An Indelible Mark

Almost exactly five years ago, in February of 2006, Lillian Nolin announced her retirement as the Editor of South Bay’s Neighbor Newspapers, or “South Bay News,” as she still fondly referred to it. I remember the day that she “gave notice” to me, an editorial assistant about 60 years her junior who had only begun working at the paper myself less than a year earlier – one of those “moments” destined to forever shape your life, whether you realize it or not at the time.

Lillian passed away last week, at the ripe age of 88, after spending 65 years in the Journalism field, 33 of which she devoted to this, her hometown paper, as Editor, News Writer and Columnist. Lillian was born and raised in Lindenhurst to a family that had become something of an institution in our little village. She began writing as a child and, at the age of 14, joined the staff of The Broadcast, which at that time served as the student-run newspaper of Lindenhurst High School. In 1941, her official career as a journalist began as a reporter for the now-defunct Lindenhurst Star. She worked there for several years, then took a job at Newsday as a “Society Editor,” dabbling in photography and writing feature stories. After a year, though, she found herself back at the Star – back home – which had by this point broadened its scope to include the surrounding areas and was now known as The Babylon Town Leader.

Lillian joined the staff of the original South Bay Newspaper, owned by the Freedman family for over 50 years, in August of 1973. The paper was already 20 years old by that time, and well established as THE community newspaper of Lindenhurst. She started as a News Writer, and over time added the title of Columnist with the debut of Just Among Friends, a collection of goings-on in the community, society announcements, local gossip, etc.

Upon her leaving, I interviewed Lillian for my own column. Reflecting on her long and fulfilling career, she mused, “I’d do it all the same again. Working with interesting people is a joy. I made many friends throughout the years. I just love Lindy – I have such roots here. My father was once the Mayor, my brother was the Police Chief... It’s been wonderful being so involved in a community for so long.” She went on, “All the wonderful memories combined with having no regrets makes retirement easy.”

And so, an era at South Bay News officially ended. Lillian returned as a guest writer from time to time, reporting on local happenings, and sometimes just reminiscing on her love of Lindy. Never did she lose her enthusiasm, her lust for life and work – even though, for her, it hardly qualified as “work.” She was simply doing what she loved, day in and day out.    

For this, and for so much more, we at “South Bay News” salute you, Lillian, and the mark you have forever left on this newspaper...and on me.  


{Published: February 23rd, 2011}


Jamie Lynn RyanComment