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Gretchen ‘Margot’ Noble

1/30/36 – 4/7/21

Gretchen Noble passed away early in the morning on Wednesday, April 7, after a long illness.

With her late husband, Nathion Noble, she moved to Southside Virginia nearly 30 years ago and fell in love with the region and its people. She shared that love with her friends and neighbors, especially at Douglas Presbyterian Church, where she taught Sunday school to many delighted children and helped organize scores of plays and other happy activities.

She had a great ability to make people feel welcomed, accepted and loved. As a result, her extended family grew constantly. Her holiday dinners always included people whose invitation was based on love and affection rather than their place on the family tree. Regardless of age, faith and politics, people all laughed together under her roof.

She was interested in life. She loved fabrics, sewing and knitting. People often asked her to make sewing repairs and alterations. But she also delighted in creating many colorful and complex quilts, knit blankets, articles of clothing and lately facemasks. Flower gardening was another way she expressed the beauty of color combinations. She was always reading. If you found her asleep, she usually had an open book in her lap. In the kitchen, she joyously worked magic to create favorites like turkey lasagna, fruitcake and syllabub. On the road, she loved to travel and helped take her family by car through nearly all the lower 48 states, a good bit of Canada and into Mexico. And she knew where to find a good banana split.

She was born in Wilmington, Delaware on Jan. 30, 1936 and grew up in that city. Always a strong and determined person, she was not pushy but not a pushover either. One of her first jobs was at a Woolworth’s in the pet shop. The turtles were awful. In the early 1950s she began working as a telephone operator at AT&T, rotating regularly through day, evening and night shifts at the switchboard. She continued this shift work for over 40 years, moving up through the ranks, coordinating with her husband to raise their family and working hard to make life better. On the job, she took great joy in helping to connect US Military personnel overseas–or at sea–with their loved ones at home.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 62 years, Nathion Noble (who passed almost exactly one year earlier); her grandparents, Margaret and George Crossgrove; mother, Loretta Wilkinson; brother, Joseph Wilkinson and brothers-in-law, Jake and Went Noble.

Margot is survived by her dearly loved sister, Mary Anne Salicette; son, Ron (Anne); daughter, Shelly (Carl); brother-in-law, Mack Noble; sister-in-law, Bettye Noble and many wonderful nieces, nephews, and their families. Her extended family survivors include generations of kids, neighbors and friends. She loved you all. Margot will always be particularly loved and cherished as “Nai Nai” by her beloved granddaughter, Hannah Margaret Noble, with whom she shared many adventures in crafts, cooking and blueberry picking.

The family wishes to extend heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the staffs at Centra Southside Community Hospital and The Woodland Brantley Unit for the wonderful care and kindness they gave Margot during the last months of her life.