Obituaries » Richard S. Noble
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In accordance with Dick’s wishes, cremation will take place, and per his request, there will be no visitation. Interment with full military honors will be held at Fort Custer National Cemetery at a date to be announced, where he and Jeri will be placed eternally together, just as they were through life. A very special thanks to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, and all of the people who gave of themselves to help care for Dick in the last months of his life. We love and appreciate you all.
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“He was a helluva ballplayer”. That was a phrase his kids heard often while growing up. Born to Leroy “Rosie” and Pauline (née Shaw) Noble, on November 10, 1931, Dick’s natural athletic ability surfaced early. At a time when entertainment was limited due to economic conditions, sports became his passion. As a member of Kalamazoo Central’s varsity basketball team, he helped to carry them to three state championships, and was honored for that accomplishment, later in life, by the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s “Legends of the Games” program. Baseball was another of his true loves in life, and his height and speed made him an outstanding shortstop. He was granted numerous accolades over the years for his skill on the field. In his youth he played American Legion and City League baseball, and later in life, he still enjoyed playing softball with the “over 40” guys. Passing up an opportunity to play baseball professionally, Dick joined the Air Force, where his athletic prowess again served him well. He was assigned various sports related details, one of which was building a baseball diamond in London, England, at the behest of the Queen, and was privileged to meet Her Majesty at some point in that process. That baseball diamond, he recently learned, is still in use today. He was also tasked with managing the construction of a basketball venue. On February 13th,1959 he married the former Geraldine “Jeri” Taylor, and they remained husband and wife for more than sixty years. One of his proudest accomplishments in life was caring for her through a very lengthy illness, and keeping his promise to keep her at home, and to stay right there, by her side, to the very end. His employment with Fuller Transmission/Eaton Corporation in Kalamazoo, led him from the shop floor, up through the ranks to Manager of Scheduling and Delivery. When he decided to retire, he had several major heavy truck manufacturers courting him to come to work for them in a consulting capacity, but he chose instead to take advantage of his early retirement, and spend his time on Government Lake, in the woods of Baldwin, Michigan, a place he and Jeri loved truly. Winters were spent in Mexico Beach, Florida, where they made many friends and created many lasting memories. Family activities were important, and weekends and other free time were spent at Kalamazoo and Spartan Speedways, horse shows, Kalamazoo Wings hockey games, hog roasts and fish frys. Many trips were made to the Indianapolis 500, and Michigan International Speedway as well. Dick was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, and a grandson, Tyler Swanson. Surviving are his children Paula Watson of Sanford, Florida, Todd Noble and Teri Bales of Bigfork, Montana, and youngest daughter Julie Noble of Richland, Michigan who devoted much of her time caring for Dick and Jeri in their later years. Also surviving are granddaughters Traci (Teddy) Nardin of Kihei, Hawaii, Kelli (Bernie) Edwards of St. Cloud, Florida, Sarah Shepard and Caitlin Shepard, both of Sanford, Florida, and 10 great-grandchildren. A beloved cousin, Pam Ross, also survives.