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“So sorry ”
1 of 10 | Posted by: Indira Asholen - Westord, MA

“May the God of comfort be with you at this time ”
2 of 10 | Posted by: Connie - MD

“Thoughts to Noel's family from the Fort Devens Museum. He was a good friend to so many local cultural organizations. ”
3 of 10 | Posted by: Kara Fossey

“Ellen, Rob and I will forever grieve the loss of Noel from our family. He was a wonderful brother in law. Know that we are here for Marsh ”
4 of 10 | Posted by: Marsha Downey - Littleton, MA

“Ellen, My deepest condolences are with you. Noel was a great friend, colleague, and mentor. I could not have organized the Historial Socierty of...Read More »
5 of 10 | Posted by: Audrey Childs - Watertown, MA

“Ellen our prayers & thoughts are with you at this difficult time. We now have memories that are cherished forever . A wonderful man , family...Read More »
6 of 10 | Posted by: Marsha & Fred Hogan - Chelmsford, MA

“Ellen, we've lost a brilliant man, way too young. Peace and prayers to you and your family. Love from Katsuk and Darlene ”
7 of 10 | Posted by: Katsuk Jordan - Fitchburg, MA

“Noel was such a kind person with a very soft demeaner. He was so much like my late husband that way. I will really miss that man. Thank you Creator...Read More »
8 of 10 | Posted by: Pamela Levesque - Leominster, MA

“Ellen So sorry to read of your lose. JoAnn McAllister ”
9 of 10 | Posted by: JoAnn McAllister - Averill Park, NY

“going to miss a good friend..mike and sis ”
10 of 10 | Posted by: A friend


Noel D. Rainville on October 18, 2016 died suddenly by choice at his home after a long illness and a recent further decline in health.

While educated in communications (U. S. Navy), electronics and psychology, a wide-ranging and open-minded reading habit was his true education. He retained and shared everything he had read and could converse on any topic with anyone. He designed and built the bedside table which at the time of his death held 62 books and a loaded Kindle. A true polymath, he could also build, plumb, electrify and repair anything, erecting in the backyard a geodesic woodshed in the 1970’s followed more recently by a full-sized  teepee.

Born November 7, 1948 in Peterborough NH to Noel D. Rainville Sr. and Gertrude Jean, an early childhood spent in Chile prompted an appreciation for other cultures and a facility for languages which included work with a Japanese trading company and culminated late in life in the study of Abenaki, after discovering his family’s native heritage.  He became a passionate advocate and speaker on Native American issues, language and cultural loss, and carved Native American flutes and pipes.

Despite declining health, he was an inspired and adventurous cook whose deboned stuffed turkey became a holiday staple, as did his Christmas Eve bouillabaisse. He roasted coffee beans for his wife daily and was a home brewer decades before the artisanal trend; at his death he was experimenting with food fermentation. He will be remembered primarily as a loyal, intense companion and friend, happiest when talking with others. His was perhaps the only organic tobacco plot in Westford.

He leaves behind his wife of 43 years Ellen (Downey), sisters Jean A. Secovich of Groton MA and Elaine M. Palumbo and her husband Nicholas of Webster TX, dear in-laws and loved nieces and nephews.

A private burial will be followed by a Celebration of Life on Saturday, November 12 at 11am in the Fellowship Hall of First Parish Church United, 48 Main St. Westford Common, Westford MA 01886. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Ndakinna Education Center, 23 Middle Grove Road, Greenfield Center, New York 12833.