Tribute to Don Noble

Elena Noble, MPT | August 2012

Portrait of Don Noble before he got Alzheimer's diseaseToday’s post is out of the ordinary; it’s a tribute to my Grandpa, Don Noble. Grandpa passed away a week ago. He did not have any physical disabilities or surmount any huge obstacles as many of the people featured in our posts have done; he lived a healthy life. But as he reached his final years Alzheimer’s set in. During this time I was privileged to care for him and his wife and was accepted as one of the family even before I married his grandson. Caring for Grandpa was tough at times, but I loved him dearly and he returned every bit of it.

But not only was he special to me, he was special to everyone here at Rifton. Even at 86 years of age, he was the first one in the factory in the morning. You know those Pacer handholds and chest prompt supports? Grandpa made those and cleaned metal for the supine standers as well. Then, when he became too weak to stand, he still insisted on coming to work, doing his job sitting down sorting plastic molded parts until two weeks before he died.

Grandpa was a quiet, steady worker who greeted everyone who came into the factory. When words became difficult, he just smiled at his co-workers and any visitor who happened by. No longer could he regale you with stories from his past, growing up on a dairy farm in northern California, playing the trombone with the Air Force jazz band, travelling the world to support the community he joined as a newlywed. But his love for the people around him was evident to the last. I will never forget my Grandpa and know his legacy lives on in many people.

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