Jim Noonan

Photography by Mario Rapinett 2004

Barry Dupler     &  Jim Noonan     2004

Over the years, I was always inspired with the GAZETTE articles written by Jim Noonan.
Here was a man who captured the "spirit of narrow gauge". Jim's detail was fantastic.
I knew that one day I would have to meet this great modeler, as I did in 2004.
While I had only spent a day with him, I felt I knew him for a long time.
He was the perfect host, a true gentleman.
I will never forget, how excited he was, as he ran his little HOn3 locos.
They would crawl around the winding landscape with faultless precision.


Mario        2004


May 2nd 2006

Tributes to Jim have already started to pour in from around the world, many thru railway modeling forums. Here are a just a few of them from his close friends.

What can I say? Shocked. Saddened. Stunned! It really doesn't seempossible Jim is gone.

It was just a few months ago, that Jim announced that putting on twoSn3 Symposia was enough, and he was going to retire from the job. I had
to take that with a grain of salt...afterall this guy was the "Energizer bunny" of these kinds of events! I couldn't imagine any sort of real slow down at the Noonan house, which is not much more than a mile from mine. An accomplished modeler, Jim did what few of us have ever done or ever will do, complete an entire layout, the RGS, even in its own building!

I'm one of the newer guys to the whole narrow gauge scene, and Jim was out there with the oil can on that slippery slope. He was both
inclusive and open-minded. He was always willing to help, with advice and more. Both of us were the local Sn3 "outsiders" Jim in HOn3,
I'm in On3. Sn3 seemed to be a nice place to meet in the middle 8-)
After all, they're all trains.

I can only figure that Jim was a man of few regrets...one of the true nice guys. It doesn't seem possible, and it doesn't seem right that he is gone.

I am happy to add my name to the growing list of admirers who know he will be missed.

I will always remember Jim as not only a "gentleman" but as a "gentle" man.

There is definitely a hole in the world tonight.
What a true pleasure it was to have known him.
Life is just too short.

Jim always was ready to step up and do the job and to share his hobby with others.

To all that knew Jim he will be greatly missed. Jim provided all of us with great Sn3 meets, as well as doing the NWNG get-to-gethers every month.

We've lost a great modeler and more importantly, a true friend. I've known Jim for years.
He has always been active in the Seattle area model railroading community and the Northwest Narrow Gaugers.
He worked tirelessly on many local narrow gauge meets, and this past falls national Sn3 Symposium.
His modeling efforts were superb.
While most of the other local narrow gaugers modeled in Sn3 or other larger scales, Jim stuck to the HOn3 scale and his trains ran wonderfully. What a great fellow.

We'll miss him.

Jim was always there with a smile and a hand.

Jim was one of those guys who gave and gave and gave back to the hobby.
I do not recall any narrow gauge event in the Seattle area that I have attended where Jim wasn't in some way involved.

He was a great modeler and ambassador for the hobby.

Always a time for self reflection when someone this close to you, passes.

The news today kinda hit me in the gut. Jim was one of the nicest men I ever met. He was willing to take on the hard work of putting events together which we all enjoyed. I suspect he drove a million spikes on his and others layouts. His work was admired by all of us who got to see and operate his layout.


Jim welcomed us into the Narrow Gauge Group and has always been such an inspiration. I have never met anyone more generous with their time and so sharing of their skills.

There is perhaps no truer measure of a person than the profound sense of loss that we experience when they are gone.

The wonderful and loving tributes to Jim Noonan that so many of you have offered and shared over the past several days reflect what a wonderful friend that we will miss in the days and years to come, and how truly blessed we all were when we were in his orbit.

Farewell Friend, and keep a steady hand on the throttle. J.B