Remembering Our Hero
Dr. Carole Noon (1949 – 2009)
Today, May 2, 2010 marks the first anniversary of the passing of our Founder, Dr. Carole Noon.
Carole was an amazing spirit who wandered to the far corners of this wonderful planet of ours until she found her calling in the hearts and souls of chimpanzees. The path that led her to the chimps was a long and winding one. Born in Portland, Oregon, her childhood years were spent in places that ranged from Ohio to the South Pacific. She went to college, married, and owned a business with her husband. After ten years, the marriage ended, and Carole looked to the world for direction. She journeyed to Africa with her sister, and across the country to Texas, Washington, Alaska, sometimes with her sister and always with her beloved dog, Zeke.
Returning from her sojourn, Carole moved to Florida and returned to school to study the sciences. There she met Dr. Jane Goodall, and so began her crusade on behalf of chimpanzees. She began by observing chimps at a Florida zoo, and then later working on the resocialization of orphaned chimpanzees at Chimfunshi, a sanctuary in Zambia. Completing her dissertation, Dr. Noon then embarked on what she knew was her life’s work: providing sanctuary to chimpanzees used in space and biomedical research, entertainment, and the pet trade. With determination, passion, intelligence, and wit, she rallied others to the cause, inspired others to support her efforts on behalf of chimpanzees, and the result was Save the Chimps.
Dr. Noon passed away last year of pancreatic cancer, at her home at the sanctuary, to the sounds of the chimps and in the company of her sisters. Although we lost Dr. Noon too soon, she lived to see her dream realized, lived to see scores of chimpanzees set foot onto the amazing island paradise she created for them. Today everyone at Save the Chimps continues the vital work of keeping her dream and spirit alive.
A personal note: Carole, I love you and miss you. No words can capture how much. Thank you for the gift you gave me of inviting me to be a part of the chimps’ lives and yours. I know you saw Boy come over the hill and jump over that puddle of water today. I know you are with Dana at every moment. I know you smiled when Jude climbed that tree. I know you’re here with us and the chimps always.
The comfort and happiness of the chimpanzees is Dr. Noon’s legacy and it is one that will endure with your continued support.
Thank you for your compassion and generosity.
Chimpanzees, they are amazing people.