Orange Planning Board member, owner of Grrr Gear Al Noyes dies

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliClockwise, Bruce St. John, Richard Herk Jr., Tom Forest, Al Noyes, professional land surveyor Edward Berry, Mercedes Clingerman and Marc Ostberg talk during a Planning Board meeting on Tuesday. Planning Board Chairman Richard Sheridan (not pictured) recused himself from part of Tuesday's meeting to avoid controversy pertaining to whether Clingerman or Noyes is the board sixth and final member. Noyes is an alternate member and was designated once Sheridan recused himself.

  • Al Noyes, who died on Saturday, holds an AR-15 in his shop, Grrr Gear in Orange. Recorder File Photo

  • A T-shirt for sale at Grrr Gear in Orange, with Al Noyes in the background. Noyes died unexpectedly on Saturday. Recorder File Photo

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliGrrr Gear, at 334 East Main St. in Orange, has joined three other gun shops and the National Shooting Sports Foundation in a lawsuit against Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in response to her crackdown on a ban on so-called "copycat" assault weapons.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliGrrr Gear, at 334 East Main St. in Orange, has joined three other gun shops and the National Shooting Sports Foundation in a lawsuit against Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in response to her crackdown on a ban on so-called "copycat" assault weapons.

Recorder Staff
Published: 1/22/2018 6:41:32 PM

ORANGE — Local business owner and Planning Board member Albert E. “Al” Noyes died unexpectedly over the weekend.

Noyes, co-owner of Grrr Gear outdoor sporting goods store with wife, Chris, died Saturday at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, N.C., after becoming ill while traveling on an airplane. He was 60.

Skip Walker, who has worked at Grrr Gear since it opened nearly 10 years ago, said he found out his friend died when Chris Noyes called him shortly before he opened the shop at 9 a.m. Walker said he knew Al for 35 years.

He said on Monday the shop’s phone had been continuously ringing with people asking what had happened to Al and offering their condolences. He said he and Al were very close and he was shocked by the news.

“He was a great guy. We hit each other, we give each other the finger — more like brothers than anything. It was devastating (to hear he died),” he said. “He’s in a better place now, that’s all I can say. He’s hunting all he wants now.”

Walker said he met Al at an archery event when Walker was a professional archer.

Al and Chris, Walker said, were flying to Atlanta, where they were going to get a connecting flight to Las Vegas for an event, when the plane had to make an emergency landing in North Carolina after Al started having a medical emergency.

Funeral arrangements are pending with Witty’s Funeral Home at 158 South Main St. in Orange.

Planning Board role

Noyes was also an Orange Planning Board member. Orange Town Clerk Nancy Blackmer said Noyes will be replaced on the Planning Board the way any vacancy is filled — with an appointment by the Selectboard. She said letters of interest can be sent to the Selectboard.

Mercedes Clingerman, chairwoman of the Planning Board, said it will take her some time to “digest this sadness.”

“I have not been on the Planning Board long, and have served as chair for an even shorter time. As I stepped into the role unexpectedly, and hoped to be someone the rest of the board could work with, I found Al to be encouraging, helpful and supportive. He was willing to work hard for what he believed and desired good for the town of Orange,” she said in an emailed comment. “Like the rest of the board, he was looking forward to serving Orange and bringing more planning and dialogue to Orange about both the simple issues we all agree upon in town and the difficult conversations that need to be had to understand each other better. He sought to serve.”

She also said she felt honored to have been able to hear a few stories about Al’s love of the outdoors, how Grrr Gear was a dream from childhood, and “how passionate he was about what he held dear in life personally.”

Vice chairman of the Selectboard and former Planning Board chairman Richard P. Sheridan said Al Noyes will be sorely missed in the community.

“Al was always interested in the way the town was going and how to get it to where he thought it should be,” he said. “He believed in making sure that everything that was done was done properly. He was very dedicated.”

Sheridan said he had known Al since Al’s first stint on the Planning Board in the 1990s.

Reach Domenic Poli at:
dpoli@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 258
On Twitter: @DomenicPoli




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