WHEELING - To honor her husband whose life was cut short by a plane crash in Afghanistan, Lauren Noble is seeking donations for the Kristopher Noble Memorial Scholarship Fund at United Bank.
Lauren, 30, is the widow of the late Kristopher Noble, a Marshall County native who died Jan. 10 after the plane he was riding in crashed when it was attempting to land. Kristopher Noble, 31, was a pilot and instructor working for the Avenge firm, a company contracted by the United States government to move troops. The two military members on the plane also were killed.
Lauren said her husband worked in Afghanistan for four years as a plain clothed soldier.
Photo by Shelley Hanson/To benefit the Kristopher Noble Memorial Scholarship Fund, Dewey Davenport, right, offered rides in his vintage biplane at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport. From left are David Noble, Kristopher Noble’s father; niece Jamie Noble, 10; wife Lauren Noble; and Davenport.
"It was the tail end of the flight. There was some turbulent air and they crashed on the final approach," she said. "We're not sure who was flying - it's not clear. There was another pilot in the plane that day."
Lauren, who teaches school outside of Columbus where the couple lived, said she wanted to start the fund to keep her husband's memory alive and to help students.
"He loved life. He was so motivated and hardworking, passionate and enthusiastic. He was a go-getter - he never stopped at anything," Lauren said. "He had great dreams. He was the epitome of what a great man should be - I was the fortunate one."
Kristopher's parents, David and Susie Noble, still live in Moundsville. His brother Jason lives in Wheeling. His friend and fellow pilot, Dewey Davenport, offered biplane rides last week at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport via his company Goodfolk & O'Tymes Biplane Rides. Proceeds from the rides went to the scholarship fund.
"As short as his life was, he had been everywhere and done everything. He did a lot of great things in his life," she said.
Kristopher's love of flying developed at a young age because his father loved to fly. David Noble said he was never concerned about his son working overseas because of how skilled he was.
"I flew with him a lot of times. ... During his early years of flying when he was going to college, he just worked his rear end off. He worked at the Daytona (Fla.) airport, he worked for UPS as a delivery driver. He loaded cargo planes at the airport," David Noble said. "His first job out of college was (mapping). He flew all over the United States doing maps for Google Earth. He slept in hangars when he was flying freight. He had a rough few years when he first started out. He always said when he was flying for freight that it wasn't a job, it was just a good day to fly - and that's what he loved to do."
Davenport said he first met Kristopher's parents when he had to bring his friend's remains home from Afghanistan.
"He looks just like his dad and he was happy-go-lucky. He was just like me - we were both 100 percent civilians," Davenport said. "He was very easy going and personable and loved by a lot of people."
Before he passed away, last spring Davenport took Kristopher for a ride in his biplane, an experience he loved.
"Kris talked about that ride all the time. And for me that day will always be really significant," Lauren said.