By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – The late John Noble was a longtime resident, business owner and decorated World War II Purple Heart recipient. On May 1, his family, friends and city and local officials gathered at the 1LT. Charles W. Whitcomb Middle School field May 1 to honor him and rededicate the field in his name.
During the presentation, Vigeant introduced Janet Noble and Ellen Elsasser, Noble’s daughters, who assisted in unveiling the plaque designating the award.
“If he was here he would say he didn’t deserve it,” said Elsasser, adding her father was modest and served others because he enjoyed doing so, not for reward. “He loved the city of Marlborough and was pleased to help make it a wonderful place to live.”
Also at the podium were State Senator Jamie Eldridge, State Representative Carmine Gentile, and Veterans Agent Nicholas Charbonneau.
Noble was a 1942 graduate of Marlborough High School and joined the military as a member of a tank crew in December of 1942, assigned to Company A, 19th Battalion, in the Ninth Armored Division. He trained at Fort Riley in Kansas, and moved to Camp Ibis in the Mohave Desert before heading to Europe. He first landed in Scotland and then moved to Normandy. In December of 1944, at the outbreak of the Battle of the Bulge, he was on a special detail where many of his battalion were killed and wounded. He was wounded and stayed in several hospitals in Europe and England and was discharged in October 1945.
Noble worked in high school as a stock boy at Concannon’s on Main Street and continued to work there after the war, rising to assistant manager and eventually buying the business in the early 1960s. He was married to his wife, Claire, for 65 years.
He was a charter member of the Marlborough Chapter of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and had been an active member of numerous other organizations including the Marlborough Chapter of the VFW and Central Mass. chapter of Battle of the Bulge. He was president of the Marlborough Merchants Association in the 1960s and ‘70s and served on the board of the Marlborough Savings Bank, many years as chair.
Noble was the recipient of numerous awards, including Business Person of the Year and the Paul Harris Fellow Award given by Rotary International. In 2007, he received the Heritage Hero Award, given to a Marlborough citizen who had been active in promoting the city.