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Marilyn's Story

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. Marilyn "Joanne" Noble passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, at the age of 84 in Virginia Beach, at the Kempsville Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Joanne is survived by her daughter, Patricia (Donald) St Charles of Amarillo, Texas; her son, Michael (Anne) Noble of Virginia Beach; her daughter, Nancy (David) Taylor of Lusby, and her son, Dennis Noble of Norfolk; her 10 grandchildren; and her five great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Daniel R. Noble.
Joanne was born on April 8, 1933, in Bessemer, W.Va., to the late Pauline and James Whittington. She attended Fort Hill School in Cumberland, and married a childhood friend and the boy next door, Danny, in 1949. She followed her husband, who was in the Navy for 42 years, on numerous military assignments; ultimately settling in Virginia Beach, and raising four children. Joanne was well read and loved doing crossword puzzles. She valued knowledge and encouraged all her children to pursue higher education. She was always involved in activities at her children's schools, holding numerous leadership positions in the PTA, band boosters, and sports boosters. She also was a Girl Scout Troop leader. Joanne was involved in various church activities throughout her life. She taught Sunday school as a teenager, mentored by her future mother-in-law, Edna Noble, whom she regarded as a second mother. She served in several different churches performing activities such as organizing and teaching Vacation Bible School, singing in the church choir, volunteering as the church secretary and church organist, and filling committee leadership positions. Joanne felt very strongly about human equality and treated all people the same. She welcomed anyone who came to visit her with open arms and made them feel like they were part of her family.
Joanne spent a great deal of her life working tirelessly for the welfare of military dependents, receiving numerous awards and accolades. In the 1960's, she worked with other Navy wives in highlighting issues with the Norfolk Public School System's lack of educational support for children in military housing. This eventually led to the construction and opening of the Sewells Point Elementary school in 1966 which serves military dependents living in Ben Morrell Housing, a military housing complex. In 1968, she served as ombudsmen for the USS Belknap (DLG-26/CG-26) during its deployment to Vietnam. Later, she served as ombudsmen for the U.S. Sixth Fleet Naval Forces in Europe and for the USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2). She also worked extensively with the Navy's Family Service Center and the Red Cross helping Navy families in need of assistance.
Following Joanne's cremation, a small memorial service will be held at the Albert G. Horton Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk, where her ashes will be interred with her husband's.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Navy Relief Society.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Kempsville Health and Rehabilitation Center for their care and compassion.
Published on August 23, 2017
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