating upbringing — which included surviving polio — and to get a glimpse at the inner-workings of this wildly successful company. CLICK HERE to download this article.
Much of Truly’s life was memorialized in his 2005 autobiography, "Truly Original." His great friend and colleague, Norm Ehmann, wrote of Truly, “Truly Nolen is a giant among men. Polio confined him to an iron lung from which there was no escape. He escaped. They told him he would never walk again. He not only walks, but he takes great pleasure in flying his own airplane. His ideas of growing a business didn’t match his father’s style so he traveled 3000 miles west and started his own business, which is now one of the largest privately owned pest control companies in the United States with franchises around the world.”
He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Vickie Taylor Nolen, and by his eight children – Truly William Nolen, Steven Scott Nolen, Bonnie Sue Nolen Jauregui, Really Philip Nolen, Michelle Nolen Senner, Sincere Leigh Nolen, Scarlett Sahara Nolen Jallad and True Spyder Luke Nolen. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
A private service will be held Friday, April 21 at Temple Shalom in Naples, Fla.