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Clair Wilson Noll, lately of Waverly Heights of Gladwyne, PA, died in Bryn Mawr Hospital on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 peacefully and quietly and surrounded by his family. He died of respiratory failure brought on by late-stage Parkinson's Disease. In dying, Clair followed his late wife, Jeanne C. Noll (Winter) who died in April of 2013.
Clair is survived by his two sons and their families – Eric W. and Georgiana W. Noll (Williamson) of Haverford, and their daughters, Alexandra and Meredith, and Douglas C. and Tamiko Noll(Ortega) of Ann Arbor, MI and their son, Wilson. He is also survived by his beloved sister, Janice MacDonald and her husband, Jack of Glen Burnie, Md.
Clair was born and lived most of his life in the Borough of Fleetwood. He was the son of Wilson K. and Katherine L. Noll (Lorah), also of Fleetwood. Clair was born on June 12, 1933 into a large, close family of Pennsylvania German descendants who formed an important and abiding influence on his life. He attended Fleetwood area public schools from Kindergarten on, graduating in 1951.
Following high school, Clair attended Lebanon Valley College in Annville, graduating with a degree in Business Administration in 1955. While in college, Clair met his future wife, Jeanne, also a student at Lebanon Valley. They met 'cute' while Jeanne was registering for classes as a freshman. Clair, two years older and a junior fell head over heels for Jeanne. They dated for the reminder of his college career and the entirety of hers. They married the weekend after Jeanne graduated in June 1957.
Clair started as student in the Music Conservatory, but switched to Business Administration when it became clear that the Music Conservatory was not interested in him as a jazz musician, preferring classical music scholars. During his time at LVC, Clair was in the Marching, Symphonic, and Concert Bands. He was also a member of Kappa Lambda Sigma Fraternity and was inducted into and was President of the Pi Gamma Mu, a social sciences honorary Fraternity. An active and enthusiastic Alumni of LVC, he received an Alumni Association Citation in 1991, awarded for his support of the School. Clair, along with his wife, Jeanne, were lifetime members of Vickroy Society that recognizes significant financial support of LVC.
After graduation in 1955, Clair enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program at Lehigh University, graduating with that degree in 1957. Shortly after graduation, Clair joined The Textile Machine Co. in Reading, as a cost accountant. However, almost immediately, Clair was drafted into the U.S.
where he served for the years 1957 -1959. While in service, he was an auditor for the Army and was assigned to the U.S. Military base in Yokohama, Japan where he and his wife fell in love with Japan.
Upon his Honorable Discharge from active duty, Clair began teaching accounting as an instructor at Lehigh University. After a short time, Clair was recruited to join the Information Services Department of Pennsylvania Power & Light Co. in Allentown. This began a career of steady success and early adoption of technology and new computing techniques. Clair spent his entire career all at PPL. He retired after 33 years of service – leaving as CIO, an Officer of the Company and Vice-President. In addition to his service to PPL, Clair was an active participant in industry matters, serving on the Systems and Computer Services Committee for the Edison Electric Institute, the Data Processiong Committee of the PA Electric Association and Computer Science Curriculum Evaluation and Community Advisory Committee for Allentown College and St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Allentown, PA.
Civically engaged, Clair was active in his community for well-over 35 years. He was elected Borough of Fleetwood Auditor in 1960 in which position he served for 8 years. He was a member of the Borough's planning Commission for 20 years, and the Zoning Hearing Board for over 12 years, serving as Chair of the Board in the latter years. Additionally, he was a member of the Central Berks School Authority for 10 years, which was the municipal agency that raised funds for the Public School system for Fleetwood and other school districts in Berks County. Clair also served on the Strategic Advisory Council of Phoebe Berks.
Inducted more than 50 years ago into the Masons, Clair was a member of Huguenot Masonic Lodge in Kutztown. He was also a 50-year member of the Reading Scottish Rite Masons and the Rajah Shrine in Berks County.
Additionally, Clair was an active member of the
U.S. Coast Guard
Auxiliary for more than 30 years. He held various positions in the Auxiliary including Flotilla Commander, Division Captain, and Board Member for the Reading Flotilla Training Center. Clair also taught boating safety and conducted vessel inspections for the Auxiliary.
A lifelong member of St. Paul's UCC in Fleetwood. Clair served that congregation in various capacities – Treasurer, Building Committee member and Chair, Sunday School Teacher, Deacon, Chair of the Endowment Committee and most lately, as co-chair of Columbarium committee created to establish a Columbarium for the members of both the St. Paul's UCC and the St. Paul's Lutheran Congregations in Fleetwood.
Clair was a natural and highly skilled musician and artist, establishing a jazz combo with three of his childhood friends named "The Four Cats" which played in various forms for over 15 years in clubs and for events in Southeastern PA. He remained an inspired and inspiring musician for his entire life, able to pick up and play whenever the mood struck him. Clair's watercolors are coveted by family members and friends who waited eagerly for his watercolor painted Christmas Cards.
More than anything, Clair was a man dedicated to his family and friends. His world revolved around his wife, his sons, and when they grew up and married, his grandchildren. He was also a man who had a natural gift for friendship – his range of friends stretched from friendships established in elementary school through to his caregiver, Rick, in the final months of his life.
An active outdoorsman and a long-time summer resident of Perryville, Md. on the Chesapeake Bay, Clair loved nothing more than spending time on the water in his boat or just looking out at the water of the Bay from his deck. An avid hunter and fisherman, Clair enjoyed every season of the year and loved to be outside doing something with his friends, his sons or his grandchildren. Clair with his late wife were also enthusiastic travelers – seeing the world from the Holy Land to Europe to the Caribbean to Asia and quite literally criss-crossing the U.S. and Canada by car and train first with their boys and then with friends.
A Memorial Service to celebrate the life of Clair will be held at St. Paul's UCC in Fleetwood, PA at 11 a.m. on Jan. 25. Prior to the Memorial Service, there will be a Masonic service at St. Paul's for all of the Masonic Brethren of Clair at 10:45 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to St. Paul's UCC; 5 W. Arch St.; Fleetwood, or to the Penn Udall Parkinson's Disease Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Medicine Development & Alumni Relations; Attn: Irene I. Lukoff; University of Pennsylvania; 3535 Market Street, Suite 750; Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309. Condolences can be made on line at
Published in www.pottsmerc.com on Jan. 13, 2014
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