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Ex-columnist Bill Noble dies at 82
Bill Noble, whose recollection of Ceres' bygone era gained him an appreciative Ceres Courier audience for five years, died Saturday following a battle with cancer. He was 82.

Mr. Noble died peacefully surrounded by family members at his home in Sequim, Wash. , on June 28, 2008.

In 2003 Mr. Noble began writing columns of his memories of days and friends of long ago. Approximately 240 of those memories were published from 2003 to 2007. He especially enjoyed the feedback from readers, including many emails and phone calls from readers.

Born Jan. 30, 1926 in Ceres to Vida and William Noble, Bill grew up with his sister, Rachel (now 90). Their father raised them after their mother died when Bill was only 10 on the home place on South Central in Ceres. When World War II came along, Bill was too young to join the Armed Forces, so he joined the Merchant Marine. He served in the South Pacific for several years, including a stop at Iwo Jima.

In 1950 he met Polly Bessette at a dance in Oakdale. The dance was lifelong; they married in June 1950. They started out life together with just $250, but with lots of love, which carried them through. They grew grapes and pumpkins, with Polly driving the tractor during the harvest. Along the way came three children, Diane, Bruce, and Ann. Later they grew almonds, with the kids helping with the harvest.

In order to help with the expanding expenses, in 1959 Bill went to work at E.R Vine & Sons in Ceres, a petroleum distributorship, delivering fuel products to stations and ranches with tanks on their properties. Bill's friendly ways made him many friends along the way.

The family moved from Ceres to Tulare in 1969. Bill went to take over the Phillips Petroleum plant there. In 1974 Bill, Polly and Bruce moved to Gustine and bought out the Exxon Petroleum plant there from Machado & Mello. Diane and Ann stayed in Tulare . Diane had a job there and Ann was just finishing high school. Bill and Polly retired from the oil business in 1988 and moved to Modesto to be closer to Diane and her husband, Steve Zipser in 1993. In 2000 they moved to Sequim to again be close to the children.

Bill always kept in touch with his old schoolmates, attending class reunions and parties and coffee klatches. They meant so much to him. He was also a world traveler, having taken trips on cruise liners, sailboats, and steam liners, both with Polly and by himself.

Bill was a member of the Masonic Lodge for 55 years, attending meetings both in the Ceres, California lodge and in Sequim as well.

Mr. Noble enjoyed collecting gas station memorabilia. He also enjoyed a good game of cribbage, when he could find a good adversary. He was pretty darn good at checkers as well.

Surviving are his wife of 58 years, Polly Noble of Sequim; his children, Ann Noble, Diane Zipser, and Bruce Noble, all of Sequim; his sister, Rachel Quinley, of Sacramento ; and three grandsons, a granddaughter, and two great-grandchildren.

At his request, no services will be held.

Remembrances may be sent to Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County, P.O. Box 2014 , Port Angeles , WA 98362.