Cover photo for Noelle Irene Schmutz Jackson's Obituary
Noelle Irene Schmutz Jackson Profile Photo
1936 Noelle 2023

Noelle Irene Schmutz Jackson

March 30, 1936 — October 20, 2023

Noelle Irene Schmutz Jackson was born on March 30, 1936 in Glendale, California to loving parents, Zula Modelle and Menno Waldo Schmutz. She spent most of her childhood in South Pasadena. Noelle fondly remembered driving trips with her family, covering much the western United States. This led to a lifelong love of travel which she pursued with vigor once retired.

Noelle attended South Pasadena & San Marino High School and graduated in 1953. The next fall Noelle, along with many of her classmates (they still maintain Stanford’s record for the most students admitted from a single high school) enrolled in Stanford University. One cherished memory from her college years was Opening Day of Disneyland, July, 1955. Noelle graduated from Stanford in 1957 with a degree in psychology. Shortly after graduation, she wed William Burd Jackson. They had two daughters; Patricia was born in 1960 and Lisa in 1963. The young family’s travel included numerous camping trips with Bill and Noelle chaperoning the church’s high school group. Noelle also treasured the Jackson’s Lake Michigan summer home. As an only child herself, she was somewhat overwhelmed by five sisters in law, but she loved the visits.

Noelle always enjoyed reading and learning due to her parents’ encouragement, and hoped she could install similar interests in her daughters. She earned advanced degrees from both California State University, Los Angeles and UCLA in Medieval History. She completed much of her research at the Henry E. Huntington Library, Art Gallery and Botanical Gardens as a reader. Her time at the Huntington also enabled her to relish another one of her passions: playing bridge. Her father, Menno, often played bridge at the Masonic Temple and took his daughter along to observe and sometimes to play. By the time Noelle arrived at Stanford, she was a most proficient player and continued to play as often as she could.

It turns out that many Huntington researchers and staff were avid bridge players playing games at lunch in the staff cafeteria. Noelle quickly became a regular in these hour long tournaments. Ultimately, her participation led to a job offer as associate director of reader services from the Huntington’s Director who noted “We need a permanent lunch time fourth!” Noelle remained in this position for over a decade playing bridge during most lunch hours. Her daughters knew that while they could certainly call their mother at work, it was best to avoid doing so during lunch. A notable lunch time game gave Noelle the opportunity to play with renowned bridge columnist, Alfred Sheinwold. In recognition of a record scoring game, Noelle was chosen to partner with Sheinwold for his visiting game. She was understandably quite nervous!

Noelle’s pride in her daughters, and later her grandsons, was fierce and seemingly infinite. She loved traveling with them, recommending and discussing books with them, trying new foods and other adventures with all of them.

Shortly after the birth of her two grandsons, Casey Edward (1993) and Taylor Jackson (1994), Noelle left her beloved California to move to Denver, Colorado for the rest of her life. She enjoyed taking on new activities such as volunteering with the Daughters of the American Revolution, Junior Symphony Guild (loving the Designer Show House), the Assistance League, the Molly Brown House, and a new PEO chapter. And, of course, she found new bridge partners. After working all her adult life, diving into volunteer work let the quiet and studious Noelle embrace her more creative side and her wonderful, bold, and colorful style! Noelle will be long remembered for her bright nails and the bigger the better earrings. If a fantastic outfit came from a local thrift store, it was that much better!

She was frequently found on the sidelines of a basketball court or a football field as Casey, Taylor, and many of their friends honed their athletic skills. She also assisted with the enrichment program at Teller Elementary School where Casey and Taylor performed in several Shakespeare plays including Macbeth, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and the Tempest. She found these productions as good as the ones she and her daughters saw over many years of an annual mecca to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Once in Denver, Noelle joined the Kirk of Bonnie Brae and became an active member and volunteer. She also remained a member of Oneonta Congregational Church in South Pasadena where she was baptized and confirmed (as were both her daughters). She also attended many services at the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College when visiting Trish. Noelle’s lifetime of church commitment helped to foster her love of all things Christmas. While she was not born on Christmas as many often thought (“Noelle” came from the last syllables of Menno and Modelle), she embraced it just the same. Friends visiting her beloved carriage house decorated for the holidays thought that perhaps she lived in a Christmas Boutique. Two of her favorite things were creches and teddy bears. Yes, she did have one that was both!

Noelle passed away on Friday, October 20, 2023 in the memory care unit of MorningStar at Ridgegate with support from Denver Hospice. Her family is indebted to those who attended to her with love, care, and joy through her final earthly journey. Noelle is survived by daughters, Patricia (Trish) Jackson and her husband, Will J. Millard, of Norwich, Vermont and Lisa Jackson Kipp and her husband, Jeffery Kipp, and grandsons, Casey E. Kipp and his wife, Grace Shea, and Taylor J. Kipp and his fiancee, Mariah Munoz, all of Denver, Colorado.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that gifts be made in Noelle’s memory to favorite libraries, schools, or other institutions that make this world a more loving, just, and kind society.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

Kirk of Bonnie Brae, UCC

1201 S Steele St, Denver, CO 80210

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