Died: Sat., Sep. 12, 2020

Interment following funeral service

Fri., Sep. 25, 2020
Location: Washington Park North Cemetery


9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Fri., Sep. 25, 2020
Location: Hope Worship Center COGIC

Celebration of Life

11:00 AM Fri., Sep. 25, 2020
Location: Hope Worship Center COGIC

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His Life Story


                  Leon Michel Nowlin was born on January 5, 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was the eldest of five children born to Willie Nowlin, Jr. and Sarah Nowlin. He was a bundle of joy for the family and lived a year of his life with his Great Aunts, Rosena and Annie in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.  The family moved to Chicago when Leon was 1 ½. His father said he loved cars as a child because of the love of his car seat with a beep horn and steering wheel like the drivers. The love of cars would be with him the rest of his life. The family moved from Chicago to Washington D.C. at the age of five. He attended Orange Road Elementary School in Oxon Hill, Maryland until the family moved to Charleston, S.C.  Leon lived there five years and attended Stohl Junior High where he was an All-star football player.  He developed a love for music and his dad bought him a trombone.  He played the trombone for one month then forsook it for football. The family moved to Goldsboro in 1976 and he attended Goldsboro High School, joined the marching band, glee club and football team. Leon received his first car in the 11th grade. His first job was at the bus station and he worked untiringly and professionally. He learned to fix bikes and cars by disassembling them and putting them back together. This process caused much grief to his sister Brenda. He graduated with honors from Goldsboro High School in 1980 and he was loved by all.

             Leon received a Co-op Scholarship from the Minority Engineering Program to attend North Carolina A & T State University in Greensboro, N.C.  He majored in Mechanical Engineering. Leon worked at the Naval Base in Lakehurst, New Jersey where he grew professionally. Leon was a proud Aggie while studying at N.C. A&T and he loved to play trombone in the marching band. He was called the “Rev” because he was the chaplain of the band and he prayed before every game and every practice. It was in the walk path of the music department and the bookstore that he first laid eyes on his future spouse and in the Christian Fellowship Hall that Leon and Vickie Williams met. He smiled and spoke to her as if he had known her all of her life. They would see one another many times on that path which led to Leon walking Vickie to her dorm, her classes and eventually teaching her how to play the “F” horn so she could be in the band with him. On Christmas of 1983 he nervously asked for her hand in marriage and proposed to the love of his life.  They were united in matrimony on August 18, 1984. The couple moved to Indianapolis, Indiana on May 5, 1985, and there they raised four beautiful children, Leon, Jr., Lauren, Lindsey and Lance.  He was extremely proud of the children and their many accomplishments throughout their childhood and adult years. We are grateful he was able to see them become mature, professional young adults that love the Lord.

            Leon was a dedicated and devoted worker in engineering. He worked at Allison Transmission for twenty-three years. During that time, he worked with the Minority Engineering Advancement Program (MEAP) at IUPUI and as a professional member of the Minority Engineering Program of Indianapolis. Following this, Leon was employed by Navistar for ten years. He loved his work because there was always a new engineering test to run, a new crisis to solve, or debriefing to be had. He had great respect for and spoke fondly of his colleagues.

Leon Nowlin was a wonderful servant of God. He read his bible everyday faithfully and he never ceased praying for those in need. He was always positive and lived what he believed. He treated everyone like he wanted to be treated and respected old and young alike. Leon worked untiringly at the church every week. As the president of the Deacon board, he was often the first person there and the last one to leave. He was the deacon that the pastor and saints could truly depend on for assistance and encouragement. He felt it was his personal responsibility to keep the House of God clean and prepared for service. At HOPE Worship Center, Leon enjoyed singing in the choir, participating in the Easter program, helping to organize church fellowships and greeting the people of God as if they were the most important people in the world.

            Leon Nowlin loved to worship as all the people at HOPE knew. Sunday service was not the same if you did not hear him yell, as if he were at a Colts’ game: “Oh Glory”, “Yeah Lord” or “Preach Pastor” several times during the service. The children loved to watch him praise God and often imitated him during service to the delight of all, especially Deacon Nowlin.

         During the pandemic, Leon reminded the family that this was a different time in our nation and history, so it is important now than ever before to love more, forgive daily, and let bygones be bygones because the Lord is soon to come.  While he did not trust a lot of the changes going on in politics, he never waivered in Romans 8:28 “All things work together for the good of those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  Leon modeled Proverbs 18:24 which says “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly” and he did that with everyone he met at work, in the community and at church.  Leon loved being saved at a young age, but he renewed his commitment to Christ to be a servant once he became a husband and father. He enjoyed witnessing for Christ in the community. He ministered to all and looked for opportunities to help those less fortunate. He volunteered his services and many times others’ service too, so you could not say no.  Leon loved fellowshipping with the people of God at 28th Street COGIC, churches in Charity District, Pastor Mafolasire and Dupree Memorial COGIC. His presence will be missed in the community, on his job and most importantly by his entire church family. Leon has gone on to be with the Lord but we pray that his legacy of Servant Leadership will serve as a shining example for those who desire to see him again one day in the arms of the Lord.

            Leon was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, William “Manzi” Deas and Catherine Deas; paternal grandparents, Willie Nowlin Sr. and Fannie Nowlin; uncle, William Earl “Darby” Deas; great-aunts, Rosena Powell, Vivian Thomas, Annie Matthews, and Betty Ann Nowlin Smoot;  and great uncle, Herman Kirby. 

            Leon leaves to cherish his loving wife, Vickie Nowlin; four children, Leon, Jr., Lauren, Lindsey, and Lance Nowlin; parents Willie Nowlin, Jr. and Sarah Deas Nowlin; aunt, Ivey Staley; four siblings Brenda Nowlin Aikens (Zeke), Andre and Kervin Nowlin, and Sharon Nowlin Harvey (Keith); niece, Brittany Mack; nephew, Ethan Nowlin; great-niece, Alana O’Connor, great-nephew, Christian O’Connor; godsons, John Asava and Shawn Cowherd; a host of cousins, Williams Siblings, relatives and friends, and his HOPE  Worship Center COGIC family.


Humbly Submitted…………………….The Family



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