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|Robert Walter Noonan
Date of Birth: April 27, 1965
Position: Coal & Emissions Account Manager
‘Send a Star Up to Daddy’
Each night before bed, Chance Noonan jams his chubby 3-year-old feet into some tight sneakers and scampers outside his home in Rowayton, Conn., to “send a star up to Daddy.”
The ceremony starts as his mother, Dana, hands him a sparkler. Picking out what he imagines is his father’s star, Chance then whizzes around his yard like a comet, shouting “Yea, Daddy.”
His father, Robert, 36, a broker for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor of 1 World Trade, never came home on Sept. 11. His wife and child have since gone through boxes of sparklers. “We haven’t missed a night yet,” said Mrs. Noonan.
The ache is everywhere. There were 15 pictures of Robbie, as they called him, on the refrigerator alone. When Chance was born, it was his father who tended him at night, charting how much formula was consumed on his watch.
When Chance grew, Mrs. Noonan slept in on Saturdays, while Mr. Noonan made the pancakes. And when Chance outgrew his sneakers this year, they put off buying a new pair because his father had wanted to help pick them out.
Mrs. Noonan lost her childhood sweetheart as well. When she first caught his eye at Greenwich High School in 1984, he had already been named Mr. May, and was pictured leaning against a goalpost in that year’s “Men of Greenwich” calendar. Girls’ schools as far away as Avon, Conn., had Robbie fan clubs.
Dana McGowan, however, won the prize, and the two made a striking bride and groom, her in immaculate white, him in full Highlands regalia.
If you would like to make a contribution to Rob’s family please mail your donations to; Charles Angus Noonan, 4 Hawthorne Street South, Greenwich, CT 06831; (203) 570-9075
MY BROTHER ROBBIE WAS ALWAYS THERE TO MAKE YOU LAUGH. HE WAS ONE WHO COULDN’T BE MAD AT YOU FOR LONG AND LOVED TO MAKE UP SO YOU COULD GOOF OFF AGAIN! WHEN WE WERE KIDS HE ALWAYS MADE ME LAUGH SO HARD IN CHURCH I WOULD CRY, ALL HE HAD TO DO WAS LOOK AT ME AND I’D CRACK UP. ROB WAS SO FULL OF LIFE AND LAUGHTER. HE WOULD ALWAYS MAKE TIME TO HELP SOMEONE OUT. AND HIS PASSIONS IN LIFE CHANGED LIKE THE WIND BUT THERE WAS ALWAYS ONE THING THAT MADE HIM LIGHT UP AND THAT WAS CHILDREN. I TRULY BELIEVE HE LIT UP B/C HE NOW COULD REALLY PLAY LIKE THE CHILD HE HAD WITHIN. WHEN HE DIED HE WAS AT HIS PEAK IN LIFE…HE HAD A GREAT JOB, HE MARRIED THE ONE WOMAN WHO HE EVER TRULY LOVED… AND TO MAKE IT ALL THE MORE RIGHT HE HAD A SON NAMED CHANCE WHO WAS ROB’S PLAYMATE WHO HE COULD GOOF OFF WITH AS IF HE WAS A KID AGAIN. ROBBIE WORKED SO HARD AND MADE A LOT OF SACRIFICES IN LIFE TO GET WHERE HE WAS. I DON’T THINK HE WOULD OF CHANGED ANYTHING. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS ABOUT YOU ROB THAT I WILL MISS… I’LL LIST A FEW….THE DAYS IN NANTUCKET AS KIDS, YOUR PARTIES AT HOME WHEN MOM AND DAD WERE OUT, WATCHING YOU KICK BUTT IN LACROSSE AND THE TIME YOU TOOK ME UNDER YOUR WING TO HELP ME GET OUT OF MY LOW WHEN I HAD MY HEART BROKEN. YOU WERE A GREAT BROTHER…NO MATER WHAT WAS GOING ON YOU WERE THERE TO HELP. I LOVE YOU FOR YOUR UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. I PROMISE YOU, I WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU BY BEING THERE FOR CHANCY AND DANA.
YOUR LITTLE SIS, WES
This man was my children’s beloved “Uncle Obby”, my beloved “Roberto”, Chance’s beloved “Daddy” and Dana’s beloved “Bert”…the man most likely to be found wearing all the kids’ party hats at one time, while wrestling all the kids to the ground, and laughing harder then all of them combined. His heart was the only thing bigger than his gift of laughter which he bestowed upon everyone he met. Robby will be missed every minute of every day for the rest of our lives. How can we ever forget that smile!!!
Dana, your husband was one of a kind. He was the friend you could tell anything to and know that his response would be supportive, lift your spirits and would probably make you laugh. A lot. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and all the memories we shared. Our friendship went way beyond that of most friendships (he would say something silly here, as we all know). His own brand of humor will live within all of us forever. He shaped our lives and made us look at everyday occurances a little bit differently. I know he is guiding us on a daily basis. I miss him terribly.
Chance, your Dad loved you and your Mom more than anything else in the universe. There were many times when I asked him to make plans with me and he would decline saying he wanted to spend time with his son. As you grow and mature, I will tell you stories about your Dad’s antics and his unique character. He was so proud of you and he cherished every minute he spent with you. He is following your every move and his spirit will guide you throughout your entire life. I look forward to watching you grow up and I know I will see traits of your Dad in everything you do. Some of them are already present.
Robby will always be my hero.
Robby took me everywhere, by his side or on his shoulders. We would pretend saving each other from our firecrackers in the dunes of Nantucket. I was Dana and his chauffeur, keeper of his toast, snake watcher, goalie and alarm clock.
I would sneak in, sit on his stomach, prop open one eye and say “Rob, you awake?” I would always get a smile, a toss and a squnch to his side. He taught me rock climbing, goofiness, how to drive a Porsche and showed us all the meaning of love from “the moment”.
Recently we discussed life, family and fishing; his utter awe for Chancy and adoration for Dana.
Robby, thank you for your smile, your run, your laugh, being our friend, our family and our hero.
When somebody is born it is hoped that by the grace of God or something inherited from ones parents that something will make this person “special.” Sometimes once in a rare while somebody is truly given a disproportionate array of these “gifts.”
Robby was one of them. Personality to spare, great athletic ability, courage and most of all a huge heart. His energy was unsurpassed and his warmth and smile were intoxicating even to the most cynical and serious. His incredible curiosity of all things was childlike in its purity and intensity, he never let growing up get in his way of living the life he loved so much.
Robby was my soul brother, my blood brother who I will never forget and I miss every second of every minute of every hour of every day. He is remembered and loved by so many and for that I smile in wonder when I think of how many people he touched in his short life. We should all be that lucky.
Robby, I am here and I give you my word that Chance will do all the things you would have wanted him to and I will always be here for him. We had a lot of things planned in the future and I guess we’ll just have to wait awhile. Say hi to the old man and God bless you both.
Tight lines bro!!!
Robby..you were the first friend I ever had. I can’t even remember how young we were when we first met. I just know that you have always been in my life. And a focal point of my life. Your love of children was so obvious. 25 years ago when I was a babysitter you used to come to my jobs with me just so you could play with the children. And coming with Dana to visit Mark and I here in Wisconsin so that Frank and Roman could play with their beloved “Uncle Robby” for a weekend. I couldn’t wait for you and Dana to be parents. In fact I’ll never forget the day you called to tell me that our sons would soon have a “playmate”. Having watched you stare in awe at Dana’s beauty and growing belly and then to hear the absolute pride in your voice when you found out you were to have a son. And then you and Dana gave me the unbelievable surprise of being the Godmother to Chance. Nothing was more shocking to me given the amount of family and friends you both have. Given that God has now taken you away to a better place and given that I now have to somehow learn to live without you in my life…being Chance’s Godmother is the single greatest honor that you and Dana could have given me. I thank you both immensely for this wonderful priviledge. I wear the title proudly.
In Loving Memory
Robert Walter Noonan
April 27, 1965 – September 11, 2001
The life that we have, is all that we have
May it go on and on and on;
The love that I have for the life that you had
Will go on and on and on…
Like the green fields swaying to and fro
Life will continue to move;
While Daddy gently rocks your soul
His loving hands will soothe.
Our hearts in pain filled with grief
No tears can ease the pain;
We try to cope but with no relief
It is difficult to explain.
Know that you were cherished
And loved for evermore;
Sleep, rest, you may have perished
But your soul will forever soar.
I love you and miss you.
Your Auntie Sharon
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you. I miss all the holidays we spent together growing up. But the memory that always comes to mind is the year we spent at Hartwood Hunting Club for Thanksgiving. I think I was about 6 and you were about 14 and I remember walking along a trail and you saw a rope tied to a tree above a pond or a lake, you grabbed me and we swung out on that rope. Little did you know the rope would break and we would fall into the water. I was so cold and scared so you carried me back on your shoulders. You were always playing tricks on your little cousin with the texan accent. I remember as a little girl I told my mom when I got bigger I was going to marry you, but she filled me in on the fact that cousins can’t get married. Even though I couldn’t marry my cousin I hope to find someone with the same charm, personality, sense of humor and kindness that you had. I love you very much Robbie and you will forever and always be in my heart.
I love you and I miss you, Shay.
Words could never describe my love for you or the deep friendship we shared.I will love you forever and a day bertie and Chancey’s “big daddy” !
I can’t touch your hand
but I know you are here
I can’t hear your voice
but I know what you would say
I can’t see your eyes
but I understand what you see
But I can touch your heart
no matter where you may be
“when i lost my uncle robby i was very sad that he would be living in the sky, but then my mommy told me that he would be my angel and i felt a little better because he was always my angel. And now i am going to have an angel painted on my ceiling above my bed so every night i can see him the way he sees me!”
If tears could build a stairway,
And memories a lane,
I’d walk right up to heaven
And bring you home again.
I first met Robbie late in the summer of 1965. He was about five months old and I was 14. He was sitting in the middle of my parents’ giant bed. At the time sitting was new for him. His little body looked so uncomfortable almost folded in half at the waist with only his out stretched arms and hands keeping him from a face plant in the mattress. I said, “You okay baby?” He wobbled up his little Robbie face at me and lit it up with a spectacular smile. I was amazed that a little baby could make such a smile. It was enough to impress my 14-year-old brain and stay with me to this day.
Three or so years later Robbie and his family were visiting my parents in Chicago. He was a character to watch. He always walked and ran on his toes – always. At any given moment he either loved you or he hated you. There was no in between. If I let him play with my stuff or the barn kittens he would look at me adoringly (and I mean adoringly) and say, “Mary, I love you.” I was convinced for that moment he did love me more than all other beings! But if you laughed at him when he had to eat something he didn’t like or you startled him, he would slightly close his eyes, look you in the face and whisper, “I hate you.” And you knew for that moment he was really, really mad!
So he seemed to continue from my point of view. Robbie was always gregarious and expressive. As years and events passed I never had to guess how he was feeling. Last time I saw him was at my house in Florida, October 24, 1999. Robbie, Dana and Chance came for my daughter Katherine’s wedding (Robbie’s cousin). Robbie was running around my yard holding Chance over his head pretending Chance was an airplane. Chance loved this and was laughing and yelling to go faster, higher and more etc. I said to Robbie that I could tell that he loved playing with Chance. He turned to me with that spectacular smile and said, “He’s the best toy I ever had!” and trotted off for more fun.
Miss you “toe walker.”
What beautiful tributes! All of them! Reading them made me remember how we are all so incredibly connected. How divine it is to be moved by the memory of someone I’ve never met. What a great soul he is to have touched so many lives in such profound ways during his time here on earth, and then continue to do so in death. Some people would say, “What a shame. What a waste of a precious life.”, but his life continues on doesn’t it? A great soul known as Robert Walter Noonan here on earth continues to fill even me – a complete stranger – with inspiration to be a better person, and a desperate urge to drive to my children’s school
and hug them with all my might. Thank you Robert. I felt your presence today and so did my children.
Thanks so much for sharing that with us Fredericka!
(Jacquie is a friend of Drika Manning’s from Sweden)
My daughter Schuyler’s class had a creative writing project in school the other day and what she wrote moved her teacher to tears…I wanted to share with you what she said “If I had a magic stone that could give me one wish I would ask to have my Uncle Robby come back to America so my Auntie dana wouldn’t have to cry for him anymore and my whole family could be happy again”. Out of the mouths of babes! If only she could find that stone.
Supposedly time heals and yet as the time is going on I miss Robby more every day! I miss that infectious smile..those twinkling blue eyes…the incredible bear hugs and most of all those big huge hands I used to call his mitts! Not a day goes by that I do not talk to him or think about him…how proud he would be of his Chancey and Dana!!! Love you always and miss you forever.
Not a second goes by that I am not thinking of you. Not a day goes by that your little man doesn’t talk to you. As I just finished my last sentance your baby boy saw your picture on this sight and said ,”Daddy is laughing with me….I love you Daddy”. Your spirit lives on in both of us and our souls have been blessed by you in a way many people dream of. We miss you more than words could ever say for there are times like now when words just are not good enough. all I can say is “the other word”, for only you know what that means!!!!
Your heart will go on and your spirit will live forever in our hearts. You will always be apart of us. I have often thought of your passion for life and living and people and how you had a God given gift of lifting others up.
I miss the little boy who would grab my hand and say “lets go, I don’t want to miss anything.” Or the times you would plop down on the couch next to me and bump me with your shoulder until you got me to laugh. Ice skating on the pond at Congress Lake and how amazed you were that a fish could be caught out of a small hole in the ice.
How you loved to pick people up off the ground and twirl them around. How you loved your cousins. How you and your brother were so opposit yet would always be there for each other in a pinch. How you could only be angry for a short time especially with your little brother and sister and a little later would see you with your arm around one or going somewhere with the other. You always loved to draw. To hear stories of adventure and then went on to you own adventures and would relive them with passion in retelling them. Days in the blue jeep, the kilts, autumn and fishing,Christmas,meeting the girl of your dreams. Your smile, always that smile and finding it in others around you.
Then there was the coming of Chance. How you adored that little boy and wanted to be the best father ever. You were. We all will do our best to have him know you the way we did.
You are forever young. I know you rest with Christ. It was my prayer that morning that in your last moments you would turn to Him to take you home. I believe He came for you. We will meet again someday. I love you little brother and miss you so….Kitty
I come to this website often with the intention of writing something about Robby. Never at a loss for words, I find myself uttered speechless every time. It’s been a year and I still have trouble finding the words that could possibly describe what it was like to have Robby in our lives.
No matter how overwhelmed we are with grief over our terrible loss, it is impossible to think of Robby without remembering some outrageously funny memory. We could write novels on the antics if Rob Noonan. Each story is more outrageous and hilarious then the next. Robby was one of the most perfect examples of the word “human”. He never tried to be anything other then who he was. Robby was also the most wonderful example of someone who embraced life with every cell in his being. No matter how simple the task, the most mundane moment or seriousness of the event, Robby would have me in stitches. No matter how many tears I shed for those of us left to live life without him, I find myself laughing and crying at the same time. As much as I feel so very cheated by this loss, I am overwhelmed with the sense that I was so very blessed. I am a better person for learning to see the world thru Robby’s eyes.
Almost 4 years ago we were given another gift. It is not lost on any of us, the amazing resemblance between Robby and Chance. From the tippy toe Fred Flintstone feet, to that zest for life, and that naughty little laugh…when we look at that beautiful little boy we once again get to see life through Robby’s eyes. We will all watch you Chancey Noonie, with tears in our eyes and laughter in our hearts. We will sigh and we will smile and we will share with you stories that will make us double over with laughter.
With love to each and everyone of you, friends and family…
I miss you and love you more the may ever know. 🙁
Daddy I wish you were here to play Star Wars! Chancey just said that and then said, “Daddy I know you love me so very”. Chancey likes to come to this site to see the picture of Daddy on TV. He kisses and hugs the computer….. We miss you as much today as yesterday big daddy!!!
Love your ” famdamily” doots and chancer
Our birthdays are coming soon and I was thinking about all my favorite robbyisms…I was wanting to come to this website to remember and not ever forget. we have all gone on with our lives because we have no choice but to..but please know my Berto that not a day goes by that I do not think of you and miss you. Your space here will never be filled,it is just a vacant hole that nothing can make full. I love you and send you kisses an hugs!!!
Today is your birthday and I want to wish you a wonderful day. I miss you more and more everyday. I know you are having a wonderful b-day and can only imagine that you are fishing for the unlimited fish in the beautiful waters of heaven. I hear a song and I often think of you. The song is called “I Believe”. I would like to write the words down so others can cherish them as much as I do. I love you cuz and miss you so. Take care and I will one day see you again and we can swing on those ropes above the waters. (Hoping they won’t break!!!)
Every now and then, soft as breath upon my skin. I feel you come back again, and it’s like you haven’t been gone a moment from my side, like the tears were never cried, like the hands of time are holding you and me. And with all my heart I’m sure, we’re closer than we ever were. I don’t have to hear or see, I have all the proof I need. There are more than angels watching over me, I believe.
Now when you die your life goes on, it doesn’t end here when you’re gone. Every soul is filled with light. It never ends and if I’m right, our love can even reach across eternity, I believe.
Forever you’re a part of me. Forever in the heart of me and I will hold you even longer if I can. The people who don’t see the most say that I believe in ghosts, and if that makes me crazy then I am. ‘Cause I believe.
There are more than angels watching over me, I believe. Every now and then, soft as breath upon my skin, I feel you come back again and I believe.
I love you so much and am so sorry that we lost touch for those few years. I regret that every day. I will forever and always miss you and love you.
I love you,
Today Wells and I had the most raucous pillow fight with Emma and Chance on our bed, ” our beloved boat”, and I could only believe that you could see the laughter and the joy these two amazing little ones were expressing. It reminded me so much of you! I find myself taken a back sometimes when I play with Chance because your words and actions come out in me and I cannot believe how much it reminds me of you. Words and expressions come out of my mouth and it startles me. I love you more than any words can say here and I miss you every second of every day but you are always with me.
So begins the third year without you here. We miss you so every day. That smile of yours is never far from our thoughts and our hearts.
The 3 little Johnsons are thinking of you now as always…we love you Uncle Obby.
hey bro ,
well its been 3 years since u left and i wanted to say there isnt a moment that goes by that i dont think about you. i can say that as time passes since the day you left us , the more i cherish the short time we had together. i have had a great time with chancie and dana this summer and he is such an awesome combo of you both , heheh and a little me too!! they are doing just fine robby and i think you would be happy. i hope the fish are biting up there this fall and you have found some new patterns to tie. give the old man a hug for me and you both have all my love.
tight lines noonie,
It’s hard to believe it has been 3 years now. It seems like it was yesterday but yet at times it seems so long ago. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you. I have a picture of us on my computer from when we were kids spending summer in Florida. It’s so funny that you can see then how much I idolized you. Kelly and I have become closer through this and he visit mom and I often through his work. It’s funny to see how in so many ways you two are alike. I’m glad that he and I have had time to spend together and grow closer. It’s very true what he says, if you and he were one you would be the perfect person. I love you so much Robby and I miss you so much. More now than ever. I wish I could have 10 minutes with you but I know I would beg for more because 10 is just not enough.
Catch some big ones cuz!!
I have heard this new song on the radio by Reba McEntire and it makes me think of Dana and Chancey. I love you both and think of you everyday. I wanted to share the lyrics with everyone so they could see what I mean…
He Gets That From Me
His early mornin’ attitude
You have to drag him out of bed
Only frosted flakes will do
He gets that from me
Yeah, he gets that from me
His curly hair and his knobby knees
The way the sun brings those freckles out
Talk and talk never miss a beat
Yeah, he gets that from me
He gets that from me
He looks at me with those big brown eyes
He’s got me in the palm of his hands
And I swear sometimes
It’s just like you’re hear again
He smiles that little crooked smile
There’s no denying he’s your child
Without him I don’t know what I’d do
He gets that from you
Oh, he gets that from you
How he loves your old guitar
Yeah, he’s taught himself to play
He melts my heart
Tells me he loves me every day
And cracks jokes at the perfect time
Makes me laugh when I want to cry
That boy is everything to me
He gets that from you
He gets that from you
Last night I heard him pray
Lord, help me and mama make it through
And tell daddy we’ll be okay
He said he sure misses you
He sure misses you
He really misses you
He gets that from me
I love you,
I have found myself thinking a lot about you lately. A friend of mine lost his best friend on New Year’s very tragically and it has really brought me back to the feelings I had when I heard about you. I have really come to realize that I will NEVER get over this. I will and do miss you every day. I find myself during the day wondering what you are doing. If you are with Dana and Chancey and I know that you are. I wonder if you are ok. I wonder about so many different things… I have to say that writing to you on this site has helped me a lot. I hope that you are able to know what it is that I am saying to you each and every time I am on here. I wish I could know if you forgive me for losing contact with you, because I regret it everyday. I have learned from this that life is too short and I should try to live it to the fullest. I am working on that. You are missed every second of the day. A day does not go by that I don’t think of you in some way. That I don’t think of some memory of us as kids. I still laugh when I think of us falling into that cold water and the year that you and Kelly wanted to scare Wells and I by turning off all the lights in the house while we were upstairs and I cried all the way down. But the best is when you would make fun of my Texan accent when I was little. You picked on me but I knew that you did it because you love me. I love you Robby and I miss you so much. I hope you are well. I get through this thinking that you are in a good place watching over the people that you love. Here’s to the big fish in the sky…
I love you,
Well, today I turn 40 and it is with a bittersweet taste in my mouth and and a lump in my heart as you would have been 40 in 2 days, and we always imagined ringing in the next decade together. As I get older I think I understand less ( like why are you not here)…but have learned to cherish more……losing you has showed me to live for the day and love to the fullest!!!!
I love you and miss you…….it just is not the same celebrating without you. xoxoxo susie
Happy birthday cuz! I miss you everyday.
I love you,
I know it must fill you with joy to know the deep love those who knew you have for you. Your wife Dana, your Aunts, your son’s godmother, your cousin Shay, and your friends all love and miss you.
Take care Rob, your spirit lives on bro.
It is so hard to believe it has been 4 years now. I think of you everyday and hope that you are in a better place. That you are doing all the things you love to do while watching over and protecting Chancey and Dana as I know you are. I miss you and love you very much.
I love you,
I can’t believe it’s 5 years now. I miss you very much.
Just randomly found this on Magoo’s computer. It is almost 6 1/2 years since you left us. You are in my prayers every night and I think of you daily. Could not have written any words in the early years but want you to know that you live on in all our hearts. You were the best! Those “baaaad dogs” Sissie and Sophie are up there with you now. Give them hugs for me and a huge one for you.
Happy Birthday cuz! I think of you all the time. I miss you!!
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