Annabelle Catherine Rolfe Noke died peacefully in the company of her loving family on June 30 from declining health issues. She was 97.
She was a resident at Apple Valley Center in Ayer for two years. Prior to that she resided at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Oak Bluffs, after having lived in Vineyard Haven for more than 40 years.
Born October 28, 1915, in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Canada to Edgar Lockert Rolfe and Annie Catherine Aucoin, the third of eight children, she was the only one born in Nova Scotia. All of her siblings were born in Hartford, Conn. A graduate of the Hartford Public School system, Annabelle helped raise her younger siblings after her mother’s death in 1935.
On March 25, 1939 Annabelle married Edmund F. Noke from Waltham. During World War II while Mr. Noke served in the US Navy, Annabelle was full-time mother to their three eldest children. Soon after the end of the war, their fourth child was born. In the 1950s Annabelle began working for Raytheon in Newton as a grid inspector, working her way up to supervisor and an active union representative. When her husband began his career with the Martha’s Vineyard Cooperative Bank in 1966, she worked in numerous Vineyard businesses. She was a popular hostess at the Home Port Restaurant in Menemsha and the Shiretown Restaurant in Edgartown, and a salesperson in various antique shops in Vineyard Haven and West Tisbury. Annabelle loved to travel to Nantucket to see her sister Lee, and to many other places throughout the United States with her husband.
A voracious reader, Annabelle was involved with the Vineyard Haven Library and served on the library board. She was very active in the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, the Coast Guard Ladies Auxiliary, the Hospital Volunteers (gift shop) and the Ladies Garden Club. Hosting luncheons, dinners and parties were favorite activities where Annabelle was known for her tremendous cooking abilities, sharp wit and keen sense of humor. Playing the piano and listening to music — whether performed live by her grandson Kenneth DeBettencourt Jr., at the summer band concerts at Owen Park, or on recordings of Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and classical pieces — brought her great happiness. Going to the movies, dining at Farm Neck or the Square Rigger, and riding in the car around the Island were other top pleasures. She was a member of the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in West Tisbury, where she enjoyed a sense of community and fellowship.
Annabelle is survived by her son William G. Noke and wife Carol of Waltham, daughter in law Brenda (Tedesco) Noke of Nashua, N.H., and two daughters, Roberta Noke Curtin of Pepperell and Joann (Noke) DeBettencourt and husband Kenneth Sr. of Oak Bluffs. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Lisa Noke-Kearney, William D. Noke, Kimberlee Noke, Karyn (Noke) Corcoran, Kristen Noke, Kevin Noke, Kelley Curtin Davis, Roberta Curtin Day, James H. Curtin Jr., Paul W. Curtin, Neil P. Curtin, Susan (Curtin) Copeland, Kenneth J. DeBettencourt Jr., Roberta DeBettencourt Bateman, Sarah DeBettencourt Dingle, their spouses, 20 great-grandchildren, sister in law Dorothy Rolfe of West Hartford, Conn. and many nieces and nephews.
Annabelle was predeceased by her husband, Edmund F. Noke Sr. in 1989 after 50 years of marriage, her son Edmund F. Noke Jr. in 2005, and her granddaughters Annastasia L. DeBettencourt in 1979 and Monica (Hartwig) Noke in 2011. She was also predeceased by all of her siblings, Leola Rounsville, Robert Rolfe, Gladys Gallagher, Edgar Rolfe, Shirley Danahy, Grizelda (Chris) Hadfield, and Lillian Tyner.
All services will be held on Monday, July 8 at the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home on Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road in Oak Bluffs. Visitation will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by a memorial service. Interment will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery on State Road in Vineyard Haven. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1829, One Pennywise Path, Edgartown. Services are arranged by Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home. An online guest book is available at ccgfuneralhome.com. For more information call 508-693-1495.