A much loved husband, father and brother, Mr. Noble Frederick Whittaker, of Leighan, Monea, passed away suddenly at Sligo General Hospital on Saturday, July 7, 2012. Noble, accompanied by his wife, Diane was in Rossnowlagh, where he planned to watch the annual 'Twelfth' parade, when he collapsed that morning. His death, which followed a period of declining health in recent years, occurred just five days short of his 72nd birthday.
Born on July 11, 1940, he was the eldest son of the late David Ernest and Mary Jane Whittaker of Leighan, Derrygonnelly. Noble was educated at Monea Primary School and then worked on the family farm with his father and younger brother Ernie. When their father died Noble continued working on the farm until his marriage on August 7, 1974, to Diane, formerly Britton.
The couple had two children, Rodney and Cheryl. Unfortunately Cheryl was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the age of 14 months and succumbed to the disease on November 11, 1996, aged 16 years. A special bond of father and daughter had existed between Noble and Cheryl.
Noble's medical history started at the age of nine following rheumatic fever. He underwent three open heart operations in 1968, 1997 and 2009. He became acquainted with many people in the medical profession at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, the former Erne Hospital, Enniskillen, and the general practices of Derrygonnelly and Dr. Mark Cathcart and partners, Enniskillen.
Following his marriage to Diane, he took up employment as a sales representative at first with a few different firms. He then became self-employed and enjoyed travelling around farms and marts in Fermanagh and Tyrone. His farming experience and humorous approach endeared him to many farmers, as in spite of his medical condition, Noble always maintained his gregarious personality.
From 1998 until his retirement in 2005, Noble was employed with Scotts Feeds where he formed some lasting friendships with both staff and customers.
A hardworking, devoted family man, he enjoyed his home and was always appreciative of people calling in for a chat. Among his passions was gardening and he grew both vegetables and flowers. He was a member of Magheraboy Orange Lodge.
Noble's funeral service at Devenish Parish Church was conducted by Diocesan Curate, the Rev. Sampson Ajuka, assisted by the Dean of Clogher, Dean Kenneth Hall. The hymns were Great is Thy Faithfulness (a family favourite sung at his daughter Cheryl's funeral); Abide With Me; and Be Thou My Vision (one of Noble's favourite hymns). The organist was Glenn Moore. Burial took place in the adjoining churchyard.
Noble is survived by his wife Diane and son Rodney. He leaves his sister, Iris Lennox and husband Thomas, Coleraine; and his three brothers: Ernie and wife Georgina, Leighan; Eric and wife Carole, Drumcose; and Edward and Joan, Maguiresbridge, the wider family circle and his friends. The funeral arrangements were by funeral director, S.R. Elliott and Sons, Darling Street, Enniskillen.