Donald Thomas (Don) Noble, of Glenwood, died Tuesday, August 12, 2015, at his home, after a two month struggle against pancreatic and lung cancer. He was born in Crossett, Arkansas on May 3, 1941, to the late Zemery Dwayne Noble, Sr. and Mamie Kate Pickle Noble.
He was predeceased by his sister, Margery Noble Tucker, and brothers, Zemery Noble, Jr., and James Elvin Noble. Don is survived by his wife of 45 years, Sharon Wisener Noble, their sons, Wisener Irvin Noble, WIN, and Dwayne Alvin Noble, DAN, (Lynnette) of Little Rock, his brother, Allen Lee (Lynnda) Noble of Conway and his granddaughter, Stella Rose Noble. Don enjoyed taking credit for the accomplishments of his sister’s children and their families, and he treasured each relative, his Crossett classmates and lifelong friends.
Coupled with college degrees from UCA and his Masters from the University of Arkansas, Don’s business career began when he married Sharon, and they moved to Dallas, Texas, where he worked on the management team for the J.C. Penney Company. It was also where his passion for running, fitness, and helping young people took root. Throughout his life those strengths never lessened. When, as a new dad, the family returned to Arkansas, where Don partnered with his father in law, to own and manage Wisener Chevrolet, in Glenwood, his early morning runs set a standard younger runners began to follow.
When Don and his family moved to Hot Springs, opening their stores, “Noble House,” located in the downtown area, new friends could not miss the “new” guy running, selling, or finding another child he and Sharon needed to help. Don was not about drama or preaching a sermon. His life was always about doing what he could, where he could. He laughed about the fact that his mom explained to a mutual friend, that she grew up as a Methodist, then married and raised their family as a Baptist, and that now Don was a Christian. He loved that line. Yet, throughout Don’s life he practiced a simple Christian principal: Go to a congregation where there is a need and do your part. That often meant helping “at risk” kids needing a father figure in area church youth groups. It was not a passing gesture. Gaining legal custody of teenagers in desperate circumstances was a single example of his determination to help. Helping others was a given with Don. Not seeking attention or recognition was too.
Most people simply noticed that Don was a gifted “cook” who loved to prepare for every church gathering, any Lakeside High School Booster Club fundraiser, or any community event. In fact, what he enjoyed most was coming up with new versions of some of his mother’s recipes, and then preparing feasts and taking them to anyone who needed a meal, a little conversation, or a great dessert. Don was never fond of “overeating.” His idea was to take a portion, savor the flavor, and pass it to the next person. In recent years, as Don’s friends were playing golf, he could be seen running down the highway or driving to Hot Springs. He decided to work, first at “Accent” and then Best Buy. When reminded such part time work hardly paid for the transportation costs, he smiled. For him, it was about “good use” of his time. He could laugh with another young person, teach them a bit about selling, and then close the deal by encouraging them to get their act together and to seek a loving Lord.
Two months ago, on June 4th, Don finished his morning radio show at KHGZ, and received the call about his diagnosis. Treatments began almost immediately. But up until that struggle began, he was in his place doing what he could to help kids. The night before that meant Don was teaching area children in church at Amity, and making sure they had enough to eat. A marathon effort. Another seed planted.
Memorials in Noble’s name may be made to the Amity UMC Children and Youth fund, Glenwood congregations with active children’s programs, the Glenwood Christian School, the Glenwood Cemetery Association or Genesis Cancer Center (Our Promise) in Hot Springs.