Sunday, March 15, 2009

March 15th, 2009

Catherine Pyle Noel, widow of the late Don O. Noel, died Sunday (March 15, 2009) at Friendship Village in Tempe, AZ, at the age of 99.

Born in Helena, Montana, to Charles and Margaret Davenport Lotz, she had an exceptional voice, including a range of three octaves, which was recognized soon after she began high school.  With the help of montana patrons of the arts, she spent the next six years studying at the Royal Conservatory of Leipzig, Germany, accompanied by her grandmother, Bessie Pyle.  Her coloratura concerts in Europe were warmly praised in newspaper reviews.

She married Don O. Noel soon after her return to the United States.  Although she sang some concerts and sang for six months on WEAF and WCDA, New York radio stations, her career was set aside for motherhood.  She continued throughout her long life to be involved in classical music, however, as a supporter of the Metropolitan Opera and of the then-fledgling New Jersey Symphony and as a discoverer of young talents and often supporter of their development.  

Even more important than her musical ability, however, were her exceptional organizational and people talents.  She became president of the PTA of almost every school in which her children studied, and served as a leader of innumerable community and non-profit groups, including as president of the Woman's Club of Orange, N.J., foreign student representative for the council of churches in Akron, OH, and president of the Residents' Council of Friendship Village in Tempe, AZ, where she lived more than 20 years before her death.

She came to Quakerism as a young mother, and served in leadership positions with the Religious Society of Friends in Montclair, N.J.; Matinecock, Long Island; Akron, Ohio and Tempe.  She was a founder of the Tempe Meeting and served several years as its clerk.
Although physically frail in her final years, she remained fully alert and vibrant, sought after by young people, in a broad range of endeavors, for her counsel and wisdom.

She leaves a daughter, Margaret Janet "Maggie" Semola and her husband Paul of Las Vegas, NV; two sons, Jon D. Noel and his wife Shirley of Helena, Montana and Don O. Noel Jr. and his wife Elizabeth "Brad" of Hartford, CT; grandsons Mark Robert Noel of Grapevine, TX and David Wilson Noel of Helena, MT; two granddaughters, Emily Noel and her husband Timothy J. Sullivan and their son "TJ" of Hartford and Christina DeWald and her husband Dion and their sons Jonathan and Nicholas of Sun Prairie, WI.

As she wished, her ashes will be placed in a family plot in Helena, Montana; a memorial service will be scheduled by Tempe Friends Meeting.

Contributions in her memory may be made to Friendship Village of Tempe Employee Appreciation Fund, 2625 E. Southern Ave., Tempe AZ 85282.

... that they may rest from their labours, and that their works do follow after them.

Obitutary Written by Don O. Noel... all typos however are mine.  My computer will not let me cut and paste, or spell check, I apologize.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Wow, Chris. What a great woman! So sorry for your loss.