Robert ‘Bob’ Lee Noel

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Robert “Bob” Lee Noel was born March 28, 1923, Manitowoc, Wis., to Thomas Lee and Hulda Lurana “Lorraine” Noel. He grew up in Wells, and graduated from Escanaba High School in 1941. He spent a year in the CCC’s before being inducted into the U.S. Army on Feb. 11, 1943, and served both in the U.S. and in the Philippines until he was honorably discharged on March 16, 1946.

While studying engineering at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, he married Idana Elizabeth White on April 18, 1948, at Reedsburg, Wis. Bob earned a bachelors of science degree (Jan. 1, 1945) and a masters of science degree (Jan. 1951) in mechanical engineering.

Bob was employed at Micro Switch Corporation in Freeport, Ill., in the research and development department until 1954 when he was offered the position of assistant professor of engineering at Emmanuel Missionary College (EMC) in Berrien Springs, Mich.

He taught at EMC (now Andrews University) for nine years and then moved to College Place, where he was an associate professor of engineering at Walla Walla College (WWC).

Bob was a registered professional mechanical engineer in Illinois, Michigan, and Washington. he advanced to full professor of engineering and taught for 26 years WWC (now Walla Walla University) before retiring in 1989.

His hobbies were photography, rock and stamp collecting. Bob and Idana volunteered for the 1990-91 school year at Maxwell Adventist Academy near Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa where he taught computers and Algebra.

This provided the opportunity to see and photograph numerous animals and birds during weekends and school vacations. In 19 years, he spent over 4,900 volunteer hours processing the outgoing mail at the Walla Walla General Hospital. For 15 years he printed the meal labels for Meals On Wheels as well as delivering meals weekly with Idana. In addition he printed Memory Verse cards for the mission field, and crafted kissems and pencil holders from plastic canvas for family, friends and missions.

Many wonderful family memories were made while traveling in all 50 of the United States. He also traveled with his wife to various locations including Mexico, Central America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and China. They also enjoyed many trips with the Fifty Plus Club.

Bob was a member of the College Place Village Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Idana; a son, Dave (Patti) of Walla Walla, two daughters, Diane Sue (Richard) Rannow of Sutherlin, Ore., Debra (Ronald) Brown of Canby, Ore.; three grandchildren, Cathi, Heather, and Michael Noel; a brother, James (Joyce) Noel of Gladstone; sisters, Grace Waydick of Racine, Wis., and Alice Olcott of Oceanside, Calif.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The memorial service was Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at 2 p.m. at the College Place Village SDA Church, 715 SE 12th Street, College Place. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial donations be give to Gospel Outreach through Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, Wash., 99362.

Family and fiends may write memories and sign the online guest-book at