Ann Noble Brown
March 29, 1930 – April 7, 2021
Ann Elizabeth Noble was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at St. Anthony Hospital. The youngest of three children born to Samuel Lloyd Noble and Vivian Bilby Noble, she grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma. In her early years she also spent summers in California, where the family traveled to escape the Depression-era dust which aggravated her older brother's asthma.
Her mother died of pneumonia in the pre-antibiotic era, when Ann was only six. After the tragic loss of her mother, Ann continued to be blessed with the strong and loving maternal presence of her grandmother Hattie Noble, housekeeper Nora Shaffer, and her aunt Mary Tolbert. She and her brothers attended school and lived in La Jolla, California, in a small house overlooking the cove, for the next two years. On returning to Ardmore, they moved into the house on D Street which had been purchased shortly before their mother's death. Ann learned early to cook, sew, be a gracious hostess, and of necessity help run a household.
She graduated from Ardmore High School in 1948. She attended Mills College in Oakland for two years, always retaining a fondness for the Bay Area and Tony Bennett's "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". After her father died suddenly late in her sophomore year, she returned home and attended OU as a junior. She fell in love with a young Navy lieutenant, Dr. David Brown, older brother of a high school classmate. When David returned from Korea for duty in San Diego, they were married in Ardmore on November 18, 1951. After a honeymoon in Santa Fe, the couple first lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, where David completed his tour at the Naval Hospital. In 1952 they moved to Oklahoma City, which would be home for the rest of their lives.
Ann and David raised three children. Consummate housewife Ann learned to love traveling with her family in a pickup camper across the American West and into Canada. Later would come travels with friends in more spacious motor homes. And cabin life in Lake City, Colorado, over nearly forty summers. Ladylike Ann also came to delight in donning rain gear, or sunglasses and hat, to share in David's love of fishing – enjoying many trips with dear friends to Lake Ouachita, Lake Fork, and Toledo Bend.
She was a longtime Trustee of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, established by her father. She was also a Trustee on the Boards of OCU, Heritage Hall, Harn Homestead, and Omniplex (now Science Museum Oklahoma). She was a founding member of the Annie Oakley and Prix de West Societies at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. And a 50-year member of Nichols Hills United Methodist Church. She resolutely supported and shared in David's work with the Heritage Foundation, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, and Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. Ann bequeaths to her family and all who knew her a legacy of kindness, companionable travel, Christian devotion, generosity and quiet charity, memorable home-cooked meals, and love of family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lloyd and Vivian; by her brothers, Sam and Ed; by her sister-in-law, Mary Jane Noble; and by her cousins, Margaret Baldridge and Bilby Wallace.
She is survived by her devoted husband of 69 years, David Brown; her 3 children (and their spouses), Randy Brown (Susan Ross), Susan Brown (Bill McCoy), Marianne Rooney (Pat); her 9 grandchildren, Patrick Rooney (Patterson), Turner Rooney (Gillian), Matthew Rooney (Katie), Clark Ruppert, Ellen Ruppert, Willy Ruppert, Jake Brown (Anna), Katie Brown, and David Brown; her 9 great-grandchildren, Emily, Caroline, and Brooks Brown; Patrick, Lucy, and Maggie Rooney; Turner and Luke Rooney; and Teddy Rooney; her cousins Carolyn Smith, Jim Tolbert (Beth), and Sara Orwig; and sisters-in-law Maria Noble and Anne Falin.
The family wish to thank the devoted caregivers of Kate's Angels and Integris Hospice.
Her funeral will be Friday, April 16, at 10 AM, Nichols Hills United Methodist Church, with alternate-pew seating in the church and live streaming for those outside the sanctuary or at home. Visitation will be Thursday, April 15, at 4-6 PM, Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Funeral Home. Recognizing the persistent risk of COVID for many, the family wants no one to feel an obligation to attend.
Memorials may be made to the Noble Research Institute, Nichols Hills United Methodist Church, or the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
Published on April 11, 2021