James Noble

Obituary of James Peter Allison Noble

It is with great sadness that our family announces the passing of James Peter Allison Noble, on April 8th, 2024, at the Dr Everett Chalmers Hospital, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Born on December 30th, 1931 in Bradford, UK, he was the first son of the late Leslie and Margaret (Bank) Noble.

He will be greatly missed by his wife Jean (Laraway) Noble, the love of his life, friend, confidant and partner in all respects for over 70 years, as well as his four children David Noble (Francisco), Tony Noble (Shirley) and their sons Linden and Adrien, Jennifer Butler (Bob) and their children Ben, Nicole, and Danielle, and Penelope Neumann (Jens) and their children Johanna, Jonathan, Jessica, Jordania and Johannes, as well as a growing number of great grandchildren. He cherished his visits back to the UK and Australia to visit his brothers Ron (predeceased)  (Ann), David, Tony (Pam), and Joe (Wendy).

Jim met Jean when they were both students at Leeds University where he was studying geology and they married in 1956. After a short stint in Austria, they immigrated to Canada which they have called home now for over 60 years. In the early years he was working as a geologist, spending many summers doing field “work” on horseback in the Rocky Mountains. After obtaining his PhD at what is now CWRU, he later accepted a professorship in Geology at UNB where he delighted in working with great students from around the world.

Jim’s research frequently took him to exotic mountain locals where he and the family reveled in the opportunity to be outside in the mountains and hiking. He delighted in sport and exercise and that stuck with him his entire life, and just one week before he died, he dared dream of being able to run again. He never gave up. We have fond memories of him charging up the French Alps or the Italian Dolimites, while Jean tried to slow him down by sneaking heavy rock samples into his backpack. As a person who derived great pleasure from meaningful relationships and thoughtful discourse, he developed numerable lifelong friends, including those from work, those discovered as pen pals, and from the many refugee families that he and Jean supported and befriended over the years. He was a fierce defender of human rights, was somewhat appalled by the state of the world today, and frequently counselled that we should not choose to live in a world of comforting illusion, paraphrasing one of his favourite authors.

Jim took great pleasure in the important elements of life: good food, an interesting book, vibrant conversation, visits with family and friends, gardening, and travelling to areas where he could be out in the fresh air and nature. Right to the very end he had the sincerest award-winning smile that would light up the room when anyone came to visit. A life well lived, he will be greatly missed. In a bittersweet moment, the day of his passing was marked by a wonderous celestial event, with the full solar eclipse, a fitting tribute to his inspiring life. 

A small private gathering of friends and family is being organized in celebration of his life. In lieu of flowers, in keeping with Jim’s philosophy on life, please consider a donation or conscious act of kindness to support the environment, or to help those most disadvantaged around the world.

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