FISKE, John Noble 85, 1931-2016. Commercial Banker; Lifelong Small Boat Sailor|
When he arrived at the port of San Diego to serve as an Ensign in the Navy, John Noble Fiske was several days early. Instead of reporting for duty immediately, one afternoon he hired a dinghy and "had the rare good fortune" to inspect his ship-to-be, the USS Noble. He wrote in a letter home that she "looks clean", but if he were the "first Lieut., I would get the ripples in the waterline painting taken out around the stbd bow." He never revealed if corrective action was taken, nor did he ever find out why or how he was assigned to a ship that bore his middle name on the transom.
Born in Beverly in 1931, Mr. Fiske spent many summers in his youth at the family's ancestral beachfront house in Prides Crossing, He learned to sail at the Manchester Yacht Club, and had many hours of fun damming the brook on Plum Cove Beach. He died Sunday at age 85.
Mr. Fiske attended Dublin School, graduating in1950, where he found great pleasure in skiing and ski jumping. After Dublin, he attended Harvard College for a year, before transferring to Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Upon arriving at what he called the Cape Cod College of Nautical Knowledge, he was the only member of the incoming class who already knew how to sail.
Graduation ceremonies in 1954 were held in Faneuil Hall. After a minor kerfluffle with Selective Service, which wanted to draft this newly minted Ensign, and after intervention by Senator Leverett Saltonstall, Mr. Fiske served two years aboard the U.S.S. Noble.
Following his time in the Navy, Mr. Fiske became active in classic car events. One year he logged more than 20,000 miles driving to and from meets in the 1936 Ford Phaeton that his father bought new. Mr. Fiske still has the car.
He married Jean-Lamont Barker in 1961, settled in Weston, and had two sons, John N., Jr. and Edward P. (Tory) in 1962 and 1964. Mr. Fiske stayed in commercial banking for more than 25 years. He pursued his love of sailing from Center Harbor, NH, on Lake Winnipesaukee. Throughout his life, Mr. Fiske enjoyed taking pictures. One of his major hobbies when the boys were growing up was to capture them on 16mm movie film. This pre-digital record will be, for his family, one of Mr. Fiske's legacies. He also enjoyed contributing as a loon census volunteer for the conservation and protection of common loons on Lake Winnipesaukee.
In addition to his wife of 54 years, Montie, Mr. Fiske leaves his two sons, three grandchildren, Julia, Emily, and Alexander, and his 1936 Ford.
A memorial service will take place at St. John's Episcopal Church, where he was baptized, 705 Hale St., Beverly Farms on Friday, June 17, 2016, at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Mr. Fiske's memory to the Loon Preservation Committee, 183 Lees Mill Rd, Moultonborough, NH 03254.
Published in The Boston Globe on June 16, 2016