Cover photo for Edward D. Nowman's Obituary
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Edward D. Nowman

April 18, 1948 — May 9, 2024

Coal City

Edward D. Nowman

Age 76 and a lifelong resident of Coal City, Illinois, passed away peacefully on Thursday morning, May 9, 2024 at Morris Hospital.

Born April 18, 1948, in Joliet, Illinois, Edward DeWayne Nowman was the son of Othie E. “Pat” and Anna A. (Lankers) Nowman. From his earliest days on South Kankakee Street in Coal City, Edward’s roots ran deep in the soil of his hometown. He embarked on his educational journey at Assumption Parochial School, later graduating with the Class of 1966 from Coal City High School, where he undoubtedly left an indelible mark.

Following his graduation, Edward pursued his calling in healthcare, earning his nursing assistant education. By night, he dedicated himself to serving others at St. Joseph Hospital as a CNA, while by day, he immersed himself in the vibrant world of flowers and antiques at Chada’s Greenhouse, under the mentorship of Eddie Chada. It was during this time that Edward’s fascination with antiques blossomed into a lifelong passion.

After his tenure at St. Joe’s, Edward transitioned to private home healthcare before fully committing himself to the antique business. His love for antiquities and collectibles led him to establish Mill Race Emporium Antiques in downtown Wilmington, where he shared his treasures with the community for many years. Even after the closure of his retail space, Edward remained a stalwart presence in the antique world, continuing to buy and sell collectibles online until recent years.

Beyond his business endeavors, Edward was a custodian of local history, deeply involved with the Carbon Hill Museum, where he served as Treasurer, and he was a life member of the Wilmington Historical Society. His contributions to preserving Coal City’s heritage, including artifacts displayed at the Coal City Library, underscored his commitment to honoring the past. Edward’s passion for history was infectious, as evidenced by his engaging presentations at the public library and museum, where he shared his expertise with regular ‘Show and Tell” programs.

Edward traversed far and wide in search of hidden treasures. His keen eye for antiques was matched only by his quick wit and culinary talents, particularly his renowned chocolate chip cookies, which brought joy to all who sampled them.

Edward Nowman leaves behind a legacy far richer than any antique collection—a legacy of kindness, knowledge, and cherished memories. Though he may be gone from our sight, his spirit lives on in the hearts of those fortunate enough to have known him. In celebrating Edward’s life, let us also celebrate the enduring legacy of community, passion, and generosity he leaves behind.

Survivors include his sister, Patti (Lori Carlson) Nowman of Morris, and several cousins as well as a host of friends.

Edward was preceded in death by his parents, and his life-long best friend, Mary Lou Cobb.

Per Edward’s wishes, cremation rites have been accorded.

A private family graveside service was held in Braceville-Gardner Cemetery, where Edward was laid to rest with his parents.

A special thank you is extended to Dr. Daniel Jurak and the staff at Morris Hospital for the exceptional care given to Edward in the days past. Your thoughtfulness and dedication will always be remembered.

Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Edward's memory to the Carbon Hill Museum, 875 North Second Street, Carbon Hill, Illinois 60416 or to Coal City Fireman's Association, P.O. Box 219, Coal City, IL 60416.

Family and friends are encouraged to log onto to sign the guest book, upload photographs and share Edward’s memorial page online through social media.

Cremation and memorial services have been made under the direction and care of Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes and Crematory in Coal City. (815-634-2125)

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Edward D. Nowman, please visit our flower store.

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