Obituary: Raymond H. Noble of Darien, 90, flight instructor, WWII bombardier

obt-darien-nobleRaymond H. Noble of Darien, a highly-regarded flight instructor based at Danbury Airport, died surrounded by his family on Thursday, March 1, in Norwalk Hospital after an extended kidney illness. Mr. Noble, 90, was the husband of Nancy Noble.

The native of Dayton, Ohio, he was the son of Dr. Charles G. Noble, M.D., and Alice B. Noble.

Mr. Noble was thrice cited by his peers and the Federal Aviation Authority for exceptional work as a flight instructor, twice being named New England Flight Instructor of the Year and once being chosen for the Wright Brothers Award. During 40 years at Danbury, he trained countless men and women who went on to become commercial pilots and others who just wanted to experience the joy of flying.

Mr. Noble served four years with the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II as a lead bombardier aboard a B-17 based at Rattlesden, England. He developed a reputation for always getting his target, his family said.

After graduation from Flushing High and a period in college, he worked for Esso Standard Oil in Manhattan as an aide to the chairman of the board. Once the war ended, he returned as a salesman and remained with the company for 22 years. Meanwhile, he obtained a pilot’s license and the lure of flying finally drew him to Danbury Airport where he taught until he was 83.

After the war, Mr. Noble returned to Long Island, married and had 3 sons, but his passion for flying intensified as his marriage dissolved.

In 1971, Mr. Noble met his second wife, Nancy, and they married in 1977 in Darien, where he lived for the balance of his life. Those that knew the Nobles knew how devoted they were to each other for 41 years, their family said.

Besides his wife, Mr. Noble is survived by three sons, Raymond Noble of Nevada City, Calif., Thomas Noble of Shirley, N.Y., and J. Robert Noble and his wife MuLan of Norwalk; a sister, Nancy McNeill of Raleigh, N.C.; three step-daughters, Kathy Norwood and her husband Steven Mason of Rowayton, Wendy Norwood of Brookfield, and Nancy Norwood of Norwalk; his former wife, Betty Kaseler of Levittown, N.Y; five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; three nephews and a niece.

He was predeceased by his parents; a younger brother, Charles G. Noble Jr.; and older sister, Ruth Penfold.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, March 20, at 2, at the First Congregational Church of Darien, 14 Brookside Road. Burial will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to kidneytrust.org or Eagle Flight Squadron Inc., Youth in Aviation, PO Box 5326, East Orange, NJ, 07017 or Darien Boat Club, Darien, CT, 06820.