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Bikers sought to ride in Dana Nowlin memorial

Aug. 01, 2013 @ 10:22 AM

POINT PLEASANT — Mike Nowlin knew it was his father’s time. Dana Nowlin, 79, had been battling cancer and was spending his last days at Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House. In a desperate attempt to help his father let go, Mike Nowlin made him a promise: That there would be 500 bikers present at his funeral to send him off properly.

Dana Nowlin died at Hospice House on July 24. And now, trying to make good on that promise, Mike Nowlin is giving a shout out to all bikers in the area. Whether they ride a Harley or a Gold Wing, he invites them to participate in a procession of motorcycles to honor his father.

A memorial service will take place at 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 3, at Wilcoxen Funeral Home in Point Pleasant. A motorcycle escort to a graveside farewell will proceed to Beale Chapel Cemetery in Apple Grove. Riders are encouraged to parade to the cemetery for participation in a traditional motorcycle salute.

“My father has been riding motorcycles for 55 years. He even rode to many of his chemo treatments,” Mike Nowlin said. “After retirement, that was his life. He and my mother (Joyce Nowlin) rode to every state except Hawaii.”

The West Virginia Patriot Guard is attempting to make arrangements to participate, as well as riders from North Carolina, Tennessee and other states, Mike Nowlin said.

He’s hoping it will be quite a spectacle to pay tribute to a father, grandfather and great-grandfather who served in the United States Air Force and West Virginia National Guard.

“I’m desperate for a long procession of motorcycles to follow the procession and line the entrance to the cemetery,” Mike Nowlin said. “At that time, the roar of engines, horns and any other biker salute would occur as we took him to his grave site. At the site will be a full military honors funeral with the presentation of the American flag to my mother.

“I know this type of thing is done for our young veterans returning home. I am asking for the same honors for an older veteran.”