Obituary of Ray Noll
Ray Clifford Noll Jr., age 89, died peacefully on December 23, 2017. Born on July 2, 1928, in Bellefonte, PA, he was the son of Julia Coffey Noll and Ray Clifford Noll. He grew up in Pleasant Gap, PA, graduating from Bellefonte High School in 1946. At Bellefonte Airport, he mastered the New Way Flying System taught by Henry Noll, soloing in 1946 and earning his pilot’s license in 1947.
While at The Pennsylvania State University, he joined the Phi Gam fraternity, enlisted in the Air Force ROTC, and met his wife, Eva Owings Davies, who predeceased him in 2013. Upon graduation in 1950, with a dual degree in Commerce and Finance and Mineral Economics, he was assigned to the USAF 6555th Guided Missile Wing, Cape Canaveral, FL (Cape Kennedy). With the outbreak of the Korean War, Lieutenant Noll was sent to Pusan, Korea as part of the 5th Air Force, Korea, 3rd Bomb Wing (B-26s). As the only Air Force officer who could operate a bulldozer, Lt. Noll and his troops built the first air runway in Pusan for desperately needed supplies. (current location of Pusan Airport). Later, Noll was stationed at Miho Air Force base in Japan, where his wife Eva was allowed to join him, where she taught American History at the base school. At Miho, he became Captain Noll and the maintenance officer in charge of the bombers making night raids into China to destroy North Korean supply lines.
After the war, Eva and Ray settled in suburban Philadelphia, where he worked for Chicago Pneumatic and Spot-Nails, selling industrial air compressors and air tools. His own business, Noll Engineering, based in Malvern, PA, grew into Noll Air Power, distributor and re-builder of compressed air equipment, as well as engineering industrial air systems for regional factories. The Nolls were active members of St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Devon, PA.
Noll was a Scout Master with Devon Boy Scout Troop 45, having been an Eagle Scout in Pleasant Gap Troop 66. He loved the outdoors, belonging to the American Tree Farm System, the Keystone Trails Association, and the Pennsylvania Forestry Association. But his greatest passion was Aviation History, as founder and chairman of the Piper Aviation Museum, an Aviation Historian for the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, an energetic member of the Air Museum Group, Northeast Aero Historians, and the Aero Clubs of both Chester County and the State of Pennsylvania.
He is survived by his son, Ray C. Noll III (Deb L. Marciano) of Valdosta, GA, daughter, Vivian P. Noll of Pleasant Gap, PA, grandchildren, Gwen J. Noll of San Diego, CA, Katie J. Noll of Drexel Hill, PA, Vivian M. Caracillo of State College, PA, Anthony R. Caracillo of Tempe, AZ, great-granddaughter, Eva M. Caracillo, sister, Janet Noll Naumer of Lake Havasu City, AZ, sister and brother-in-law, Joan and Don Kurtz of Danville, CA, a niece and three nephews.
The funeral service will be held at 1:00 pm, Wednesday, January 3, 2018, at the State College Presbyterian Church, 132 W. Beaver Ave., State College. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service, starting at noon on Wednesday at church.
Burial will be in Pleasant Gap Lutheran Cemetery, Pleasant Gap.
In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations to the Deacons of the State College Presbyterian Church, 132 W. Beaver Ave., State College, PA, 16801.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.
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