Cover photo for Richard Noble's Obituary
1928 Richard Noble 2024

Richard Noble

October 17, 1928 — May 6, 2024

Niles, Michigan


Richard Earl Noble of Niles, Michigan; father, grandfather, township trustee, golfer, and dancer died peacefully at 6:43 a.m. on Monday, May 6, 2024 at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana, having achieved the remarkable age of ninety-five years.

He was born on October 17, 1928 in Elkhart, Indiana to Earl A. and Ethel A. (Stutzman) Noble, moving as a child with his family to Niles, and was graduated from the old Central High School in Niles where he was a star of the track team, running the mile, and a member of the 1946 State Championship Runner-up golf team.  He was first employed in the repair shop and parts department of his father’s Earl A. Noble, Inc. Pontiac automobile dealership at 2nd & Cedar Streets in Niles.  Two years later, he enlisted in the United States Army, where he earned certification as a high-speed radio operator and interceptor.  He served in Korea as a Sergeant in the Signal Corps, earning the Korean Service Medal with a bronze campaign star, and was honorably discharged after nearly four years of service.  He returned to Niles, and to the Pontiac dealership, being promoted to sales, and eventually ownership of the new facility at 1250 South 11th Street until its closing in 1980.

Richard continued to sell new cars for successor dealerships, but he also began a new career in public service, and was elected to the former Niles Township Trustee Board in 1991 (now Niles Charter Township).  He served on the former Streets & Roads committee (now Infrastructure), where he answered every constituent call about road issues, driving to the site in question, taking photographs, and recording the issue in a huge ring binder to report back to the township.  He continued through 2016, completing 25 years, a quarter century of public service.

He was a member of the former Wesley United Methodist Church in Niles – now New Journey United Methodist Church; a member of the American Legion Post #26 in Niles, Saint Joseph Valley Lodge #4, F&AM, Saint Joseph Valley Chapter #2, Royal Arch Masons, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Niles Elks #1322.

Dick’s interest in golf began when he was 12 years old, joining the Caddie Club serving Plym Park’s eight members, and continued until he was scoring “below his age”.  Along the way he was also a professional golf instructor, mentored many young golfers including his grandchildren, and scored a coveted hole-in-one, but always proudly reminded friends that his wife, Kay had carded three holes-in-one.  He was a regular at the Annual Plym Park City Tournament, where in 2014 he played in the senior bracket for age 65 and over – he was 86 – and won by 9 strokes.

He was a fan of any sport in which his grandchildren participated, including Junior Golf tournaments, and became quite involved in Fireman’s Park Softball, as evidenced by his name inscribed on the plaque at the park.  He had always enjoyed dancing, and in-order to keep in shape, he joined the Niles Senior Center and Buchanan Senior Center to participate in line-dancing.

On November 23, 1950, during his military deployment in Blackstone, Virginia, he married the former Kay Frances Vanderboegh, with whom he celebrated the remarkable Sixtieth Anniversary of their wedding just four months prior to her death on March 30, 2011.   They were sadly preceded in death by infant twin sons, James and John in 1951, and by Richard’s parents, Earl and Ethel Noble; and Richard’s brothers, Charles Noble and Duane Noble.

Surviving family includes his children, Richard E. (& Cheryl) Noble, Jr., David L. (& Ivana) Noble, and Debbie S. (& Kevin) Asmus, all of Niles; grandchildren Beth (& Chris) Kopperud, Dacia (& Brett) Parks, Kayla (& Dan) Lawecki, and Christopher Noble; great-grandchildren Elsie, Johan, Conner, Arleigh, Carter, Kash, Arleigh, Emmit, and Teagan; and by several nieces and nephews.

The funeral service for Richard Noble will be at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, 2024 at the New Journey United Methodist Church, 302 Cedar Street in Niles, with Pastor Duane Lindsey of the church officiating.  Committal will follow at the Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles, and will conclude with the Full Military Honors by the United States Army Honor Guard, assisted by American Legion Post #51 of Buchanan, Michigan.

The family will receive relatives and friends on Thursday at the church, beginning at 10:00 a.m.   Contributions in memory of Richard Noble may be made to the Niles Salvation Army, 424 North Fifteenth Street, Niles, Michigan, 49120;  Arrangements were completed at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles.  Online condolences may be left at:

Ninety-five years is a long life, and Richard used all 95 years well: as a champion athlete in high school, in military service, in vocational service providing transportation, and in public service to his township neighbors.  In all of these endeavors, he cared for the people around him, encouraging, helping, and always a good word and a smile; and he cared most for those he loved, his children and their children, and above all, Kay.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Noble, please visit our flower store.


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