Fairview lost one of its finest citizens when Irwin Noyes died on March 4, 2014, in Billings.
Irwin Bruce Noyes was born in Carson, N. D., on May 24, 1923, to Duncan and Viola (Walworth) Noyes. His father ran the electrical plant in Carson until the fall of 1927 when the family came to Fairview. Although only four years old, Irwin remembered that muddy roads all the way from Glendive to Fairview forced his dad to stop often to free the car’s wheels from mud packed under the fenders.
In September 1929, Irwin started First Grade. The next month, the Great Depression made hard times for Irwin and his classmates for the rest of the school days. Irwin attended Fairview Schools until 1939 when his family moved to Roseburg, Ore., in his sophomore year.
In 1940, Irv and his family returned to Fairview. In November, his dad opened Farm and Home Service. Some time later, Irwin and his brother Alan bought the business as partners and it became Noyes Brothers Appliance. In the mid '60s, Irwin became sole owner and renamed the business as Noyes Appliance Service.
Irwin graduated from high school in 1942. He attended Montana State University in Bozeman that summer. In the fall, he worked for Boeing in Seattle but returned to Fairview at Christmas to wait for Uncle Sam’s call to serve his country.
In February 1943, Irwin entered the U. S. Army where he trained with an Anti-Aircraft Artillery crew. While in the service, another Montana soldier got Irv a female pen pal from Sidney. On a furlough, Irwin finally met his pen pal, Marilyn Stewart, in Miles City where she was in nurses’ training.
In September 1944, Irwin went to France with the 141st AAA Gun Battalion. When the war in Europe ended, he was discharged in September 1945. He returned to Fairview and on Feb. 27, 1946, married his nurse pen pal, Marilyn, the love of his life.
Irwin and Marilyn made their home in Fairview where he worked with his dad at Farm and Home Service. Irv’s role in the “store” expanded over time and eventually he became the sole owner. He played an important part in the Fairview business community where he sold, delivered, and serviced home appliances, electrical and plumbing fixtures, paint, and farm water systems.
In October 1987, Irv lost his best friend and partner, Marilyn to cancer. He was never the same. In April 2005, ill health forced Irv to close the store. It was a very difficult thing for him to do. He had served his town for nearly 62 of the 65 years the business had been open.
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Irwin was a proud Fairview school and commercial booster. Whether it was a bake sale, a band, or a basketball team, if Fairview kids were involved, Irwin supported them. Irwin was active in the Community Presbyterian Church, the VFW, the American Legion, the Commercial Club and the Lions Club. He was a Mason and a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Irwin served on City Council and the Fairview School Board.
Irv kept his store going long after other businesses closed. He could be counted on at any time to help when a furnace was cold or when pipes had frozen. He was a trusted man who listened and encouraged young folks just starting out.
Irwin was a dependable man who could be counted on to do his best to get a job done right. He was a decent, honest, kind man. He will be missed.
Irwin is survived by a son, Randal and Mary Noyes and a granddaughter, Elise, of Sherwood Park, Alberta; and a devoted daughter, Kersti Noyes of Billings. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Alan; and his wife, Marilyn.
Irwin has been cremated. There are two memorial services.
In Billings, on Wed., March 12, at 1:30 p.m. at the Faith Evangelical Church, 3145 Sweetwater Drive. A social hour will be held after the service at the Sweetwater Retirement Community across the street from the church.
In Fairview, on Friday, March 14, at 3 p.m. at the Community Presbyterian Church. A social hour will be held after the service.
Donations should be made to the charity of your choice in Irwin’s name. They can also be sent to the Irwin Noyes family, c/o Merchants Bank, PO Box 465, Fairview, MT. Cards or notes can be sent to Kersti Noyes, 3295 Granger Ave East, #27, Billings, MT 59102