James B. Noyes
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James B. Noyes
  • October 28, 1922 - August 25, 2016
  • Old Lyme, Connecticut

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On Thursday, August 25, 2016, James Brewster Noyes, a vibrant member of our country's "Greatest Generation", traded-in his baseball cap for a halo.
James was born October 28, 1922 in the family homestead on McCurdy Road in Old Lyme. He lived in the Lymes all his life.
James was the youngest of 7 children, the son of Charles Reginald Noyes and Lucy Bancroft Noyes.
James is survived by his partner, Doris Hungerford; his son, Walter of Naples, Florida; his son Jack's partner, Charlene Maddocks of Old Lyme; his son Bruce and his wife Tammy, of Old Lyme; his granddaughter Jhrusha Greenberg and her husband Philip and their daughter Madeline of Boulder, Colorado; and his grandson, Graham Noyes of Denver, Colorado. He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen Florence Tostevin and their son, John "Jack" Noyes.
James graduated from the Old Lyme High School in 1942 and immediately entered the Navy for service in the Mediterranean Theatre, on LST #197, transporting personnel and equipment. He took part in 5 invasions in Africa, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, and southern France. He was awarded the Navy Unit Citation Commendation in southern France.
After WWII, James was in the Naval Reserves, SeaBees Division until 1967. His construction battalion completed many public relations projects, including building Little League fields (one in Old Lyme) and a Boy Scout camp. They also repaired camps throughout the State.
James met his wife Helen on V-J Day, in Newport News, Virginia. Helen was with the Women's Auxiliary Volunteer Service (WAVES), which was attached to the Navy.
James and Helen were married in her hometown of Mandan, North Dakota on March 12, 1946. Then, they settled in Old Lyme and started a family.
After WWII, James continued to heed the SeaBees' call to service back home, serving as a Town Constable, on the Board of Directors of the Little League, on the Boy Scout Committee, as a member of the Republican Town Committee, on the Board of Directors of the Southeastern CT Builders Association, on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce, and on the Board of Directors of the Florence Griswold Museum.
James was proud to state that he'd voted in every election since he was 21 years of age. He was a life member of the American Legion Post #41 and a charter member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #1467, assisting with many of its blood drives and civic projects.
James was passionate about baseball. His favorite professional team was the NY Yankees, but he most loved attending local games and could be seen on the sidelines of the sports fields, and in the gym for basketball games, as recently as this past winter.
James proudly cheered on his sons, grandchildren and nephews at hundreds of competitions. But, when family members graduated, he continued to attend games to cheer on Lyme-Old Lyme teams just because our students were part of his community.
As founder of James B. Noyes & Sons, he was well-known as a builder in the area, constructing many homes. Projects included restoring the Old Saybrook Railroad Station, remodeling the New London Soup Kitchen, building an office for the Literacy Volunteers in the Westbrook Library, repairing the steeple of the Old Lyme Congregational Church, and restoring the plaques for veterans in the Old Lyme Town Hall. He contributed in numerous ways to the construction of the Lymes Senior Center, serving on the Site Selection, Building and Maintenance Committees.
James volunteered for 7 years with Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut, building 15 homes for families who otherwise could not afford them.
James was proud to be a descendant of the founding minister of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, the Reverend Moses Noyes (1643-1729). James served as Chairman of the Church's Property Committee, and was honored as Deacon Emeritus. He volunteered for many years at the Church's White Elephant (rummage) Sale, and was proud to have wrangled many Noyes family members to work at the sale alongside him. He presided over the Small Furniture Department with his son Bruce just last month.
For the last 15 years, James was blessed to have Doris Bell Hungerford at his side. They'd been friends for many years as their children grew up together in the Lymes. Doris and James were able to travel, take part in senior center activities and serve with local organizations for most of their time together, and they enjoyed the benefits of blending their families.
For all he'd accomplished for others, James was honored by his home town of Old Lyme, and named 2002 Citizen Of The Year.
James noted that he was a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) due to the fact that his grandfather, Captain Enoch Noyes, served with the Union Army during the Civil War.
Proud of his family's civic and religious contributions through the generations, and eager to preserve the histories of all of its families, James served as a Trustee for the Old Lyme Historical Society and donated items to the Society's collection for all to enjoy.
James was proud also of his family's contributions to the field of nursing. He had fond memories of his aunt, Clara Dutton Noyes, who served as the director of the Red Cross Bureau of Nursing during WWI, where she was responsible for more than 21,000 nurses. In addition, James's sister Mary was the Town Nurse for Old Lyme and as she was beloved, a scholarship was instituted in her honor.
Consequently, it was James's wish that in lieu of flowers, people would contribute to the Mary Hubbard Noyes Scholarship Award, PO Box 56, Old Lyme, CT 06371.