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Last Post 20 Jan 2011 01:56 AM by  mazdamike
passing of Bill Noble
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20 Jan 2011 01:56 AM
    Final Checker
    Multi-Time SCCA National Champion Bill Noble Passes Away On Tuesday

    TOPEKA, Kan. (Jan. 19, 2011) - Bill Noble, one of the most prolific drivers in the history of the Sports Car Club of America, succumbed to a multiple-year battle with blood cancer on Tuesday. He was 69 years old.

    A renowned Formula Vee engine builder and five-time FV National Champion, Noble was a bear of a man who had a gentle touch with both a torque wrench and a steering wheel. Bill came from humble origins and built a livelihood from his passion. He was instrumental in maintaining FV as one of the most popular SCCA classes. His “Engines by Noble” won countless races and an incredible 25 National Championships.

    Despite competing in an extremely hard-fought class, only a handful of drivers have won more than Noble’s five national championships. He was on the podium 13 times. He won the Valvoline ProVee Championship in 1994. Bill has received the Road Racing Drivers Club’s Mark Donahue award and the Jerry Knapp Award from his fellow competitors at the Runoffs. In the Kansas Region there is an award named for him honoring his mechanical expertise and sportsmanship. For nearly four decades he was the mark by which you measured yourself in Formula Vee.

    Bill was also an avid hunter and a first-rate marksman. He was twice runner-up for the USA Olympic Trap Shooting Team in his youth and remained very competitive in various shooting competitions throughout his life winning a world championship title in live fliers. He was avid outdoorsman and naturalist who loved to camp and fish with his family in the wild parts of North America.

    At every race he ran, but especially at the Runoffs, Noble freely dispatched information and advice about everything from motors to alignment to driving technique. To quell the notion that he might be harboring the best for himself, he had a standard offer - anytime a customer wanted to trade his motor for Noble’s, he would not only pull it out, he would help you put it in your car. It was not an idle boast, as it happened on more than one occasion.

    Throughout his racing career Bill always kept his family in the forefront. In the beginning he and his step dad Harvey would go to the races together. Later, his wife Lisa became his world class crew chief and went on to join Bill at the sharp end of the Vee grid as a first rank driver, and is now on the SCCA Board of Directors.

    Bill is also survived by his daughter, Dr. Jaime Gassmann, her husband, John, and a grandson, James, almost 2 years old.

    Memorial donations may be made to the American Red Cross Midway-Kansas Chapter 1900 East Douglas Wichita, Kansas 67214 in recognition of the many volunteers who donated blood and drove the dozens of trips from Wichita to Manhattan to deliver the special blood products Bill needed.
    Services will be held at the Milford, Kansas Cemetery on Saturday, January 22nd at 1 p.m.
    Date: 1/22/2011
    Time: 1:00 PM Saturday
    Location: Milford Cemetery
    Milford, Kansas

    William James “Bill” Noble, born June 2nd 1941 in Junction City, KS. Bill was raised in the old town of Milford Kansas by his maternal grandparents Blanche and William Alonzo “Bill” Badger. He described his small town upbringing as a Huck Finn life. Outdoor sports of all kinds were Bill’s passion.

    Most every weekend that Bill wasn’t racing, he was shooting, hunting or fishing. Often with friend and neighbor Rob Taylor or life-long friend Dick Ambrose. Bill was a world class shooter, twice qualifying for the Olympic trap team as an alternate. Among other titles, in 1984 he won the World Fliers Championship competing against shooters from every corner of the world.

    Ambrose and Bill spent many hours together in the goose blinds of Missouri or on the lakes of northern Manitoba accompanied by Roger Sink or a myriad of other friends who appreciated the warm camaraderie and Bill’s gift for story telling.

    Formual Vee racing with the Sports Car Club of America was both Bill’s vocation and avocation. Racing all over the United States since 1968 he won races at Watkins Glen, NY, Riverside, CA and Sebring, FL. to name a very few. He was invited to race at South Africa’s Kaliami circuit as a representative of the United States in 1986. Five National Championships and 12 podium finishes in almost 40 years of competition made Bill an icon of motorsports known world over.

    Bill met his wife of 31 years, Lisa, at the races. It was a passion they shared, where they spent their weekends, how they made their living and where they raised their daughter Jaime. The two of them built Noble Championship Power into the largest provider of Formula Vee race engines in the world. He was most proud of his daughter Jaime. They spent many hours together sharing their love of outdoors whether racing, shooting, archery, softball or fishing in Canada. Always her biggest supporter he would say “I’ll bet on Jaime” with every confidence in her.

    Bill truly was a larger than life man. If you ever met him, you have a story to tell. He will be sadly missed by all who called him friend. He is survived by his loving wife Lisa, devoted daughter Dr. Jaime Noble Gassmann, loyal son-in-law Lieutenant John Gassmann, Grandson James Gassmann who was a particular delight to him and always brought a sparkle to his eyes, Aunt Hazel Badger, cousins Gayle, John, Laura, Louise, Greg and Lynn. Bill is predeceased by his beloved mother and step father, Opal and Harvey Hartle.

    Graveside services will be held at 1:00 P.M. Saturday at the Milford Cemetery, Milford, Kansas, with Reverend Kevin Larson officiating.

    Online condolences may be left for the family by clicking on "Send Condolences" on this page.

    The family request no flowers. Memorial donations may be made to the American Red Cross Midway-Kansas Chapter in recognition of the many volunteers who donated blood and drove the dozens of trips from Wichita to Manhattan to deliver the special blood products Bill needed. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.

    Memorial Funds: American Red Cross Midway-Kansas Chapter
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