Saturday, December 31, 2011

In Memoriam: Judge Lionel “Red” Noonan. Roll Tide, sir

image US Navy veteran, former Alabama Crimson Tide Hero and long time Probate Judge Lionel “Red” Noonan has passed away. He died in Washington DC on Thursday, at the age of 86.

Red Noonan was known in Mobile as a man who always accentuated the positive and literally never met a man he couldn’t find common ground with and solve problems.

He volunteered for service with the US Navy immediately after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. After playing football briefly for the Midshipmen after the war, Noonan transferred to the University of Alabama, where he played for legendary head coach Frank Thomas, one of the five men to have a statue erected in his honor in the Walk of Champions at Bryant-Denny Stadium. He played in both the 1946 Rose Bowl and the 1948 Sugar Bowl.

Noonan was inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. He was a member of the Southern Growth Policies Board, Mobile Impact, the Mobile Bar Association and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority, among other organizations.

From 1982 until 2001, Noonan served as Mobile County Probate Judge and oversaw a transformation of the office from a bureaucratic, paper-only behemoth into the digital age.

Judge Noonan was one of the finest men I ever met. Always smiling, and always looking for ways to improve the community he served and the lives of the people he met.

Roll Tide, Red.

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