Annabelle Catherine Rolfe Noke, 97, died peacefully in the company of her loving family on June 30 from declining health issues.
She was a resident at Apple Valley Center in Ayer for two years. Prior to that she resided at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Oak Bluffs, after having lived in Vineyard Haven for over 40 years.
Born October 28, 1915, in Cheticamp, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, to Annie Catherine (Aucoin) and Edgar Locker Rolfe, she was the third of eight children and the only child born in Nova Scotia. All of her siblings were born in Hartford, Conn. A graduate of the Hartford Public School system, Annabelle helped raise her younger siblings after her mother’s death in 1935.
On March 25, 1939, Annabelle married Edmund F. Noke from Waltham. During WWII while Mr. Noke served in the US Navy, Annabelle was full-time mother to their three eldest children. Soon after the end of the war, their fourth child was born. In the 1950s Annabelle began working for Raytheon in Newton as a grid inspector, working her way up to supervisor and an active union representative.
When her husband began his career with the Martha’s Vineyard Cooperative Bank in 1966, she worked in numerous Vineyard businesses. She was a popular hostess at the Homeport Restaurant in Menemsha and the Shiretown Restaurant in Edgartown, and a sales clerk in various antique shops in Vineyard Haven and West Tisbury.
Annabelle loved to travel to Nantucket to see her sister Leola Rounsville, and to many other places throughout the United States with her husband. A voracious reader, Annabelle was involved with the Vineyard Haven Library and served on the Library Board. She was very active in the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Coast Guard Ladies Auxiliary, the Hospital Volunteers (gift shop) and the Ladies Garden Club.
Hosting luncheons, dinners, and parties were favorite activities where Annabelle was known for her tremendous cooking abilities, sharp wit, and keen sense of humor. Whether performed live by her grandson Kenneth DeBettencourt, Jr. or by recorded artists such as Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles, the summer band concerts or performances of classical pieces, listening to music and playing the piano brought her great happiness. Going to the movies, dining at places such as Farm Neck or the Square Rigger, and riding in the car around the perimeter of the Island were other top pleasures.
She was a member of the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in West Tisbury, where she enjoyed a sense of community and fellowship.
Annabelle is survived by son, William G. Noke and wife Carol of Waltham; daughter-in-law, Brenda (Tedesco) Noke of Nashua, N.H.; and two daughters, Roberta Noke Curtin of Pepperell, and Joann (Noke) DeBettencourt and husband Kenneth, Sr., of Oak Bluffs. She is also survived by 15 grandchildren and their spouses, 20 great-grandchildren, and a sister-in-law, Dorothy Rolfe of West Hartford, Conn., and by many nieces and nephews.
Annabelle was predeceased by her husband, Edmund F. Noke, Sr. in 1989, after 50 years of marriage. Additionally, she was predeceased by her son, Edmund F. Noke, Jr. in 2005, her granddaughter, Annastasia L. DeBettencourt in 1979 and granddaughter Monica (Hartwig) Noke in 2011. She is also predeceased by all of her siblings: Leola Rounsville, Robert Rolfe, Gladys Gallagher, Edgar Rolfe, Shirley Danahy, Grizelda “Chris” Hadfield, and Lillian Tyner.
All services will be held on Monday, July 8, at the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home. Visitation will begin at 11:30 am followed by a memorial service. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery, State Road, Vineyard Haven. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1829, Edgartown, MA 02539. For more information go to www.ccgfuneralhome.com or call 508-693-1495.