GREAT FALLS, Mont. (Dec. 26, 2001) — Former state representative and longtime Montana tire dealer Jerry Noble, 64, died Dec. 23 in his Great Falls home of an apparent heart attack.
A tire industry veteran of more than 40 years, Mr. Noble was a co-owner of the Jerry Noble Tire Factory, a company he opened in 2000 with his son Chuck and longtime employee Dean Whitmore. Both men will continue to operate the dealership. Mr. Noble founded Jerry Noble Tires in 1977 and opened outlets in Cut Bank, Havre and Bozeman, Mont., before leaving the company in the late 1990s.
He was a past president of the Montana Tire Dealers Association and a former director of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association, which later became the Tire Association of North America (TANA).
Mr. Noble, a conservative senator from Great Falls, served in the state legislature for four years. In 1992 he decided not to run for re-election, saying his business demanded more of his time.
He served in the U.S. Marines from 1954 to 1957. A lifelong member of the Drum and Bugle Corps, Mr. Noble also belonged to a barbershop quartet singing group.
Quoted in the Great Falls Tribune, Chuck Noble said his father had praised the work of his employees during the company's Christmas party, a day before his death. “He was always concerned about his employees and making sure they had jobs and a decent life, and always stayed behind everybody,” Mr. Noble told the newspaper.
Jerry Noble's survivors include daughter Diane Noble of Portland, Ore.; sons Chuck and Ken of Great Falls; his mother, Madella Noble of Great Falls; two sisters, a brother, and four grandchildren.