Noel Clarence Friday was born June 8, 1932 to Clarence and Linnea Ringstrand Friday in Madrid, Iowa. When he was three, his parents moved to Osceola so Clarence and Fred Carlson could open the Friday Insurance Agency. The agency remained in the Friday family well into the 21st Century.
Noel graduated from Osceola High School in 1950 and attended Simpson College. In 1952, his draft number came up so he joined the Air Force for four years. The Korean War was in progress and Noel was eventually sent to Japan. He was responsible for having the appropriate number of freight handlers in the air traffic terminals in both Japan and Korea.
When Noel returned to the United States, he finished his education at Drake University and then joined Friday Insurance. He and Alice Nichols were married and became the parents of Suzanne and John who also grew up in Osceola. Although they were eventually divorced, they were both always devoted to their children. Noel and his father managed the Friday Insurance Agency together until his father’s passing in 1975. Noel’s insurance career spanned over 50 years and he was known for having only one piece of paper on his desk at a time. Noel traveled throughout southern Iowa and northern Missouri, calling on his clients annually. He was proud that he was able to assist in creating an agricultural program for large bull stud operations which he marketed in 13 states. His clients were always pleased when he appeared for his annual visit. John Friday joined the Agency for a few years which pleased Noel greatly.
Like his father, Noel was very active with the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa known as the “Big I”. He and a group of agents were responsible for implementing the Farm School now called the Rural Agents Conference which is the still the 2nd largest insurance meeting in the State of Iowa. Noel and his father each served as President of the state-wide association 30 years apart.
Noel loved music all of his life. Because he played by ear, his childhood piano lessons did not go well for him; he wanted to play real music Instead of practicing scales so he and his teacher agreed that lessons were not for him. He played clarinet and piano with the “Keynotes”, a big band group who played for dances around central Iowa for many years. He played with other groups as well but was proud of his years with the Keynotes.
Noel loved the hobby of restoring classic antique automobiles. He bought his first “old” car in 1952 and eventually restored several Pre-World War II classic automobiles. He purchased one of his cars in bushel baskets and boxes. After three days of doing an inventory, he knew he had all the required parts and pieces for the car so he built the wooden body and proceeded with the restoration. His workshop was always tidy and the envy of the men who visited. Noel had an eye for style and color and was proud that his cars were restored in a fully correct manner. Noel always said the best part of the car hobby was meeting wonderful people from all over the country. He held offices in various car clubs and enjoyed many satisfying friendships with his car buddies. They never ran out of car stories and all of them loved to look at old cars of any kind, anywhere and anytime. He and his family enjoyed traveling to car meets in many states. Noel also enjoyed owning airplanes for a few years but decided the car hobby was more important.
Noel attended the Methodist Church from the age of three and the LifePoint Assembly of God Church during his later years. He was active in many community affairs.
Noel was a gentleman in every sense of the word and a renaissance man if there ever was one. He believed in hard work and a quality life. Every day he remarked, “We have a lot to be thankful for.” He and Nancy enjoyed life together whether they were at home or traveling. Noel frequently said, “I am a dog lover” and was devoted to his little friend, Patches.
Noel was preceded in death by his parents and his wives Doralese and Mary Beth.
Noel is survived by his loving wife Nancy. He also leaves behind his beloved daughter, Suzanne (Kris) Ward; beloved son, John (Nancy) Friday, 10 grandchildren, Lance Collins, Linnea Hernandez (Adrian), Miles (Victoria) Coulthard, Savannah Coulthard (Wade Smith), Raphael (Emma) Coulthard, Simeon (Danielle) Coulthard, Isaiah Coulthard and Prairie Dawn Anderson (Cody), Sam and Libby Friday, 7 great grand children, Joaquin Noel, Emersyn, Shelby, Skyler, Payton, Wynnie, Isabelle and former son-in-law, John Coulthard. He will also be greatly missed by Nancy’s sons, Jay (Darlene) Kirstein and Jeffrey (Reiko) Kirstein and their families.
Services will be held at LifePoint Church, Thursday July 23, 2020 at 10:30 am with Pastor Chuck DeVos officiating.
Visitation will open Wednesday, July 22, 2020 and the family will greet friends from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Wednesday at Kale Funeral Home in Osceola.
Interment will be in the Maple Hill Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be directed to LifePoint Church in Osceola.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.kalefuneralhome.com.