John H. Noyes: 1922 to 2010
Born in Akron, OH to Eugene and Marian Noyes, he was a competitive swimmer and active in scouting – the youngest Eagle Scout in Akron Council history. He served as an instructor at the Boy Scout and Red Cross national aquatic schools, and visited Washington, DC with Akron Area Boy Scouts in 1936, after the National Jamboree was cancelled by a polio epidemic. Graduating from Western Reserve Academy, he entered Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT and received his BA in 1944.
Commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy in early 1944, he served as communications and sonar officer aboard USS Shannon, a high-speed destroyer-minelayer. He saw action at Iwo Jima (where he witnessed the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi), Okinawa, the East China Sea, and the occupation of Japan. The Shannon was the first U.S. Navy ship to enter Nagasaki after the atom bomb, and symbolically accepted the Japanese commandant's surrender. He was promoted to Lt. (JG), and wrote, illustrated, and published a history of his ship, Saga Shannon.
His 60-year career as a man of letters and graphics expression spanned several pursuits. Immediately after World War II, he worked as a reporter, editor, radio newscaster, and capital fund-raiser for Wesleyan. Joining DuPont in 1955, his 30 years as a marketing and communications executive included product lines that ranged from textiles and elastomers to analytical and process instruments, hyper-pure silicon, and exotic metals. As a DuPont spokesman, he spoke on the company's corporate mission and philosophy, and the importance of scientific research. After DuPont, he pursued three overlapping, follow-on careers as president of Noyes Associates, Inc. (a marketing and communications firm); as a consultant with Monkman International (high tech consulting and management); and for 15 years as a professional model and actor in print and TV advertisements. He also served as an officer and director of two family-owned newspapers: the Marinette (WI) Eagle-Star and Ironwood (MI) Daily Globe.
John's faith, family, and service to others were most important for him. He was a direct descendant of The Rev. James Noyes, who immigrated to Massachusetts in 1634. James' son became the senior founding trustee of Yale University, and its first chaplain. John was a lifelong Episcopalian and member, since the late 1950s, of Christ Church Christiana Hundred, where he sang in the St. Cecelia Choir for 29 years. He served as a vestryman (two terms), lay reader, Eucharistic minister and visitor, and on many committees, including chair of the Every Member Canvas and of the Liturgy Committee. He also served two terms on the Diocesan Council, chaired its Outreach Division, and was a long-time member of the diocesan editorial board.
Thanks to the Academy of Lifelong Learning at the University of Delaware, he became an avid and accomplished artist, with more than 50 finished oil paintings and several public shows. He was also a world traveler, mostly in retirement years, and visited much of the United States, Europe, the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Russia, Japan, China, Thailand, Australia, and Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.
In 1951, John married Clarabel Grier (Chinx) of Middletown, OH. They have four children: Nancy (husband Captain Evan Robinson, USN, retired); Janet (life partner Barbara Dakota); Thomas (wife Lore); and Frank (wife Christine); five direct grandchildren: Virginia and Nicholas Robinson; and Patrick, Tyler and Tara Noyes; and a step-granddaughter Teneik Martin.
A Memorial Service will be held at Christ Church Christiana Hundred, Greenville, DE, on Saturday, November 27, at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be offered to the Kendal Reserve Fund, Kendal at Longwood, Kennett Square, PA, and Christ Church, Christiana Hundred, Greenville, DE.