Services Set for Harry Noble

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Harry Noble

Harry E. Noble died on Jan. 15, 2020 at his home in Hermiston at the age of 89.

He was born on June 7, 1930 in Klamath Falls to Willard and Helen C. Vorce Noble.

Harry was raised in the Langell Valley on a ranch and rode a horse to school through the second grade. Then his folks transported him to Bonanza to school, where he later graduated. Harry lettered in basketball, football and boxing. While in high school he worked for the Garner Lundy Ranch and contracted hay hauling in the summer. Harry rode every kind of horse, cow and bull that he could get to buck on the ranches. After graduating, he went to work for Campbell and Gerber ranches in Bly until he joined the Navy in 1950. After boot camp he was stationed on a sea plane tender in the Pacific for two years, running the crane that hoisted the planes to the ship deck to be repaired. He then requested a tour of duty in Hawaii for his last two years. While stationed in Hawaii he played polo, shod the horses and helped organize the first rodeo held there.

After being discharged from the Navy in 1954, he pursued the rodeo lifestyle, among others, competing in the Pendleton Round-Up where he met his bride to be and love of his life, Helen Maxine Steagall, at the Happy Canyon dance. He won the Northwest Bucking Championship and liked to say he won the buckle, girl and all. They were married on Nov. 14, 1954 in her home town of Irrigon. They settled on the Noble Ranch in the Langell Valley, where he rode colts, raised cattle and traveled to rodeos. While on the ranch, they had two daughters, Jody and Jerita.

They moved to Klamath Falls in 1959 and then to Hawaii in 1960, where he managed Saddle City, a western resort at Waimanolo, Oahu. He had to take some bucking stock and good help, Billy Liskey, from the mainland to be able to put on some good rodeos for the Gibson family. He taught riding and rough

stock lessons to many students. Buddy Gibson, Helen and the crew took folks out on popular trail rides at the resort. He moved his family back to Klamath Falls in 1961 to be closer to family.

Harry went to work for Francis D. Brown Logging Co. loading logs, building roads and running their crane rental service while continuing to rodeo. In spring 1967, he moved the family to Helen’s home area to run a ranch for Joe Tatone in Boardman. In fall 1968, he went to work for Philippi Ranches and moved to Hermiston on their pasture ranch. He and the girls also helped on the Boardman and Arlington ranches for many years, working cattle, training horses, doing tractor work and moving irrigation.

He said the girls were as good help as he could ask for and was proud of them and their accomplishments. They bought 33 acres just below the ranch to build an arena and kept rodeoing and running their HJN Noble arena. After 11 years, he quit the ranch and got into the union to build up some retirement and drove for CBTC in Pasco, Wash. They put a truck terminal on our place so Harry and other drivers dispatched from here for five years, before the company sold. He then went into construction, running heavy equipment. This took him to Cascade Locks, Lake Chelan, Wash., Florida, Virginia, Colorado, and back to Central Point, Corvallis and Boardman before he retired from the union. He continued to work part time for Madison’s, running equipment and building roads, as well as taking care of a herd of cattle for a few years. Finally retiring from everything and selling all the bucking horses early in 2004, they turned the arena facilities and pasture over to the Belyeas.

His rodeo accomplishments in his 45 years of competition included winning many championships in Hawaii; the last Northwest Bucking Championship in 1954 that was held at the Pendleton Round-Up; several RCA Saddle Bronc championships; and NRA Year End Saddle Bronc Championship for 1969, 1970 and 1971. He worked as a pick-up man for Christiansen Brothers and Howells rodeo stock contractors for many years, as well as judging a lot of rodeos. He put on rough stock schools and worked with Blue Mountain Community College,

Eastern Oregon and Walla Walla College rough stock teams for many years in his arena. He was a Gold Card member of the PRCA and NPRA rodeo associations.

Harry was a family man and always took his family with him to rodeos, etc. He was honest, a hard worker, and a good provider. Harry had a big heart and was ready to share and help anyone in any way he could. He loved the arena and helping young kids get a good start if they wanted to learn to ride or rope. We used the arena for rodeos from pee-wee, junior, high school, college and benefits. We had timed event series jackpots, barrel races, buckouts and 4-H for over 30 years. He had a talent for training good working horses to do anything and got his girls mounted on good barrel racing horses at an early age. Harry knew good horses and was an honest horse trader.

He was a lifetime member of the Pendleton Round-Up Hall of Fame and VFW. He was a member of the Elks for over 40 years, Friends of Rodeo and Christian Cowboys. He was raised in the Lorella Full Gospel Church in the Langell Valley in Oregon.

Harry enjoyed sports, especially watching his girls, grandkids, great grandkids and nephew, Rocky Steagall, as well as the kids he helped in the rodeos and their activities. He also enjoyed herding cattle, fishing, hunting and playing a little golf with family. Harry played the guitar, sang old cowboy songs and gospel hymns, and enjoyed the jam sessions with family and friends. Assisted living folks loved his music. He also was quite a dancer. He loved to beat anyone who would play cards or pool with him. Harry looked forward to visiting friends and reminiscing with good humor. Later in life, the telephone became his friend for communicating. He was blessed with a lot of family, extended family and friends that helped him so much, after his horse accident that led to his leg amputation in 2011, to get “back in the saddle again,” which he did for a while. When his back pain got bad enough he couldn’t walk much, his four-wheeler became his legs.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Helen; daughters, Jody Lafferty and Jerita Belyea and husband Dave; grandchildren, Kayla Clifton Skultety, Shane Clifton and Jesse Belyea and wife Missy; great grandchildren, Kensie Skultety, Sean Skultety, Willow Belyea and Stetson Belyea; sister, Pauline Mamalis; 100-year-old aunt, Velma Evans; brother-in-law, Bob McRae; sister-in-law, Carole Steagall; nephews and nieces, Rocky and Michelle Steagall, Walt Steagall, Jeannie Greiss, Kristina McRea Tarvin, Karla Noble McKay, Ken and Billy Noble and Buddy Gibson; and many great nieces and nephews, cousins, extended family and very dear friends.

Harry was preceded in death by his mother, Helen Noble Vorce; father, Bill Noble; brothers-in-law: Dave Mamalis and Bill Steagall; son-in-law, Pat Lafferty; sister-in-law, Linda McRae; and brother, Duane Noble. A graveside service with military honors will be held on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 at 1 p.m. at Desert Lawn Memorial Cemetery, Irrigon.

A celebration of life service will follow at Stokes Landing Senior Center, 195 Opal Place, Irrigon.

Those who wish may make contributions in Harry’s memory to help with expenses and his great grandchildren’s education, in care of Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, P.O. Box 289, Hermiston, Ore., 97838.

Please share memories of Harry with his family at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com.

Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of arrangements.

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