Jean Noble McAdams, 89, passed away March 18, 2023. She was born August 4, 1933, to James Kendrick Noble and Orrel Baldwin Noble in Yonkers, New York. She was the third of three children and idolized her older siblings and was always amazed and proud of what they had accomplished in their lives and with their families. That said, she always lived life to its fullest, keeping both her parents, siblings, children and grandchildren busy just trying to keep up with her and all her activities, as no one she met was ever a stranger for long and she just couldn’t say “no” to any person or cause that needed help.
Originally a native New Yorker, Jean followed her heart and her father’s dreams and stories to Texas where she was recruited and interviewed by Stanley and Edward Marcus to be the Manager and Buyer of Children’s wear for Neiman Marcus’ first Branch Store in Houston, Texas. Not too long after, she met and married a Texas boy and soon became a true Texan in heart and soul, having children here and putting down roots. Jean and her family made their way to Austin in the late 60’s and she dove deep into the Austin community where she volunteered at the Assistance League of Austin, the Women’s Art Guild, Laguna Gloria Fiesta, the Natural Science Center of Austin, the Symphony Guild of Austin, the Westlake Seton Hospital Guild, High School Guidance Committee, PTA President and Co-President and many, many more organizations. Jean involved herself and her family in every aspect of Austin that she could, eventually even helping Neiman Marcus open their first “Last Call” store in the Nation right in what was at that time, small Austin, Texas, helping make it such a success that it spread to other cities.
Prior to her retirement from Neiman Marcus, Jean and her husband moved from Austin to Cleveland to “slow down,” a little and enjoy their retirement…. Which, of course, included not one bit of slowing down. She actively made a point to meet and make a personal connection with everyone she crossed paths with. She became immersed in the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, recruiting new members and volunteering in every aspect of the community. She was awarded the “Volunteer of the Year” award so often, they eventually decided to just name the award after her. She was active in the Woman’s Club, Friends of Downtown, Salvation Army, Red Hatter society and again…so much more. In her later years, her disability which didn’t allow her to walk or move without assistance, didn’t slow her down a bit. When she was on the move you had to watch out for your toes. She even conscripted Bill to take her to so many of her clubs and events that he became an honorary member of the women’s club since he was there with her so often.
Even with all that, I couldn’t end this tribute without saying that one thing she was so proud of, her heritage and her grandfather, G. Clifford Noble and the legacy of Barnes and Noble Bookstores and Noble and Noble publishing, many of whose handwriting books were used across the nation into the 90’s and whose Texas History books many students enjoyed.
Jean is preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Billy James McAdams, her parents, James Kendrick Noble, and mother Orrel, brother Ken Noble, wife Norma Jean and brother-in-law Jack Turner. Jean is survived by her sister Betty Turner, Jean’s two children, Susan Petee and husband Doug and Mark McAdams and wife Mandee, two granddaughters, Lindsey and Jordan Petee and two grandsons, Maverick and Major McAdams, along with her niece and nephews and countless friends who became like family.
The family would like to thank everyone at The Isle at Cedar Ridge for providing a community filled with love, care, lots of activities and some of the best friends anyone could ever hope for. She wore that one last badge with so much pride.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 3:00pm at Pace-Stancil Chapel in Cleveland, Texas.