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Scan 131890001Noel Q. King’s father laid modern telegraph lines all across northern India and into Tibet during the early twentieth century. So it is only fitting that Noel should be the subject of the new technology of the next century, a web site.

We are creating this website as a place to gather stories, pictures, and scholarly work from the life of Noel Quinton King, much-loved teacher, academic, husband, and father.

If you have any questions or would like to send us pictures or memories of Noel, please contact us.

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Noel’s father William (far left) in Tibet, early 20th century.

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97 comments so far

  1. Nick Royal on

    It was very special to have known and worked with Noel up at Merrill College/UCSC. We had many good times talking (and laughing), and it was very special to have known Noel.
    Nick Royal

  2. Sjamsir Sjarif on

    I called him Pak Noel, the Indonesian way and consider him as “Mamak” in the Minangkabau matrilineal system in expressing my closeness to Pak Noel since I met him in 1975. In difficult time I looked for him to seek his advice and Pak Noel gave me encouragement to solve the problems. It’s wonderful to have known Pak Noel in my life.
    — Sjamsir Sjarif

  3. Rena Cochlin on

    I met Noel King in 1974, when David Kilpatrick and I first came to this campus. We shared an interest in religion. He took us up to what is now Chaminade and what was in that day, a former monastery.

    He was so kind and always interested in what you were doing. He met our children once or twice but whenever I met Noel through the next years, he always inquired about our boys. I was very touched by his interest.

    Certainly a great person has left us.

    Rena Cochlin

  4. Jonathan Beecher on

    Noel King was a wonderful man. He was, and is, so much a part of my memories of the early years here at UCSC that it is very hard for me to imagine this university without his nearby presence. It was a privilege to have known him.

  5. Carolyn Martin Shaw on

    It was a joy to know Noel King. We used to talk about Africa and share stories about life there. I will miss his warmth and his embrace of humanity. Noel King will live on in stories told about the great figures of UCSC.

  6. J.M. Brown on

    I’m working on an obituary piece on Professor King for the Sentinel, and would like to speak to any of the comment makers here. I can be reached at (831) 429-2410 or jbrown@santacruzsentinel.com

    Thank you,
    J.M. Brown

  7. John Isbister on

    Noel and I arrived in Santa Cruz at the same time, in the fall of 1968, founding members of Merrill College. We shared the fact that we had both been personally invited to join the college by its provost, Philip Bell. Beyond that, we shared very little. I was an inexperienced young grad student, who had nothing nothing with his life but go to school, while Noel was a man of extraordinarily broad life experiences, a man of both east and west, of both north and south. I came from a tradition of economic and social analysis; Noel from the depths of world spiritual traditions. We were so different that it was hard for us to connect. But we did connect, and I count it one of the great blessings of my life to have done so. My decades of friendship with him gave me probably the most important cross-cultural experiences of my life, experiences that left me enormously enriched. My heart is with Laurie and Zoe; there is a big hole in our world tonight.

  8. Dawn Thomas on

    Noel was a once-in-a-lifetime person. The sort of person you cherish when you are with him. He was the one who taught me that “namaste” means that the burning force inside of me recognizes the burning force within you. Now, i am able to see that burning force in those around me. He not only changed my life, he was a lighthouse of spirituality and wisdom for the many years that I knew him. His spirit was such that we were reminded of our higher selves by conversing with him. I will miss him immensely.

  9. Joan E. Souders on

    I met Noel one evening as we waited for our middle school daughters to arrive home from a field trip. What a wonderful man. He and I shared many discussions about our religious beliefs and thoughts. At that time I was a Major in The Salvation Army and Noel was so interested in the work that the Watsonville, CA. was undertaking. This was in 1990 right after the earthquake. I so enjoyed our converstaions, his insight and most of all committment mankind.

    Noel, Lauri and I shared many adventure with our two middle school daughters. They have continued to be friends all these years. Sharing in each others joys and sorrows. Noel, you and Lauri raised a wonderful daughter. You will be missed by your family and your friends. God rest your gentle soul,my friend, in the palm of His hand.

  10. Josh Thomas on

    Noel was a wonderful Uncle, and truly wise man. I grew up respecting and enjoying all the time I got to spent with him. He graciously allowed me to write a paper on him when I was in high school and having grown up as a missionary kid it was truly fascinating to find out more of his beliefs and religious background. My favorite memory was of his visit to South America when I was a child, and all the children followed him in the streets, calling him Papa Noel because of his beard. He will live on in our memories, and in the lives he created and touched.

  11. nadia on

    “I just rolled down my windows and started singing…”

    Still makes me giggle. Zoe was over at my house, and since we were still pre-driver’s licenses, Noel was coming to pick her up…except that he got lost on the way. His solution? See above…and he eventually found us! I still think of him every time I can’t find my way somewhere, and always will.

  12. Tarlochan Singh Nahal on

    I am a proud student of Dr. King. I completed my doctrate under his kind and able supervision. I met with Dr. King in 1992 for the first time at San Francisco in an academic conference. I was impressed by his scholarship and deep understanding of history and theology and realized that he was not an ordinary scholar. I stayed constantly in touch with him from 1996 to three weeks before he passed away, but I always remembered him in my prayers every single day!

    Dr. King was a soft-spoken person. Scholarly terms and Latin phrases describing deep theological concepts and unique historical events came out of his mouth effortlessly and his demeanor and presence created a unique aura that was both uplifting and captivating. I was his primary Sikh/Indian contact and he often spoke with me in perfect Hindustani (a mixture of Hindi and Urdu) that he learned when he was growing up in India. Of course, we consider him our own. He and his family always welcomed me like a family member in their home.

  13. B.S.Goraya on

    I was always eager to meet Dr. King after I knew him from the forward he wrote for Dr.Sangat Singh’s ‘Sikhs in History’. I was blessed to see him and discuss Sikh issues at the Guest House of Guru Nanak Dev University some 2/3 years back. I feel the Sikhs have lost a great friend and sincere well wisher. I am sure Dr.King is such a soul which not resting at a place other than the feet of God almighty.
    B.S.Goraya
    Editor/Moderator:-
    Punjab Monitor Magazine
    http://www.punjabmonitor.com
    http://www.kartarpur.com

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kartarpur/

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/inderpreet2000/

    Servant:-
    Sangat Langha Kartarpur
    60, Diamond Avenue, Majitha Road, Amritsar
    Tel: 0091-9417064262(Mobile) 0091-183-2421915(Landline)

  14. Albion Moonlight Butters on

    The heart overflows. Words cannot begin to express how I knew Noel. But being a fool, of course I will stumble ahead with some.

    Teacher. Advisor. Mentor. Father (sacerdotalis). Best friend. Brother… It’s not that these words don’t work. It’s just that Noel touched my soul in and around all these identities, to the point where sometimes I didn’t know where I ended and Noel began. To know this level of connection and then to pass it on, this was one of Noel’s greatest gifts and, for me, one of his greatest teachings. Shared beyond words, sometimes in laughter, sometimes in tears.

    Tears come now, but even as they fall they laugh at this illusion of separation. For with death the teaching becomes clearer: such connections are not lost. Tuning into their light, they bridge the unknowing. I truly feel that in his passing, Noel is closer to us than ever.

    But memories? Words work better for these.

    1985. First class with Noel. Classroom Unit 1 was full to overflowing, with students literally overflowing in each other’s arms. Religious history, maps, ancient wisdom teachings—they all came alive in Noel’s voice and the twinkle of his eye. Add some almonds and apple juice. I was hooked.

    1988. I was sure Noel had superpowers. Out of the blue, in the middle of a lecture, he would turn and call on me and proceed to tell the class what I had dreamt the night before. The biggest surprise was not that he knew the dream, as he had been part of it, but rather how before all the world he transformed my naked unconscious into a story that related to the day’s lecture topic! And this was the advisor for my religion major!?! (Well, after the demise of the Religious Studies major at UCSC some years before, we had to make that part up…)

    1991. Noel visited me at Harvard Divinity School, crashing on the floor of my dorm room when he was in town for the SBL/AAR conference. What an honor to host one’s mentor, especially when they insist—with absolutely no room for argument—on taking the floor. The occasion was only made more memorable when, right around dawn, the terrifically efficient Harvard grounds crew came along spraying a cloud of pesticides in the window to wake us up. We had a good laugh at that one (over tea, of course).

    2004. Noel made a special trip to my home church in the Bay Area to perform a private baptism ceremony for my daughter. Noel consecrated the bread and wine, then passed communion around. Or the bread, at least. The wine never made it that far. I watched stunned as Noel, eliding this minor detail in a moment of absentia, took the chalice and—knowing it his duty to leave no remainder of the host—quaffed the whole thing. The good spirits in which Noel concluded the rest of the ceremony left no doubt that the blessings of the Eucharist had been fully imparted.

    2008. Blessed silence. Time and memories slide together in that space, sitting side by side with Noel on the deck, taking in the sun…

    Timelessness. Interconnectedness. All love.

  15. Peter King on

    Goodbye Grandpa. Safe travels. Thanks for enriching our lives (and for having kids). We can still love you even if you’ve moved on to other things.

    Love always, Peachi Pete King – one of the many grandchildren

  16. Kelly Luker on

    Though I did not know Noel well, he always greeted me so warmly at church. I felt that our congregation was the richer for having him as one of our parishioners. My heart goes out to Laurie and the rest of Noel’s family. God Bless

  17. Harbans Lal on

    Sikh world is saddened by the passing away of a great Sikh scholar Dr. Noel Q. King (12-9-22 to 2-1-09).

    Sikh world has known Dr. King for his scholarly contributions for many years. He travelled to Pakistan, India and many other places to collect data for his publications on Sikhism. Further he made presentations on Sikh topics at many conferences, seminars, and gurdwara stages. More than once he was a visiting scholar at the Guru Nanak University in Amritsar and Punjabi University in Patiala. A few years ago he served on the thesis committee that awarded the doctoral degree in political science to Dr. Tarlochan Singh of California and Dr. Raghbir Singh Bains of Vancouver.
    In 1995, the World Sikh Samelan bestowed upon him an honor in the form of Siropa. He told me that he received the honor on behalf of all Sehajdhari Sikhs world who could not be present at the convention.
    I had a privilege of knowing Dr. King and his family for many years; we stayed in continual contact through personal visits, correspondence and email messages. I also served with him as member of the PhD thesis committee on subjects relating to Sikh subjects. His commitment to Sikhee and the Sikh world was from the deep of his heart and unquestionable. His faith in the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was evident from his frequent reading of gurbani and always keeping a Nit Nem gutka with him during travels. He confided in me many years ago that he was religiously maintaining uncut long hair. From his earning he often made charitable donations to various gurdwaras and supported his research on Sikh issues. I always called him as my Sikh friend and he responded similarly.

    We will miss Dr. King, his guidance, and his scholarly contributions for a long time to come.
    (Bhai) Harbans Lal
    Arlington/USA

    Harbans Lal, PhD., D.Litt(hons)
    Emeritus Professor and Chair, Pharmacology & Neuroscience, U. North Texas Health Science Center
    817-446-8757, Mob. 817-846-8630
    6415 Amicable Drive, Arlington, 76016
    japji08@yahoo.com

  18. Mike Simpson on

    Noel Quentin King is one of the finest people I know. I agreed not to mourn him, so I will just wait until we meet again.

  19. Dwight Frey on

    I met Noel in McHenry Library during one of his many forays into the stacks seeking guidance and truth to share with the masses. He had this wonderful gleaming presence that just drew you to him. His spirituality and love was boundless. I was honored to have known him and am now humbled by our loss. Respect and Peace to his family and friends.

  20. BK on

    Thirty years ago I attended UCSC for one quarter. Dr. King was one of my professors. A short time. A big impression. Namaste great teacher.

  21. Sally Redfield on

    The world is a better place because of Noel King’s presence. One class many years ago and his smile, his knowledge, his bare feet, the glow of his presence, and so many more vivid memories will always be remembered.

    My heart goes out to his family and friends.

    Namaste

  22. Robert Difley on

    The following was published in an Indian newspaper, The Tribune, Wednesday, February 4, 2009, Chandigarh, India.

    Sikh scholar Dr Noel Q King dead
    Varinder Walia
    Tribune News Service

    Amritsar, February 3
    Prof Noel Q. King (87), Professor Emeritus of History and Comparative Religions, University of California, USA, and Sikh scholar, died after a brief illness.

    His widow Laurie King informed about his death in an e-mail to Dr BS Dhillon professor of Guru Nanak Studies, Guru Nanak Dev University, today.

    Born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 1922, Prof King did his schooling from Shimla and higher education from Oxford University, University of California and Nottingham University, England. He founded departments of divinity in South Africa, Ghana and Uganda.

    Prof King was also the visiting professor of the GNDU and Punjabi University, Patiala. According to Gursagar Singh, owner of Singh Brothers, Prof King was one of the few foreign scholars who had written authentic Sikh history. Former Jathedar Akal Takht, Prof Manjit Singh said Prof King had presided over one of the important sessions of the World Sikh Sammelan in SGPC complex in 1995.

    He used to be the centre of attraction for the Sikh scholars at functions held in Amritsar, other parts of Punjab, New Delhi and foreign countries.

    Prof King once wrote unless the Sikhs themselves determined on a way ahead, produced suitable leadership and carried out total reconstruction and reform, they were doomed to classical fate mentioned by Macauliffe of getting an insider’s view of how the great snake of the Indian jungle dealt with its prey.

  23. Robert Frager on

    I first met Noel when I came to campus in 1969 to be interviewed for a teaching position. The moment I saw Noel I said to myself, “Any campus that would have a man like this is the place for me!”

    Noel was a wonderful mentor, and I only wish I took more advantage of his wisdom. He was unfailingly patient with the frequent foolishness of academia and his sense of humor often gave me the perspective I dearly needed to get through some of the rough spots.

    Noel King was one of a kind, and a priceless gift to all of us who knew him.

    Robert Frager
    Founding President, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology

  24. Kelly Evans on

    The first day I ever walked in to one of Noel’s classes, I cried from joy…and I’m not a frequent crier. I immediately recognized him as The Teacher. I have often said I majored in Noel King. And honestly, I wouldn’t have finished school if it had not been for him. He wrote to me and invited me back when I dropped out, to aimlessly wander in spiritual seeking.

    Noel created a curriculum around ME. He not only let me learn from the idiosyncratic way the divine worked through me, but taught me this principle, of valuing and cultivating the individual. Working so adeptly through systems academic and religious, in which standards of achievement are so often homogenizing, Noel provided an open space, rich with bibliographic and spiritual nutrients, in which students could grow themselves.

    I came to see the purpose, the goal, of life, as something like Jung’s idea of Individuation, at least as much as any idea of “enlightenment,” or nirvana. And Noel was an individual. What a character! Mind bogglingly intelligent and erudite. A story teller extraordinaire! SO charming. A rascally sense of humor. Profoundly loving, interested, and always totally attentive to his guest(s). And one of the best looking human beings I’ve ever seen.

    In private conversation, trudging around in rubber boots, in one of his many beloved funny hats, pushing a funky wheelbarrow, Noel would offer home made aphorisms, teaching zingers, not canned wisdom, but living contemplation. My favorite of these was “I don’t think the Buddha said, ‘There is no self.’ I think the Buddha said, ‘There is no self?’”

    Noel’s teaching was a living teaching. He often said his legacy was his students. In his huge classes, we were allowed and encouraged to break out our own groups, and make sub-classes (mine was called “Love”), and try our hand at teaching, both a teaching in itself about how learning takes place, and a clever organizational tactic.

    We were also invited to help “grade” students’ papers. (UCSC was on the written evaluation system in those days. If the students insisted on a letter grade, they invariably received an “A.”) Reading Noel’s comments, we soon learned the object of this exercise was to make compliments, that were as cogent as possible to the material at hand, and if possible might nurture a good quality in the student, even if that quality was ungerminated…only a twinkle in the grader’s eye;)

    Noel married Janel and me, resplendent in his Kente cloth. That blessing, and his ongoing friendship and guidance, helped me to identify and evoke the holy part of holy matrimony, and follow the holy thread through other aspects of common, so-called “secular” life.

    I felt so blessed to be part of Noel’s very non-exclusive circle of friends. I would rather have been part of this circle than an initiate in any prestigious or secret society. Another of Noel’s teaching zingers was, “I like who I am when I’m with you.” Although there were so many of us friends and family of Noel, he paid particular attention to each.

    Noel was the epitome of compassion, and demonstrated that compassion is not just sympathy for the suffering of others, but a celebration of the specialness of each other, and the media which allows us to be unique selves, and yet not alone, essentially connected, one together in greater selves that do not abnegate our individuality, but absolutely require it.

    This self that Noel formed with me is ecstatically alive. Noel is a vital driving force in my life work, is a wise confident and advisor to me, and continues to make cogent, encouraging compliments of my creative work. Noel so loved this world, and took us on flying tours around it, through time and space, astutely, exuberantly pointing out historical and geographical features, the ultimate tour guide!

    Through this process, for years I have witnessed Noel recognizing himself in everyone and everything. And it must be said, that Noel not only loved people, but plants and animals, bugs and dirt. He would as readily comment on the activities of a bird family nesting in his yard as of the Old Man of the Mountain or St Thomas.

    And now I find Noel King everywhere.

    kelly@pneuma.com

  25. greg lehman on

    1968
    Merrill College, a freshman with no knowledge of the world or the universe and Dr King came into our lives and helped to lead us through the varied canyons-Is it true he invented independent study to save Merrill College students- one has to wonder
    a wonderful man and teacher who helped so many get through their santa cruz years.
    A toast to Dr King
    greg

  26. Bruce Bullis on

    Farewell teacher, friend, co-conspirator.

    Enjoy your Rest, and Reunion.

    I look forward to our next meeting.

    -bbb

  27. Stuart Bennett on

    So many recollections already on this site. I’ll share one more, from the memories I was privileged to gather over more than forty years. The garden of Noel’s house at 32 Western Road, Oxford. A sunny summer’s afternoon. Laurie inside, Noel in the grass with their two small children. He looks up at me with a smile and says “The University of California wants its scholars to be productive. No-one can say I am not productive, sir.”
    Wherever he has gone is fortunate in his presence. If we may someday join him there, we’ll be even luckier.

  28. George Czechowski on

    Having the good fortune to participate in three of Noel’s classes was the high point of my academic career at UCSC. He was a man of great depth, compassion and understanding who lovingly shared his vast knowledge with others. He embodied a sublime serenity that touched every person he came in contact with. He inspired myself and many others to reach their fullest potential academically and spiritually. The world will be a diminished place without you while the heavens will rejoice in your presence.
    George Czechowski Kresge class of 1991

  29. Meredith Hammons on

    I moved to California last year and met Noel King for the first and only time last summer. I profoundly wish that I’d had the opportunity to take a class from him or even to have talked with him more. When I met him, he was already ill, but he still had the spark that so many folks here have mentioned. When told by his daughter that I was from the South, he asked if I drank mint juleps. I thought it was a shame that I had neither bourbon nor mint to hand to share one with him.
    At the time I met him, I was struggling very much with my life’s path. I had studied religion for a long time and I’d worked in libraries for a long time, and wasn’t quite where I belonged. When he heard I was a librarian, Noel looked at me and said, “What a magnificent thing, to build a life with books.” He was right, of course, and it was the lesson I most needed at the time and I feel both lucky and honored to have had that brief moment. I’m envious of all of you who got to learn from him and know him for years.
    All my future mint juleps will be raised in Noel’s honor.

  30. Steve Cook on

    THE WORLD IS DIMINISHED BY THE LOSS OF GREAT TEACHERS.
    AT THE SAME TIME WE REALIZE THAT THE WORLD IS A RICHER PLACE BECAUSE THEY WERE HERE.
    AND, WE WHO WERE PARTAKERS OF NOEL’S GLORY KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE – AS HE WAS TRUELY A GREAT TEACHER.

  31. Jeff Ringold on

    Noel King was a man of tremendous warmth, humor and kindness. As his student and friend long ago, my memories span from assisting in his classes to travels in India together. In India, between discussions of the Upanishads,the Bible, and native African religious traditions, the topic of inquiry from Noel was often the “consistency of my stools.” (Those of you who have traveled extensively in India will understand). My last memory of Noel from India is his taxi driving away, and Noel’s wild eyes, white hair and beard popping out the window and turning around yelling to me at full volume “may your stools be golden brother!” Noel often proclaimed himself the King of Chaos, whose job was to stand between the King of the North and the King of the South in order to keep them from destroying each other. It was his way of saying that our sense of wonder, mystery, and chaos was often our saving grace as a species — the essential antidote to our intellectual arrogance, hubris and compulsion to control. Eccentric in the extreme, Noel had lessons for us that the image-conscious and self-important would usually fail to see. But his brand of wisdom is needed now more than ever. Noel lives on strongly in the memories of so many of us, and I believe his challenge is simply that we learn to live more wisely, humbly and with greater love for one another and for the preciousness of life.

  32. Garry Trompf on

    My dear friend Noel was my very special academic mentor. I first read him (on Theodosius) while at Oxford and marvelled at his erudition. I first set eyes on him, though, in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea! That was the beginning of an exchange that meant a great Africanist could teach Melanesians while I went over to Santa Cruz as a raw and unworthy substitute for an US super-professor. Little did I know that his future wife Laurie was among my (and thus also his!) students. Ever since those days, I have never ceased to be supported as a scholar and loved as a person by this great man. Our friendship blossomed into a soul-depth I have known with few others, and I felt honoured (with Prof. Gildas Hamel) to put together a memorial book for Noel to mark his eighteenth birthday. The range of Noel’s interests was extraordinary, and I suppose the richness of our dealings came with us both sharing a common interests in early Christian history and the traditions of indigenous religions. Above all, Noel taught me that it is useless teaching about religions without opening up possibilities of wisdom and spirituality for one’s students. That sense of a quest for something eternal made him all the more the lovable as my Anglo-Indian guru.

  33. Nirmal Singh on

    I was away at a Conference at Nagpur and just saw the mail about the passing of Noel King.
    I last met the kindly soul and a great mentor in Jun 2007 at his lovely home tucked away on top of a hill in the Santa Cruz vicinity. He was not well at all but cheerful nonetheless. We talked about the prognosis and the line of treatment – his appointments in the coming weeks.
    My daughter who lives in Los Altos Hill had taken us there. Noel had so much to talk to her and my wife – about kids, my son in law whom he had met a couple of times. His memory was vivid, his interest so touching given his own state of health.
    He wanted to know what I was working on. I explained the drift of my paper on Sikh Resistance that was nearing completion much to my relief and Norel expressed interest in seeing the paper when completed. I sent it to him later when it was done. He made some valuable comments but also confided the difficulty he had reading in the midst of his treatment.
    I will always miss him, his kind goading to keep doing some more, his continuing gentle encouragement, his anecdotes from Chak Lala days and many other things about his army service – an experience we had shared though in different times and settings.
    Thank you Dr King for being so empathetic, friendly and understanding. Hope our prayers reach you,
    Respectfully,
    Nirmal Singh

  34. Kent Raphael Halpern on

    My first vision of Noel was from behind, as he faced the blackboard at UCSC in 1973, with the pants held up by a leather belt (tied not buckled), with that tie-dyed t-shirt. And then he turned around with the wild hair and beard and I thought I was seeing Moses, just down from the Mountain, with piercing blue eyes. Well, my life changed at that moment. I quickly moved from a Pre-Med Biology major to Religious Studies, and haven’t turned back since. Noel sponsored and encouraged me to go to India, where I met his Sikh friends at the Christian Institute in the Punjab. He continued to guide me when our friend and teacher, Dr. Joshi, passed away. Noel signed off on my thesis on the MahaKumbhaMela, a sacred festival. Noticing the Sacred within everything and everyone is the most enduring lesson that I learned from this great man. As he passes into the heavenly realm we all can smile and cry at once.

  35. christopher peck sr. on

    Noel, was a quiet yet very influencial professor that I enjoyed knowing during my two years at Merrill from 1970-72. I remember fondly the discussions we had at Merrill and he will be missed. Noel was what Merrill and UCSC was all about, exploring and contempla-
    ting the world and sadly that has all changed. But, he gave us humility and grace and a great deal of thought-provoking ideas. Noel god bless.

  36. Eliot Smith (Provost's kid) on

    Memory is such a funny thing. I heard recently that the more you use a particular memory the more you change and mold it to match your own needs and mythologies. Small unimportant memories stay safe and unchanged like small rocks at the bottom of a pond, but important memories change with the winds, they take on grandeur and are shaped into national monuments and sacred grottos.

    That said… I have thought of Noel so often over the years that he has become an essential part of my life. I have repeated his stories, I have grasped at his teachings in times of strife and pain, and I have conjured his fun sparkling humor to share with people in need a thousand times.

    If an oft remembered memory changes with time, then maybe stories Noel told me have shifted beneath my feet and maybe I no longer recall the exact details, but I wanted to repeat just one tale…

    In Africa, they believe that all things have spirit. The trees have spirit. The rocks have spirit. I think Noel told me the spirit’s name was peipoo, although I might be wrong and I’m sure the spelling is off. Anyway, people have peipoo too, some more than others, women usually more than men. The peipoo is what makes people creative. It’s what makes art and life and music.

    Sometimes there can be too much peipoo, or it can be out of balance and the person suffers. So people go to the M’ganga, the witch doctor and ask for help. The M’ganga sits with the person and talks directly to the peipoo.

    “Peipoo” he says, “We have great respect for you. You are wonderful! You have the power to balance yourself.”

    So it is the very root of the problem that contains the answer. It is the light inside us that sometimes makes us blind and it is the essence of the solution. Not that we should fight the spirit, but ask it for help and healing.

    Noel King sat with me one day as a youth on his back porch and offered me cookies and lemonade. He laughed and waggled his beard and told me about circling hawks and of wandering the sacred hills in bare feet. He told me about the Peipoo and about balancing… and although I didn’t quite understand it at the time, he was telling me he respected my spirit and asking me to balance myself.

    He was a witch doctor and a friend. I admired him and thought of him often. Over the years, I rarely got to see him again, but like a member of a family, I always knew he was there and always knew I could go to him if my spirit was out of balance and I needed the M’ganga to talk to me. When I heard he had passed, I felt such a hole in my life, quite similar to how I felt when my parents died… Like another another path to the top of the mountain had vanished into the mists.

    But to the lost people I meet in my work and the friends that stumble and fall, I will tell and retell the stories that Noel told me. I will treasure his memory and trust his spirit is still with us.

  37. Janet Mize on

    It is with joy that I read the wonderful memories of those who knew Noel for a long time. I came to him in his later years and treasure the many moments we shared.

    I met him after church one Sunday when he warned me to stay away from “that white Volvo over there. It has a very bad driver who gets lost”. I took the cue to offer him transportation, to church. to appointments and errands. During those one-on-one times together, our friendship grew and blossomed into a close and spiritual one, including much laughter. He became my mentor of theology.

    When I told him that my son was married to the daughter of his good friend and colleague, the late Professor Bhuwan Joshi, we became more bonded than ever, and when my grandson was born, Noel donned his finest robe and African stole and knit cap and gave Tenzing a beautiful blessing.

    Noel was a breath of fresh air and left a light touch on the world, while leaving an lasting and very deep influence on the many, many people who were blessed to know him.

    One day while driving him, he asked me to stop by a bridge so that he could release a little bug he had rescued. He wanted to see no harm done to any creature.

    When he was no longer able to go to church, I brought the Eucharist to him, and we enjoyed a quiet, intimate little service together each week.

    I will always love him and treasure the times we had together. What a blessing he was to me!

  38. Ngan Ling LUNG on

    Noel is a father to me. Every time we met, he expressed love and care toward me. He remembered the good things I did and affirmed me in every way. I am grateful that we became friends although we came from different worlds. I will miss you Noel. Hope what you have shared with me I will shared with others in hospitality and authenticity.

  39. Ernestine McHugh on

    Thank you, Zoe, for setting this up and letting us all experience the community that Noel’s love and care created. I am without words for what he meant to me, but can only say that as I have grown older I realize that the joy and compassion, and wild eccentric humor he offered us all are the most important teachings I have received, ever. Noel was proof against bitterness: encouraging me when hurt to see the good in people and forgive their foolishness, having himself a sense of brotherhood with even those who betrayed him, looking beyond sometime academic smallness to the sustenance of learning—what he called “Mother University.” My memories of him are in beautiful places—meadows outside Santa Cruz on the way to serve Mass to a small group of cloistered monks, recruiting me to assist—and provide, I suppose, a peek beyond the cloister; along the Bagmati river in Nepal (“Mother Ganges cleanses all!”); taking my little daughter and me around the grounds of his and Laurie’s place in Watsonville to see goats and kittens. He made the world feel to me like a spring day, warm and infused with kindness, and his letters were often like life preservers on stormy seas. For all his love and play, he pointed me toward the value of labor—the gentle “Let me know what you are working on,” and the observation, in gratitude and respect, that our lives rest on others’ toil. Reading here, I see how many of us bear the traces of his love and continue to be sustained by his goodness.

  40. Jas Singh on

    Prof.Dr. Noel Q King,A Saintly Scholar was filled with love for God and all his people he was a uniter of all humanity.His family was British but he was born in Punjab the land of Five Rivers, that land has given birth to many saintly souls and great men and Dr. King was one of them. His life, written words, his speechs his travels accross the globe and;his students the people who have heard his voice over the interent were deeply moved are living proofs of his greatness. He looked like a wise old man full of wisdom with his flowing white silvery beard and long hair. As a Sikh I can say that he looked like my dear old granfater with that white hair and beard full of love. Dr.King is beloved by the Sikhs all across the world. I like to say to Mrs. King and Dr. Kings family God is love and love is God and Prof. King had true love and compasion for whole humainty, so love never goes away and love is alwys Omnipresnt. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa , Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

  41. John Leech on

    Latin phrases have not fallen effortlessly from my lips despite a lifetime of patient teaching by example from Noel King. In fact the phrase “Dominus illuminatio mea” I once rendered God illumines my aunt…. which I’m sure she does.

    He also gently pointed out the origins deep in time of the phrase, ‘my mercy always takes place over my wrath’.

    Mercy and goodness follow us all the days of our lives, as they surely chased us when Dr King was in the room.

    He was my great teacher from the moment I wandered into the Baobab Room in Winter quarter 1974 to a ‘pro-seminar’ on the Gospel of John. When I called on him in office hours some time later the students were stacked up like waiting airliners so he sent me down the hall to make some tea. There I found another friend, Bilal, who had been sent on a similar errand. We knew our teacher would be along – he had left one of his many pairs of Sikh-style leather slipper-sandals on the floor of the faculty common room… occasionally I would retrieve same from class rooms and return them down the hall to his office… many warm memories from that day on – including his ‘family interview’ with she who was to become my bride. … and greeting the gloaming with him: hence the evening prayers appended below.

    See you at the Celebration, God willing, in this world or the next.

    Psalm 27 Dominus illuminatio mea

    1 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
    whom then shall I fear? *
    the LORD is the strength of my life;
    of whom then shall I be afraid?

    5 One thing have I asked of the LORD;
    one thing I seek; *
    that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days
    of my life;

    6 To behold the fair beauty of the LORD *
    and to seek him in his temple.

    Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2

    If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, and the light
    around me turn to night,” darkness is not dark to you, O
    Lord; the night is as bright as the day; darkness and light to you are both alike. Psalm 139:10,11

    O gracious light,
    pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
    O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

    Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
    and our eyes behold the vesper light,
    we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
    O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
    and to be glorified through all the worlds.

    Then follows

    V. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit;
    R. For you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth.
    V. Keep us, O Lord, as the apple of your eye;
    R. Hide us under the shadow of your wings.

  42. Nita Couchman on

    I first met Noel King in 1974 when my former husband David was a student of his at UCSC. I remember a picnic at his rustic cabin in the woods, his flowing robe and sandals, his unruly beard and hair, but most of all I remember the merry twinkle in his eye that made me feel welcome and accepted. From 1974 to 1976, David and I and our infant son Ethan lived in the King house at 32 Western Road in Oxford, sharing time there with Noel’s children Jeremy and Naomi during their school holidays. Although I only met Noel a few times after that, each time he welcomed me and asked about my son Ethan, and then a few weeks later a package of children’s books would arrive in the mail. My most cherished memory is that the last time I saw him in the 80s, he offered unsolicited comments about an event from my past that proved to be very healing for me. I wonder if he knew how much his words meant to me. I know his spirit lives on in the many moments of goodness he’s given us all. Blessings to Noel, and to all his dear family and friends.

  43. Alan Voegtlen on

    I am one more in a long line of former students whose hearts grew more open from my time with Noel. I took his class on Christianity (which apparently was much smaller than his average class). He was to me the embodiment of a true Christian: open hearted to all, generous, self-sacrificing and inclusive towards all other religions. I found myself trying to determine what religion Noel belonged to because when he lectured he drew from a great wealth of knowledge about Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism, Sikhism, as well as Christianity. Such was his love for the teachings and the people of these religions that at one time or another I thought he belonged to each one of those religions.
    In 2001, Noel married my wife and me saying it was his last marriage. (Probably he consented to do several more such was his generosity of spirit). His twinkling eyes, wild, wispy hair and white beard together with his raiments – an African kinte and robes made for wonderful visuals under the blue sky of our wedding site, but it was his words and presence that we valued most.
    I will miss Baba Noel very much. May your spirit be free. Alan Voegtlen

  44. Bettina Aptheker on

    I am saddened to learn of Noel’s passing, and extend my deepest condolences to all of his family.

    When I first started teaching at UCSC his very popular class was just before mine in Classroom Unit # 2 and I always enjoyed hearing parts of his lectures, his enormous fund of knowledge about religions, antiquity, history, etc. and his terrific humor and dynamism. The students adored him. Later he initiated a wonderful correspondence with me about my last name and its Indian roots and we had a lively and informative exchange about the “Apthekers” in India. His work, teaching, his many contributions, and his spirit of humanity will long be remembered.

    Embracing all of you in a cirlce of light and love

  45. KateCollard on

    Thank you, Uncle Noel for bringing so much fun into my life. For sharing a wicked sense of humour; for showing me that the whole family can go skinny dipping at midnight; for not confiscating “Lady Chatterley’s (not Chattergee)Lover” when you knew that we (my cousins & me) were reading the well worn pages; for telling me that marmalade was made from squashed wasps – you beast; for our joint enjoyment of words; and most of all for always asking ,”What are you reading?” not “How are you?” when my health went down the tubes and never ever saying, “Take care!” What an Uncle! Kate xx

    Posting your comment.

  46. Preetmohan Kapoor on

    I met Dr Noel King in 1995 when I wanted his help in guiding me on the first ever CD Rom “Scriptures and Heritage of Sikhs’. I had a couple of meetings in his rural side home in Watsenwille Ca where he was living with his teen age daughter and his wife. I had a couple of meetings with him in his rural-side home in Watsonville, Ca. During these brief meetings, I was amazed to know his depth of knoweldge on Sikhisim. He could narate ancient Sikh history with so much ease.

    He was kind enough to write a ‘Forward’ for that CD Rom for which I will remain in debt for ever. I always found him very cooperative and helpful. He was really living a pure Sikh way of life. In him we have lost a great visionary and a true friend of Sikhs.

    May Waheguru bless him in his future journey.

  47. John Moyer on

    I was introduced to Noel in Hong Kong in the early 1990’s while I was organizing an international meeting to be held in Nanjing later in the year. I asked him to be a resource person and he agreed, came to Nanjing, and overwhelmed us all with a quiet dignity, great humanity and much love. We learned about pilgramage as never before. I have always been a “walker” and he taught me why. Some years later my wife Kristin and I visited Noel and Laurie in Watsonville. To this day we remember their hospitality and grace. Our condolences and best wishes to the family. RIP Noel. Kristin and John Moyer, Geneva, Switzerland and Berkely, CA

  48. Brydon Gombay on

    My memories of Noel go further back than do those above, to arriving at Makerere University guest house, back in the sixties, with our four small children, after a long plane flight from Montreal. Noel came to greet us all, wrapped in yellow, a beard longer than any I had ever seen, a sort of Eastern Santa Claus. That is the first memory I have of many happy years in Uganda, part of the happiness no doubt due to being made to feel so welcome by Noel and Evelyn. When I asked one of our daughters if she remembered him, she told me what a great discovery she had made at a party in their garden on Swimming Pool Road: toast spread with cheddar cheese mixed with onions! I’m sure Noel and Evelyn would appreciate their being remembered for that – as well as for his great teaching. Hospitality was surely an important way for him to show his care for us all.

  49. Sally Sweetland on

    Noel opened up the eye of my heart in the mid 1970’s, when I did two independent study courses with him. Over the decades since that time, his wild deep earthy celestial presence came up inside me many times. What a joy and a blessing to have known such a one.

  50. Rohit Barot on

    I note with much sadness that Noel King is no more with us. When Noel was Professor of Religious Studies at Makerere University, Kampala, I had just joined the University in 1966 to do an MA in Social Anthropology.

    Our meeting was somewhat spontaneous as he invited me to have a cup of tea at his house where I also had the pleasure of meeting Evelyn King. After Noel had inquired about my MA in Social Anthropology and learned that I was a self-funding student, he created a small income for me. He asked me to teach him Hindi and to undertake some research in the emergence of devotional worship among the Hindus in Kenya and Uganda. We briefly looked at the life of an East African Hindu saint Hirji Bapa who had developed following among Kenyan Africans in Kisumu where a Ram temple had been constructed for them.

    We had numerous conversations about the ‘wind of change’ spreading through Africa and about Noel’s Indian colonial background that often inspired a sense of affiliation to Indians. This ‘wind of change’ prophecy by McMillan was sweeping through post colonial East Africa and the pressure for Africanisation created uncertainty and a steady exit of expatriate staff from Makerere University.

    Noel had accepted a professorial post at the University of California in Santa Cruz and invited me to join him so that I could work with him and also enrol for a Ph D at the Berkeley campus. I accepted this offer to work with him. With the assistance of a Ford Foundation travel grant that was secured by Peter Rigby, then the head of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Makerere University and with the support of my supervisor Raymond Apthorpe, I travelled to California just at the time when Nixon had assumed power and Neil Armstrong had landed on the moon. Both Noel and Evelyn welcomed me very warmly and gave me the assurance that I needed to settle into my new surroundings.

    Although I had been a school teacher in Kampala, I had never taught at a university. I received much support and encouragement from Noel as I began my forays in teaching with trepidation. Noel had also helped me to enroll in Sociology and Anthropology at Berkeley where I studied under Laura Nader and Gerald Berreman, a distinguished antrhopologist of India. In retrospect, I valued my time in California as it gave me an insight into the dynamic context of the Vietnam war and the rise of the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam. I spent nearly two years in Santa Cruz and did UCSC jitney commuting to Berkely every week.

    I was soon to receive a hint that the Regents of the University were going to reduce the budget for a lower level of teaching. I knew I had to get ready to leave California in about 12 months time. I and Noel parted company in late 1970 when I joined the Department of Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London to do a Ph D. At the time Noel and Evelyn still had a house in Oxford. I remember visiting their Oxford house, going punting and to a magnificent church service at an Oxford College. We maintained regular contact whilst I was in London as well as after I had joined the Department of Sociology at University of Bristol. During his subsequent visits to Bristol, I met Laurie who had married Noel by then and Noel’s Kampala friend Dr Adatia who taught Dentistry at the University of Bristol. The last time I met Noel in Bristol was when he and Jeremy visited me and we had a most delightful conversastion to remember our long association and had a good laugh over a pint of beer.

    It was most kind of Laurie to keep all of Noel’s friends informed about his prolonged illness and his return home to pick up the threads of normal life. I was sad that I could never get to see him in California but we had several telephone conversations during which he always conveyed his kindness and affection for me and our famiily. Noel was a great friend. He played a decisive part in my early academic career, transformed my life and enabled me to examine carefully the tradition to which I belonged as an anthropologist. I will always cherish the memory of his great friendship with gratitude.

    I am sure Noel’s absence is a loss to the whole King family. I offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences to Laurie, Zoe and Nathan in California and to Francis, Jeremy and Naomi in England and to Claire in Australia. My very special thanks to you all as we enjoyed contact at different times since the mid 1960s and this has left a fine impression of Noel’s life and friendship on me.

    Rohit Barot
    Bristol England

  51. Marilyn Cedar Breiong on

    Laurie and I founded the La Leche League of Watsonville around 1982 and through her I met Noel. I thought of myself as a wife and mom until Noel saw the spark he was so good at discovering. He personally took me to UCSC and introduced me to everyone he could in the history department at Merrill. Noel spoke at my graduation in 1991. Because of his and Laurie’s personal interest in me, I am a teacher. My heart is with his family and my prayers with Noel.

  52. Admin on

    Via email from Gavin White:

    Noel King first burst upon us in 1962 when he was new at Makerere, visiting the colleges affiliated, and he came to Limuru in Kenya. He spoke to the students about Ghana, and just about everything else, then he and I walked and he dissuaded me from killing a snake (Thank you,. Noel). He met my future wife in Korogwe, Tanganyika (as it was) and forever associated her with her golden slippers – – later we stayed with him in Kampala, taking our infant daughter Rehema – – much talk, no more snakes…. and then he stayed with us in New York, and then in London, and I took Rehema to stay with Noel and Laurie in Oxford. On that occasion he coaxed us into a punt so that he could question me on Inuit religion and be able to tell his classes that he had learned the subject from that old Arctic hand Gavin White (all I knew on the subject came from a textbook though I was an Arctic veteran) ) while punting on the Isis River at Oxford. My final happy memory was a stay at their home in the hills over Santa Cruz, he asked me to drive him into town to show me the sights, in a battered Volvo (he could no longer drive) of which the gears had been wrecked by American students who knew not gears, and he said turn left and we were on the Freeway in the wrong gear….. I was afraid of changing into reverse… but we survived and he tried to buy me a T-shirt saying, “Keep Santa Cruz Weird”, which seemed to me an unnecessary prayer. But Noel played a great part in getting at least some African Christians to embrace theological thought, in a culture which discouraged that ! Bless him ! Gavin White

  53. Mercy Amba Yamoah Oduyoye on

    KING AND I

    It all happened sometime in 1959 at Asawase Methodist Girls Middle School, Kumase. I turned my eyes from a classroom chalk board to behold a shaggy head and full beard. It struck me as the presence of a lion, all that hair. This maned figure turned out to be soft spoken and the gentlest and most caring gentlemen who in his old age would treat me like a beloved niece, and take me to see an aquarium and buy me ice cream. I felt like a ten-year old.

    I mourn Noel Quinton King, the theologian who sought me out and put me on the path to becoming a student of theology at a time when an Honours degree in Theology is not what an African woman undertook. I went through my theological studies in Ghana and Cambridge, UK and through my professional life, whether with the ecclesia or the academia, telling this story and telling myself you were handpicked by “the King” to occupy a unique place in theology: you must not fail.

    Prof King has been and remains my inspiration. There is indeed “such a divinity” that “doth hedge a king.” Great host at home and teacher in the academy. From Legon to Kampala and beyond he stimulated many to do theology. Prof. King’s Biblical and Historical Theology, and his Early Church History classes instilled in me the foundational truth that Christianity is an African religion. His treatment of Perpetua and Blandina, Augustine and Cyprian, gave me my love for theological discourse and laid on me the burden to continue as an advocate of the religion they helped to craft and grow.

    In the pilgrimage King undertook to trace his roots and his own footsteps he included the locations of his students. King found me once again in the ‘classroom’ and engaged in a conversation on the shift I was making in my Dogmatics towards Feminism. He understood my passion for justice and compassion and the need to respect the human nature that carries the divinity of God. Prof shared with me some of what he was discovering and then told me he had married a woman who writes mystery stories.

    This huge gentle lion was a child at heart; he was obviously enjoying Laurie and her stories. He handed me a copy of one of her early ones and got me hooked. I was back to my teen love for what we called “detective stories” through my theology professor.

    Through Noel I have learnt that theology pervades life.
    Divinity imbues life, makes us gentle and strong and moves us to love and serve.
    King has left a legacy, one that cannot be depleted, only augmented and I thank God for bringing him into my life.

    Gentle caring Prof, watch over us as you enjoy eternity with the One you served so conscientiously and who loaned you to us for a while, even the Triune God, to whom be glory and thanks for ever.
    TRIBUTE BY MERCY AMBA YAMOAH ( Dr. Oduyoye)
    Institute of Women in Religion and Culture, Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon, Ghana.

  54. steev gever on

    Noel taught me — more than anyone else I’ve known — the spirit of generosity. He was of course generous in many ways. Inadvertently, Noel gave me one final gift on the day he died. For the rest of my life when my birth is honored, I will remember Noel Q King and his greatness. The reason for this is because the day he departed happens to be my birthday.

    I would also like to speak of some memories with Noel. When I met Noel in 1987, I was deep into ecology. If you’re not familiar with this vocabulary, we are referring to relating to the earth in a way in which science and spirituality meet. Noel was nothing other than encouraging of this endeavor; sometimes even participatory. For instance, I remember recurring purposeful times with Noel in which we enthusiastically pushed his old garden cart to the neighbors’ farm and filled it with horse manure (surely it was Noel who taught me that the word “enthused” means “with God”). When we reached our destination, we were always mindful of closing the various gates so that nobody would wander off — this was a feat for two absent minded men such as ourselves. Naturally, we would wheel the laden cart back to Noel’s family’s garden where we would enrich their enormous compost heaps. Now my mind travels to the delicious produce from that garden and orchard. I have seldom bought an apricot, peach, or plum since those days because it usually results in disappointment. And speaking again of produce, I often think of Noel when I present fruit to my son. Noel believed his consumption of fresh fruits was a key constituent of his longevity — and this was years before the Anti-oxidantal Epoch.

    Then there was the time when Noel observed me wordlessly negotiating with a cliffside and remarked something to the effect that my God was more of a taskmaster than his… as if there is something more spiritually challenging than showing respect and kindness to EVERYONE… and from what I witnessed over many years, Noel achieved this, and in a truly immense way: Inclusive of all races, religions, species, biological kingdoms… EVERY ONE was holy to Noel!

    Generous, reverent, kind, humble, humorous, and always interesting; Noel, we will miss you.

  55. Gildas Hamel on

    It was a shock to hear of Noel’s passing two Mondays ago and still is a shock. His beard, scraggly face, the impossibility to date him or place him, and his living in old, live, traditions, all and more I take to mean that he is beyond the reach of time.

    His generosity knew no limits. I went to my Lampe *Patristic Greek Lexicon* and there he is already, in the second page of the preface by Lampe to his great dictionary: “There have been very many valuable helpers at every stage: …. the sorters of slips, especially parties of theological students from Wycliffe Hall led by Mr. (now Professor) N. Q. King…” In the margin, sometime in the nineties, Noel wrote: ” NQKing olim Professor nunc Mr…”

    A few memories: meeting him in his Merrill office, puzzling over the shelvings and guessing that it was a pre- rather than a post-Gutenberg arrangement, having many many enlightening and also lightning-fast conversations in which I could only keep up with some of the Western side of things… It was an education to learn there were so many things to learn and yet to remain light-hearted about it. And exemplary to see the extraordinary number of students he was helping in one fashion or another. More surprising perhaps, one evening: the singing for 2-3 hours, with Donald Nicholl, of old songs, mostly military, that needless to say I didn’t know.

    He, M. Caspi and I went to LA by car a couple of times, to the SBL Annual conference. Being with Noel in the Hilton elevators at Anaheim, a robe wrapped around his waist and carrying a cardboard box in which were his prepared food in a number of jars as well as books: it put another perspective on these monstrous meetings devoted to spiritual texts… On the road, what fun, story after story from Yemen to India, China and back via England….

    We (Amy, Rémi, Blaise and I) loved the many visits and celebrations that Laurie and Noel invited us to, in Happy Valley, Watsonville, and the Santa Cruz mountains. Noel remains beyond the reach of time.

  56. Amy Hamel on

    I have so many fond memories of Noel: the best Easters and Easter egg hunts ever with our children scampering all over the place (thank you, Laurie!), his packed Religious Studies classes at Classroom Unit and Noel accepting (actually encouraging) quite creative projects in lieu of papers from his students. I remember touring Oxford together and I remember Noel showing me his chickens in the wild part of his backyard in Watsonville.

    I remember when Noel, Laurie, Zoe, and Nathan came to visit us in Brittany where we were staying with friends who had adopted numerous children, some who used crutches and wheelchairs, children of all colors. And at the very moment that a traveling missionary happened upon their house, entered the gate, and asked me what was this place, Noel walked out of the house with his flowing beard and a sarong around his waist. Awestruck, the missionary asked me, “With what religion is this organization affiliated? “ I could safely answer: all of them.

    I was fortunate to visit Noel and family a couple weeks before he died. We had tea and Indian sweets and Noel asked about my father, whom he knew. My father is 88 and very frail. During our conversation I shared with Noel my father’s thoughts about death.

    Later, when I told my father of Noel’s death he flinched as if he were pushed, and then we talked about Noel. I jotted down what my father said and it felt like poetry:

    * * *
    We appreciated Noel.
    He could see himself in a
    lot of people
    so he was very attentive.

    I want to open the door
    and say thank you, Noel.
    He’s done so much for us.
    He was also a man of ideas.
    You couldn’t help but love him.

    The first step is to open the door
    so he can come into the house
    and we can sit together.
    Life and death
    are two parts of
    the same thing.
    Like an electric switch:
    on and off.

    I didn’t see enough of Noel.
    He had his life,
    he was a thinking man.
    * * *

    I send my love to Noel’s family and extended family. We shall miss him but he is very much alive in our memories.

  57. Douglas Christie on

    It pierced me to hear of Noel’s passing. And I have been so moved to read the testimonies of others who knew and loved him. Reading these stories has kindled in me memories of my own friendship with Noel that I have not thought about in years. It has made me realize, again, how instrumental he was in shaping my life. I came to UC Santa Cruz in 1974, full of uncertainty about what I was doing there or what I wanted for my life. This was especially true regarding my spiritual identity. I arrived at Merrill College as a refugee from my own Catholic childhood. I had become a born-again Christian and was for the moment occupying that precarious place. But I sensed that there was something more still to be discovered. Noel honored it all, my Catholic childhood, my new born-again identity, my confusion and longing for something more. Sitting in his classes or in his cramped office at Merrill (watching in astonishment as he bit into a raw onion), I noticed that every person he encountered received this same kind of care and attention. But it was more than this. Noel had the remarkable gift of being able to transform himself to meet whoever was standing before him. Initially this was confusing to me. Our conversations had convinced me that Noel was, like me, a Christian. And in my own insecurity and uncertainty, I found his solidarity with me comforting. But then I watched as he engaged his Muslim and Buddhist and Jewish students, or those with no particular religious affiliation, with the same kind of empathy and interest, how he simply and easily ‘morphed’ his own soul to enter into the world of whoever it was before him. How could he do this?! Wasn’t this a betrayal of his beliefs, the beliefs he shared with me? I smile now thinking of this, remembering how appalled I was at the way Noel would slide from one ‘position’ to another. Where were his principles, his beliefs? This, I see now, was more a reflection of the narrowness of my own perspective than of any fault in Noel. But I think I already possessed an intuition of what this great man was doing, for me and for each person who came his way. To paraphrase Martin Buber, he was ‘affirming the deepest thing in another.’ Recognizing the spark in our souls. He saw and cherished the particular way of being of each one of us. And this was an utterly sincere and heartfelt response, reflecting the generosity of Noel’s own spirit. For me, looking back on this time, I feel as if Noel helped me rediscover my own soul. I am so grateful to him for that precious gift.

  58. Admin on

    This from Peter King, Noel’s grandson (originally posted on the Contact page):

    Southwell Minster Memorial, Nottingham, UK

    On the 22nd February 2009 Southwell Minster will be floodlit at night in memory of Noel Q King, in conjunction with other memorials to him on this day.

    Noel was ordained in Southwell and visited there frequently. He was also a rector in the nearby town of Shelford for some time.

    This has been organised by his Nottingham associated relatives in loving memory.

    Photo to follow soon on photo page.

    Best regards and fond memories,
    Peter King – his grandson

  59. Michael Harrington on

    Good Morning Dear Friend,

    I find you are with me now more than ever. Today I am scheduled to meet my “little” as they call the little brother in the Big Brother-Big Sister Organization. His name is Cory and he is thirteen years old. He has been severely traumatized by life. All I can offer him is what you offered me. An open space to be fully himself and a warm, loving heart. So these brilliant gifts you so freely gave will keep giving. All those you touched, who entered your sphere will continue to share all the precious jewels you dispensed over a lifetime.

    Thank you for visiting me often. I know that every time I think of you, you are there.

    with all my love, Michael

  60. Brad Strumwasser on

    I will always cherish the times and the memories with our dear friend; the patience, kindness (and tolerance) he (and his family) had for visits and phone calls over the years. Like everyone visiting this blogsite, Noel has been and will always be close to my heart. The time I was blessed to share with Noel and his family doesn’t measure how deeply he touched my life.

    I remember going to the beach with Noel, Nathan and Zoe and we flew kites. I took Zoe up on my shoulders and stood knee deep in the water with Noel while we talked about this and that. After so much time, Zoe wanted down and played in the water near us. As we returned to the car, Noel thanked me for so cleverly helping her to overcome her fear of the ocean. I just remember enjoying their company and not set out to do anything let alone anything clever. That’s what it was like to be with Noel.

    Thank you for setting up this opportunity to come together with our loving memories. I hope Noel knew and felt how much he was appreciated and loved by all of us.

  61. Prof. Balwant Singh Dhillon on

    Prof. Noel Q. King
    Curtain Falls Over an Era

    (A Tribute by Dr. Balwant Singh Dhillon, Director Centre for Guru Nanak Studies, G. N. D. University, Amritsar , Punjab India.)

    When on Feb 2, I heard the news of Prof. Noel Q. King’s death I could not control my emotions. It took sometime for me to recompose myself. My wife consoled me because it was expected and inevitable due to the growth of cancerous cells in his stomach. We felt that someone very close to us has departed from us forever.

    I came into contact with Prof. King in Delhi in late 1992 when he was on a visit to attend an international conference on Sikh Studies. We had a brief interaction during the tea break and instantly developed liking for one and another. In early 1993 on my request he agreed to visit the Department of Guru Nanak Studies, G. N. D. University, Amritsar as a Visiting Professor. The lectures that he delivered on the research methodology for the Study of Religion were very much liked by the students and faculty as well. He impressed every one with the knowledge and understanding that he possessed about the world religions. He conducted himself with dignity, humility and won the hearts with his amiable manners in and outside the university. He was an academic par excellence but also gave due space to the tradition as well. He used to call his study of the religions as A Pilgrimage into the World Religions. He was of the opinion that for a full and comprehensive study of any religion besides the academic settings one needs to go into the heart of a religion and it can be possible only through the due appreciation of traditional understanding that had been handed out from one generation to another. Besides the modern methods he laid equal stress upon the knowledge of traditional scholarship. He used to advise the Sikh scholars to master these two disciplines in order to confront the academic issues that have cropped up in the Sikh Studies. He respected the tradition but at the same he did not allow it influence his writings.

    Prof. King’s knowledge and experience of the world religions were marvelous. He was a great scholar who had understood Sikhism in its true sense. Listening to him really was a treat rather God given opportunity. He loved the Punjab, the land of five rivers and the land of his birth. He conducted himself like any Punjabi and admired the Sikhs from the core of his heart. In Sep. 1995 he came all the way from California to participate in the World Sikh Samelan in Amritsar. The highest Sikh body Sri Akal Takht Sahib and S. G. P. C. Amritsar honored Dr. King for his academic services to Sikhism that he had rendered in the tradition of J. D. Cunningham and M. A. Macauliffe. I had long sessions of discussion with him on various issues of Sikh Studies. He took a keen interest in my academic career. He instructed me to hone the skills in the area of textual studies in order to put forth my view point regarding the debate over the authenticity of the Sikh Scripture. He was candid enough to admit that unlike the other big names in the field of Religious Studies he has not build any academic empire to dole out fellowships to his favored students. But at the same time he was always helpful and ordered latest books for me which was of my immediate requirement. He was gracious enough to write the foreword of my book, Early Sikh Scriptural Tradition: Myth and Reality, for which I will remain ever indebted to him. In July 2003 when I was in England and was looking into the 18th century British writings on the Sikhs, Prof. King rescheduled his visit to England in such a way that he may be helpful to me in my pursuit. His wife, Laurie drove us to Oxford University and I vividly remember visiting their Oxford house. At that time Prof. King took me to Christ Church College and other institutions and explained to me their history and academic activities. In 2006 Prof. King asked Dr. Craig Noll (ed.), The Encyclopaedia of Christianity to approach me to prepare a new article on the ‘Sikhs’ which earlier had appeared in the name of Prof. King. I did it dutifully with a request that Prof. King’s name should be retained as a co-author.

    In June1994, I have the privilege to stay with Prof. King and his family in their countryside home in Watsonville. Later on in May 2000, 2004 and in Oct.2006, I have the honor to visit him in his Browns Valley Road house in Santa Cruz hills. He always greeted me and my friends in front of his house reminding me how eagerly he was awaiting me. The love and affection he showered upon me is indescribable, it is an unforgettable experience which I cherish close to my heart. I enjoyed every bit of his hospitality and outpouring love. In 2006 while saying good bye to me he whispered to me in low voice that perhaps I will not see his face again. Both of us got little bit emotional, tears rolled down our cheeks and after a few minutes I assured him, Insha Allah we will meet again. Perhaps he was aware of the divine call that may come any time. From the emails that I continue to receive I felt he was mentally prepared for his last journey. In 2008 he was looking forward to my visit to California and was eagerly waiting for it but unfortunately it could not mature. Alas! He has left for his heavenly abode without meeting me which is a great emotional shock for me.

    Prof. King used to travel a lot every year. Since 1993, he was a regular visitor to G. N. D. University Amritsar. After visiting his fiends, relatives and colleagues in England, Australia and other countries he used to visit India and Pakistan. Usually he would reach Amritsar in late Oct. and after staying for a month or so would leave to celebrate the Christmas with his wife and children in California. Before leaving Amritsar he used to celebrate his birth day by hosting a tea party to the students and faculty of the Department of Guru Nanak Studies. Like his earlier work on Ibn Batuta in Black Africa, Dr. King desired to work on the travels of Ibn Batuta in Indian sub-continent. For that purpose he had traveled extensively in Pakistan. In search of a possible route of Ibn Batuta in India he traveled alongwith me to different places such as Faridkot, Bathinda, Abohar, Bhatner, Sirsa etc. He had a great fascination towards the Indus Valley Civilization and traveled with me all the way from Ropar in Punjab to Kali Banga in Rajasthan in order to have first hand information of these sites. He was pained to see the fast disappearing Jaina temples in Pakistan and lamented over the apathy of Jaina community because they were not paying due attention to document their shrines in Pakistan.

    Since 1993 Prof. King was an Adjunct Professor at G. N. D. University, Amritsar and had the rare honor to deliver a lecture to the Faculty and the students on the foundation day of the University on 24th Nov.2004. Whenever he visited Amritsar, University offered him to stay in its guest house but he preferred to stay in our house. We always treated him as a fatherly figure. He was so much loved by my wife and sons Samrat and Shahbaz that they took pleasure to sit with him on computer every evening to do the emails dictated by him. He named his room in our house to call it Prophet’s Chamber. Once he wrote back to his wife that he is living in Amritsar as an honorable member of the Dhillon Jat Sikh clan. He savored Punjabi food especially the Amritsari Fish, Sarson da Saag, Samosa, Jalebi, Gulab Jamun etc. His picture along with me still hangs in our drawing room. It gives us the feeling that he is ever present with us.

    Dr. King was a great friend of the Sikhs and desired that Sikh Studies should get equal importance in the curriculum of North America. He was ready to help in this matter but the persons at the helm of affairs preferred to look the other way. He was a rare breed of scholar, an uncommon personality which is difficult to find in these days. With his passing away a void has occurred in the field of Sikh Studies which is difficult to fill in but the ideals that Dr. King pursued will continue to beacon up and inspire the young Sikh scholars. His death is a personal loss to those who came into contact with him. He was a bridge between the tradition and modernity. With him a legend has passed into eternity. May God rest his soul in peace.

  62. Aloysius Muzzanganda Mugerwa Lugira on

    I write to solemnize and celebrate the life of the beloved deceased, Noel Quinton King. I write to deliver heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Laurie King, Zoe and Nathan as well as to Francis,Jeremy,Naomi and Claire with whom, for several years we shared the Makerere University campus in Kampala, Uganda/East Africa.

    In celebrating the life of Professor King, I express my gratitude to the deceased collegue for having made me a participant in his achievements relative to the study of the Religions of the Land of Africa we today deign to encapsulate in the dignified and appropriate name of Africism.

    In 1964, I was putting finishing touches on my theologico-doctoral program at the University of Freiburg,in Switzerland. I received information that Professor Noel King had entered consultation with the late Dr. Joseph Nakabaale Kiwanuka the then Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Uganda. Professor King was in the process of founding a Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Makerere, then, a Constituent College of the University of East Africa. In Dr. Kiwanuka, the first Black African Bishop of contemporally times, Professor King found a constructive influence behind the success of the foundation of the Department.

    Letters soon reached me at the University of Freiburg in Switzerland. They invited me to apply, according to the British system, for a position of Lecturer of Religious Studies and Philosophy. The application was successful. A chain of correspondence with Professor King started, the letters of which I treasure with happy memories.

    In 1965 I arrived at Makerere to be welcomed by Noel King with, literally wide open arms. As a colleague he was a dependable friend. As the Head of Department he was a leader who wished the faculty he led to do great things. He did not only see to it that the faculty had the environment conducive to successful teaching and writing, he made sure that his faculty acquire opportunity for self-improvement in a variety of ways.

    In 1966, Noel encouraged me to apply for a scholarship tenable at the Oxford University Institute of Social Anthropolgy for a Postdoctoral Dipolama. There under the able hand of the late Professor Sir E.E. Evans-Pritchard I specialized about the Social Anthropology of the Religions of the Land of Africa. For extra curricular exercises at Oxford, Francis King, then of Peter’s College, would regularly take me rowing, as one of the major university pastime. On return to Makerere in 1967, I had the opportunity of doing extensive field work with Noel.

    In 1970, Noel King invited me as a visiting faculty at Merrill, UC Santa Cruz for the Spring Term. I taught classes on the Religions of the Land of Africa. I also had ample time for reciprocally intellectual enrichment with the late Professor Noel Q. King.

    In 1977 as Head of the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Makerere University, I had problems with the Idi Amin regime. I had to sneak out of Uganda. I took refuge in Nairobi from where I became invited as Visiting Professor by Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge Massachusetts.

    On contacting Noel from Harvard, one of the memorable short sentences he said to me was: “Aloysius, I have now gone native”. Whatever there is in the short sentence, a reflection on the saying by Terence the African: “I am human, I regard nothing human, to be alien to me”, may spell the implications. The Noel I have known, is indeed a human being, with the qualifications of UNITY IN DIVERSITY. In the same way: May He Rest in Eternal Peace.

  63. Pat Puder on

    First off, I want to thank Zoe for setting up this website, and to thank all of you who have contributed to it. You have beautifully expressed many of the very things I would wish to say about Noel, but my heart is too full to speak. I would like to add an example of Noel’s teaching style. Noel wanted students to learn things for themselves, so he rarely gave a direct answer. I remember the beginning of one quarter we were standing outside of Noel’s office in Merrill College and he was in the middle of a conversation with a couple of students when another student came up and interrupted to ask if he had gotten into one of Noel’s classes. Noel turned his attention to the new student and launched into a historical story about a bishop getting a tour of a newly completed cathedral from the architect of the cathedral. (Noel’s version of the story was complete with names, dates and details.) At the end of the tour the bishop praised the beauty and construction of the new catheral and said to the architect, “Where have you signed your work? I don’t see a plaque with your name on it anywhere.” To which the architect replied, “It is written upon these very walls.” As Noel was speaking these words, he was demonstrating the actions of the architect by thumping his own hand upon the wall just outside his office. Under his hand, and in clear view of the student who’d interrupted to find out if he’d gotten into the class, was the print out of the class list. Everyone laughed, including the new student. Noel was a genius at teaching – with heart, mind, soul and humor. I have witnessed none better.

    Pat Puder, N.Q.King student 1975 to present

  64. Darlene Wilcox on

    Oh marvelous destiny, Noel King was my adviser and professor for Merrill Core course at UCSC in ’75, and during a lecture to a small room of us mentioned that the best way to learn a language was in bed. (or maybe he said foreign tongue) So on my return from field study a couple of years later I went to his incredibly crowed “office” with its avalanch of books and papers and reported proudly that I’d fallen in love in while greatly improving my French. He replied with an apology for all of Christendom’s homophobia, which so surprised me because I never in a million years would have thought of Noel in the same breath with bigots of any religion, and especially not evangelicals who I assumed would be the ones who “should” appologize…but now so many years later, again an active progressive christian myself, and still a lesbianwiccanfeministbuddhist…, I’m almost there…

  65. john grinnell on

    I came to UCSC in 1978. Just getting in was somewhat of a miracle given my B- GPA. The second and enduring miracle was meeting Noel! As a religious studies major I was privileged to take several of his classes, and then,sometime in the early eighties, he asked me to be his research assistant.This enabled me not only to get to know him better, but also subsequently Laurie, her mother Mary,Zoe and Nathan.I’ll always remember the book-runs than Noel and I made to the UCB and GTU Libraries often ending with dinner on Primrose Lane. I’ll always cherish singing “Grace” with those assembled. Just yesterday, I was at the local Borders and picked up book entitled AD381.I immediately checked the Bibliography, just as I expected was Noel’s book on the Emperor Theodosius still the Standard work on tat emperor and time. I cannot imagine my life without Noel. He enriched it in so many ways and I look forward to our meeting again.

  66. merrick posnansky on

    Though I have written directly to Laurie i feel that Noel’s passingg was more than a private grief. I knew Noel from our Nottingham days in 1951. He was an ebullient man in a brown cassock whom we called “brother John” from the character in Robin Hood. Even then he was special as he talked with with undergraduates. We later served in the same universities, Ghana, Makerere, Uganda and UC but not in the ame order. In fact we were only direct colleagues while both of us were in Uganda and he was known as John the baptist. He loved sitting cross legged on the floor with a little table with a semi circular embayment for his then rather larger tummy.
    African Religious Studies was a discipline that we were including in 1964 into our MA programme in African Studies. Noel’s class was popular and he insisted that he began with a “church crawl” around all the main centers of religion from Hindhu to Moslem, Bahai to various forms of Christianity and African traditional practice. He insisted that he was a man of religion, religion was a human manifestation and he eschewed theology. I was then leading Jewish services in kampala and Noel was a breath of fresh air as he didn’t want to convert but to converse. He was excited by the mysteries of belief systems that I suppose drew him eventually to Sufism. He understood medieval viewpoins and human frailties in a remarkable way as was shown to some extent in his work on Ibn Battuta.
    Noel was particularly reassuring when we lost a daughter in 1966. He provided comfort without trying to presume he felt our loss. From Uganda we kept in touch from time to time and we were grateful when Noel agreed to help create a wonderful ecumenical occasion for the wedding of our daughter Sheba in 1985 that combined Jewish, Christian and African elements with a kente chuppa, the whole congreation giving away the bride and a service in 4 langauges. I regret that my visits to santa Cruz were limited but always enjoyable as were the more frequent telephone calls.
    Noel was gentle, understanding, universal and exceptionally human.
    We shall miss him, he is part of my past i am so much poorer and richer with his passing.

  67. Selene Vega on

    Back in 1980 I returned to UCSC after having taken a break. I had not wanted to return until I had some idea of what I was doing there. I had pursued a course of studies that would support and inform the work I was already doing intuitively, teaching and experimenting with dance and theatre as ritual and spiritual practice. As I struggled to put all the pieces together into an individual major, I had a terrible time finding professors who could understand what I was doing, let alone guide me in the process. Stuart Schlegel was the first who was actually excited about my work, and steered me to Noel King. I’ll never forget my first meeting with Noel – I felt completely understood and seen by him. He invited me to speak to his History of Religions classes and agreed to be chair of my thesis committee. His belief in me and my work was a profound and foundational experience for me as I forged my own unique path through the academic landscape. We had a terrible time coming up with a name for my individual major that truly reflected what I was studying while standing up to the requirements of academia, but finally agreed on “Ritual and the Arts in Cross-Cultural Perspective.”

    Noel encouraged me to go further with my studies, but it wasn’t until many years later, after a side trip into becoming a psychotherapist, that I finally found my way to further research and studies. I am now in the last stages of writing my dissertation, and it is so clear to me that what I am doing now would not have been possible without the mentoring and support of Noel at such an important time in my life. Thank you, Noel, you will always be in my heart, and I can feel your smiling eyes on me even now!

  68. John Mbiti on

    It was nearly three weeks after the death of Noel Q. King that I received the sad news. My first comment which I wrote immediately, disappeared in the Internet. So this is my second comment, to join the host of relatives, friends, colleagues and former students, in mourning the departure of this great scholar, teacher, pastor, and human being. I first met Noel King at Cambridge, England in 1963. He had come there to interview me for a post in the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Makerere University, Uganda. I was just completing my doctoral work at Cambridge, and afterwards I got the post. This led to many years of working with him at Makerere, and remaining in contact ever since. It was a real joy and privilege to work with him as head of department which he devoted his energies to build up.
    One cannot exhaust the personality features in Noel King that endeared him to persons world-wide. His friendliness extended like a balloon being filled with air. His spiritual wealth knew no religious boundaries, for he gathered it from the religious traditions of Africa, Asia, Europe and America. His generous heart opened to all who needed help in financial, spiritual, academic, and personal affairs. He planted wisdom, encouragement, patience, understanding, and openness among those with whom he had to deal. He was at home in every community of persons, whether in Pakistan, India, Uganda, England, or California. He extended his caring hand towards both humans, animals, and insects. So at times a snake would enjoy a siesta around his neck under the long beard, while he waited to receive the many guests he and his family welcomed and entertained. He told stories and anecdotes with lively humour. He was such a dear husband, father, and grandfather, the family in whom he lives on.
    We thank God for Noel King, and for his talents with which he touched and enriched our lives at different levels – social, intellectual, and spiritual. May his soul rest in eternal peace. May you his family find strength to absorb the loss which has struck a deep gap in your life. Your love and our affection for Noel King will last long.
    John Mbiti, Burgdorf, Switzerland, 27 February 2009

  69. Admin on

    From Francis, Noel’s son (also in download form on the Mentions page):

    My Father Noel: It is wonderful to read the tributes to my father Noel, thank you Zoe and Gabe, once again for having the sense and the technical know how to set up the website. It is good to have such witness to the joy and stiffening of sinew he brought. Like all of us he had times when he could be a right B******* and a mischievous gossip. But as the Spartan Chilon said τὸν τεθνηκότα μὴ κακολογεν (speak no evil of the dead) and this is neither the time nor the place….. so my contribution is just a few funnies to go with the more serious stuff..

    One evening when I was 11 or 12, while camping beside the Thames near Oxford, my parents decided to go midnight skinny dipping in that venerable river. I went along and blithely dived in making quite a splash and thrashing around to get warm. The crew of a river cruiser moored on the other bank, thinking that someone was drowning switched on a million volt searchlight, picking up my very naked parents on the other bank. Noel was not a man given to swearing but, his army training came in handy and he released a stream of vulgarities, most unbecoming from a man of the cloth and the searchlight went off with muttered apologies. As the untouched source of this embarrassment, I giggled about it for days.

    My NZ wife Catherine opened the door the other evening to a wild haired gent in sandals with a beard to his waist asking for me in a thick foreign accent. Assuming it was just another of Noel’s waifs and strays (“Oh when you are in Oxford do look up my son” he would say airily)
    She said, “And whom should I say is calling?”
    “Oh I’m the Archbishop of Georgia” he said
    She came within an inch of saying, “Oh yes and I’m the **** tooth fairy”.
    Well, it turned out to be true! He’d lost the key to his apartment. Oxford is just one of those places – so like California! Anyone who has known Noel will have been trained to look behind the beard and find the man.

    Noel loved puns, the more convoluted and cryptic the better. Rice Pudding the Mad Monk and Lover of the Russian Queen was a favourite. Who was the smallest man in the Bible? Bildad, the Shuhite! was another. He loved the cartoons of Peter Arno of the New Yorker of the 50s…One waitress in a NY topless bar, with only a small Mexican sombrero to cover her rear modesty to another, “Hey Merle, Here’s a secret, keep it under your hat”. Punch Magazine was another source of inspiration. One cartoon he repeated endlessly was of a poor broken down horse brought to the vet who opined..”It ain’t the ‘ackin’ on the ‘eath wot ‘urts the ‘orse’s ‘ooves, it’s the ‘ammer, ‘ammer ‘ammer on the ‘ard ‘igh road”. He often felt that way himself. A C19th cartoon showed a lady in a crinoline trying to get into a horse drawn omnibus in London. “Try sideways Missus”, shouts the driver, “Lor Bless ‘ee John” she replies, “I ain’t got no sideways”.

    He ignored Mr Punch’s advice on those contemplating matrimony which was “Don’t” by marrying successively two very good women, who with some legerdemain, mostly got pots of tea down in front of him before he opened the Riesling.

    There are many things I regret in his passing, but perhaps the greatest is his refusal, with all his world experience, to put it together and form a world view. Despite everything, he was a very modest man. Had he done so, I suspect it would not have been far from the view of the great pagan philosopher Symmachus (340 – 402), arguing against the establishment of Christianity as the sole religion of the Roman Empire “To so great a mystery, there must be more than one way.” He often quoted Symmachus with deep approval.

    He loved his eyrie in Central California where the humming birds and jays flew round and the redwoods shaded and I feel very grateful that I had a week with him, just before the end, while at least some of his mind was still there. He likened death to slipping off the bench in the African village on which the elders sat of an evening beneath a great branching, shady tree. He had been slowly falling off the end of the bench for many months and is now sitting in the lower branches of the tree, smiling at the eccentricities of us who are left. Those who loved him and cared for him – and what a privilege to be numbered amongst them – will see him more clearly, but he will slowly pass onto the upper branches and then, well, who knows?

    Francis Number 1 Son.
    Oxford, UK

  70. Admin on

    An email from John Fisher:

    Many thanks to those who organised this website as a tribute to a remarkable human being – Noel King. Reading the many entries and Laurie King’s biographical tribute, and talking to Clare, his daughter, has led me to recount my own memories, and those of other parishioners, of Noel and the King family at Shelford in Nottinghamshire, England, in the 1950’s.

    From the many other tributes, no reader will be surprised to learn that the Reverend King (that was how we knew him) created an instant and profound impact on his parish, one that has survived for more than half a century – and will continue to do so. Talking to others, what comes to mind is his physical and psychological rather than spiritual presence. We children thought him a big man; even to our understanding, he was unconventional. At a time when orthodox Englishmen (and we were very orthodox at Shelford) found it hard to unbutton our shirts, Noel would be naked to the waist, in baggy shorts – or in what my sister remembers as his `monk’s habit’ above sandals or bare feet. Perhaps it was his unconventional dress though that meant we had no fear of him as an adult. But it was also his jollity, his goodness and his generosity that won our hearts.

    He gained the hearts of his adult parishioners too. He was able to appreciate their rough humour and match their jokes. As an example of his generosity, my mother remembers him carrying a carton of plums on the handlebars of his motorbike for 30 miles (where was health and safety?), to our relatives when on his way to theological college. And his popularity has had enduring physical effect.

    The village of Shelford was and is small, some 250 inhabitants (although the total parish is rather larger). Nevertheless, it has a long history and a large church, last restored in late Victorian times. By Noel’s time as curate in the 1950’s, the building, especially the roof, was in desperate need of repair – but where was the money to come from?

    The Reverend King tackled the problem with what was obviously characteristic vigour. He organised an appeal and (what I remember most) put up a board at the front of the church showing what was needed and what had been raised. And I think what most impressed the village (this from recent conversations) was less that he succeeded in raising the necessary amount during his tenure than the source of a good part of the total. In the 1950’s, Shelford was a true farming village in a way that none are today in England. It was dominated by its farmers, who were probably doing reasonably well financially (with state subsidies) but whose habits and attitudes had been formed in the hard times before the War. Noel King approached them all as individuals, whether they were Methodists or Anglicans, with invariable success it seems.

    In Shelford, we thought his personality and achievements were remarkable. And we had no idea (or at least this applies to everyone I’ve spoken to) that he was simultaneously completing a PhD in Theology on a topic – Christianity in the Age of Theodosius the Great (I think) – that required a level of scholarship, of learning, that I for one find hard to contemplate as possible. I would also like to add my personal thanks. Noel and his family continued to visit Shelford in the summer for several years after the end of his curacy (Clare has explained the circumstances, which depended on the goodwill of Miss Mee, another iconic village figure of that age). He was there at a critical point in my own education, wondering on whether I could or should go to university. My parents sent me to consult him, and he was not only encouraging but gave me a reference which more than compensated for my very modest credentials.

    A final thanks too, not only to the Reverend Noel King but to his families and to all who have contributed their memories to this website. The tributes, especially that from his widow, have enabled the villagers of Shelford who knew him to put his stay with us in the proper context. We now realise that, however important he seemed to us, his time in Shelford was but a small episode in a remarkable life. The characteristics of his tenure were, however, entirely typical of the man.
    John Fisher

  71. Shree Iyengar on

    It was late 1969 when I traveled to California from Madras (now Chennai), India to join the chemistry graduate program at UCSC. There was a very friendly person in Merrill College to receive this newbie; it was Noel King. He was kind and sympathetic and offered as much help as I would need to get settled. He invited me and my other Indian friend to his home for a meal and shared ideas on how to get the best of graduate education at an American University. From time to time, he would check on us to provide additional support and help.

    Noel’s role as a mentor and friend meant a big difference for me. I will always remember his willingness to be there when I needed a helping hand.

    My heartfelt sympathies to his family on this great loss.

    Shree Iyengar

  72. jeffrey paris on

    He was my professor in 1974 and 1975 and my faculty advisor for my thesis. I have been so touched by him and deeply moved by the comments posted here. There is nothing for me say that hasn’t been said about a great man. I simply say thank you for touching me.

  73. John Leech on

    Last fall Lucy asked me what Noel was like as a teacher. I’ve thought about this. He taught as a fellow pilgrim – a companion on the way, of learning, of inquiry, of seeking the divine.

  74. mike mason on

    my goodness I knew there had to be a reason I got this damn computer. Scott Kennedy and I have been friends since the early 80’s thanks to Noel’s direction to me to “seek out one of his best students” Wallace Wood a dear friend filmed Scott and Noel in conversation a year before his passing. This is a tape I will treasure for the rest of my life since few knew Noel longer or better than Scott (UCSC 1972.) For those who don’t know Mr. Kennedy was twice mayor of our little town under the city on the hill.
    Scott is the brother-in-law of the late Bishop James Pike
    and a co-founder of the Resource Center for Non-Violence.
    A few old friends got together recently to film our memories of Noel. We wanted Zoe and Nathan and their Mom to have our “take” on how Noel shaped our lives. Many years ago (1983) Noel was the “star” of a radio series on KHIP (KPIG today)called FAITH EXPLORED. That series can be found at McHenry. Among his many aids to me was helping me write and study under professor Gary Lease. So for a non academic I sure got a good start in 1981 when Noel took pity on a fool and led me to among others Page Smith, John Alexander. Kennedy and Lease. Just to read the wonderful memories of Pat Puder makes having this computer worth the frustration of trying to write on it. At 68 I hate new things but reading about the people who loved Noel has been a rare pleasue up here in Red Bluff. He was so kind to those the academy would turn away. I had three professors and for my money few had better. When I add Kennedy to the mix that makes my life since 1981 very blessed. As for my service to Noel? I helped him move his office, carried his books, and drove him here and there. What greater glory could anyone have.
    Mike Mason
    Red Bluff

  75. Scott Kramer on

    Noel King had a profound impact on my college years and life. He infused in me a quest for learning and respect for all religions of the world. He was one of my first professors in 1980 and through my 4 years at Merrill College I wound up attending more and more of his classes due to his amazing personality and objective views on life and religion. He was a man of deep knowledge and personal experience and was always happy to impart wisdom to all his students. He gave a great service to not just academia but all who had the benefit of learning from him in so many ways.

  76. Carolyn Char Lunger on

    I met Noel years ago through a special friend named Brad Strumwasser. I don’t know his whereabouts anymore. He was a very peaceful and kind man and really enjoyed playing with his kids at the beach. I wish them all the very best.

  77. John Leech on

    Used to be I’d just tell Noel about things like this. Noel introduced me to Bilal who introduced me to Ibrahim. Bilal also introduced Ibrahim to Thomas Keating who invited him to join interfaith conversations at Snowmass Abbey… so in that spirit of free dialog:

    Dear friends,

    Here is the link to the first complete translation into English of the nearly 2,000 quatrains attributed to Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi.

    I spent 22 years working on it, together with an Afghan scholar whose native language is Persian and who is experienced in the translation of classical/medieval Persian sufi texts.

    Please help by sending the link, or forwarding this email, to any friends or acquaintances that might be interested in the book.

    http://dar-al-masnavi.org/about_qor.html

    Sincerely,

    Ibrahim

  78. Josefa Simkin on

    Forgive this tardy entry; but Noel King’s memory and importance is indeed eternal, and I couldn’t bear to be casual or hurried in my comments. I had the enormous good fortune to be Noel King’s primary care physician for about the last 8 years of his life. To what I owe such luck, I have no idea, but am so humbly blessed by the opportunity to have served him as well as I could. Our encounters always had a little to do with his physical self, although he always had at least a few esoteric commentaries and his thoughts would drift over any range of historical/etymological/biblical topics while I would try to keep up. I was enormously entertained.

    Having read the other entries, I am so pleased that so many other people, the world over, were gifted by Noel’s presence/presents. That’s a lot of love and encouragement; we all need it. We should do our best to pass it on.

    I only want to share a small story: When Noel got back from one of his more recent trips abroad, he mentioned that he had gotten a spider bite to his hand, which was swollen. This ‘spider bite’ had occurred 3 weeks prior. It was painless and caused him no distress. The following week, the hand looked the same. “Are you sure you didn’t have an injury to your hand?” “No injury.” “Did you see the spider?” “No.” Very reluctantly, he agreed to get it x-rayed, which revealed a fractured hand bone, which was healing nicely! This was typical of Noel’s relationship to his physical self, and I wanted to share the story, because I wanted anyone who reads this to know that as far as most of us could tell, Noel had very little pain (‘discomfort’) associated with his terminal illness. That was a blessing. Wish he was still here; at least, I wish his physical presence still existed. Love

  79. Jim Bristow on

    I read the comments of the other contributors and cannot add to the warmth and love expressed there. One of my fondest memories of life so far was the journey from Mexico to Santa Cruz which You, jeremy and I shared (in Yoyo) a yellow VW beetle.
    Your wisdom, compassion, humour, and counsel made it a special experience. It was a privelage to share those moments of such a wonderful life. Thank you and travel well. Jim.

  80. Doug Cronyn on

    I unfortunately only recently found out of Noel’s passing, when I was busy preparing to make some pots with some children to grow sunflowers. I was tearing newspaper strips to be used as such when I made this discovery. Ironic this discovery, for what a sunflower he was to all around him!
    I never took a class from him officially, but used to sit in on his classes after i dropped out of school and was living in the forest. We/our country were engaged in the first Gulf War and it was so encouraging to see a man as profoundly spiritual, real, and touching as him at the university. Every lecture i attended i would be both terribly amused and brought to tears by his wise, endearing words. I loved how he would introduce some visiting scholar reverently as “the only person a bigger hypocrite than me,” or bring up a reference to the tao saying that all that can be known cannot be spoken, before giving a speech. Wonderful!
    I would occasionally visit him for tea in his wonderfully jumbled office and he would occasionally come to visit our gatherings in the woods. Special times.
    What a giant gnomish man he was!!! Thank you for all you have brought to me and this world Noel! I would love to hear more tales from those who knew him, in person if possible.
    en memoriam,
    dug

  81. Henrietta King on

    I first met my Great Uncle Noel in my late teens and adored him immediately. For the first time in my life, I could try and piece together some of my father’s (Major Pat King) family history, as I hadn’t seen photographs, and my Grandmother (Vera King) didn’t ever discuss our family, or indeed my late Grandfather, Revd Charles King.
    I remember being rather upset that Uncle Noel likened a photograph of myself to my Grandmother (who I didn’t get along with). The rest of the family found it all terribly amusing, much to my detriment.
    I listened with my mouth wide open to Uncle Noel’s tales of India, and our family history. His anecdotes were very amusing, and the insight into my Grandfather, priceless. I loved the way he could describe a person’s personality, and more of a personal insight into their lives – important to me, as I’m really not interested in status, which generally seemed to be the only interest of some of the family I’d met before. I like to get to the nitty gritty, informative stuff – it seems a trait that I shared with Uncle Noel! I think most people would call it ‘nosiness’ – I call it ‘inquisitive’-‘ness”, if there is such a word.
    I adored his eccentricity, and his khaftan! I loved that khaftan! I loved the fact that this dear old man, with a beautiful flowing white beard was confused with ‘Jesus’ walking up Walsingham High Street!
    I loved his love of other faiths, which I share with him. I loved his gentleness, his peace, his honesty, his warmth and his sense of humour. I loved the way he was so proud of all his children. Most of all, I loved his understanding and his interest in all people, from all corners of the globe, no matter who they were, or where they were from.
    Thanks to Uncle Noel, I was to discover our Asian roots, of which I’m extremely proud of. A huge thank you to Uncle Noel for giving me the excuse to get my nose pierced!
    And finally, an enormous thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for making me proud, for the first time, of being a King!

    Hennie

    P.S. I just wish I’d inherited some of his intellect – unfortunately, I have been blessed with the ‘arty gene’ – something I’m sure, that he would have been proud of, too – I hope.

  82. Glen Martin on

    I was very sad to learn of Noel’s death. On our last visit with him he told us that he had only a few months to live, but he did much better than that and sent a Christmas note as always that year. Although we saw him only rarely after leaving Santa Cruz in 1971 every visit was a great blessing.

    He was the first person I met at Merrill on arriving in the fall of 1968, and he made a place for me at Merrill and on the campus as a whole. He and Evelyn opened their home every Sunday evening for a student Christian fellowship which Marge and I attended regularly with our two small children. Every moment spent with him was a rich experience whether there or walking in the UCSC garden.

    Noel was an amazing, unique spirit and I am sure he continues to be missed by many including all of us. Our very best wishes to Laurie and his whole family on what is almost the first anniversary of his death.

  83. Dot Kostriken on

    I’m unsure of how I can miss someone I’ve never met, but hope his family, or another talented biographer doesn’t let his life go unrecorded; Laurie, are you planning such?

  84. John Leech on

    Mrs Donald (Dorothy) Nicholl died on 2 July – God rest her!

  85. John Leech on

    From: Hil Stefanelli (Dorothy’s daughter)

    Subject: Dorothy Nicholl

    Date: Saturday, July 3, 2010, 12:45 PM

    To Dorothy’s friends:

    I’m afraid I am emailing with some sad news – my mother, Dorothy, passed away on the evening of 2nd July.

    Thankfully she hadn’t been unwell at all and didn’t suffer; she collapsed with what is believed to be a heart attack and never regained consciousness.

    I had been with her in the evening about an hour before she died and she was her usual cheery self, she had spent the afternoon in the communal garden and had been to tea with some friends; we are very relieved that she didn’t suffer at all.

    Of course there is a lot to organise and we haven’t confirmed the funeral date yet; but Mum knew so many people that we will find it difficult to get in touch with everyone – we would be grateful if you could tell anyone you can think of who may have know Mum.

    Kind Regards

    Hilary

  86. Fred M Phillips on

    A few days ago I was telling a story about Noel and that inspired my wife, Lois, to google his name and we discovered, to my surprise, that he had fairly recently died. It was a privilege to have known him. Here is the story:

    I took a couple of courses on New Testament from Noel when I was an undergraduate at UCSC, back around 1975 or 1976. One day he was wearing his usual knotted rope around his waist and one of the students asked him why he wore that instead of a belt. He replied that his wife had recently died and that he had decided to divest himself of his worldly possessions and focus the remainder of his life on spiritual matters. I was very impressed by this reply, since at that time I had something of an impulse toward monkish renunciation.

    I graduated from UCSC in 1976 and went on to graduate school (in Hydrology) at the University of Arizona in Tucson. After I had been there a year or two, I was quite surprised to exit the door of my building and encounter Noel strolling down the sidewalk! He recognized me immediately, of course, and we each asked what the other was doing there. It turned out that he had been invited to give a department seminar. As we chatted, a young, quite attractive woman, about my age and wearing an ankle-length hippie-style dress walked up. She was very obviously about 8 months pregnant. Noel turned to me and, rather sheepishly I must say, introduced her as his wife, Laurie. To say I was flabbergasted would be an understatement.

    I realize now that part of the reason for my amazement was that, barely out of my teens and misled by his flowing grey beard and patriarchal demeanor, I had greatly overestimated his actual age. Nevertheless, I learned an important lesson from him that day: choose life.

    Fred

  87. Sameet Kumar on

    Noel,

    I was looking to see what you’ve been up to and with a heavy heart came upon this news of your passing. With M. Caspi, together they cracked open the code of the universal language of the religious text in my time at UCSC. I had the blind luck of being a TA for Noel for a year back then. Our meetings were always exhilarating, filled with laughter and a strange plethora of teas made in hot pots scattered across his office floor. His touch was filled with a warmth and tenderness I have only since felt from HH the Dalai Lama. An immense, gentle soul. God help us find our way in this world without you, Noel.

    Sameet

  88. ao cuoi on

    Please click here to see the Memorial Services page for further details. We will also be posting regular updates about memorial services for Noel as plans develop. Please stay tuned for more information. In difficult time I looked for him to seek his advice and Pak Noel gave me encouragement to solve the problems. We shared an interest in religion. I was very touched by his interest. It was a privilege to have known him. We used to talk about Africa and share stories about life there. I will miss his warmth and his embrace of humanity. Noel King will live on in stories told about the great figures of UCSC. We were so different that it was hard for us to connect. The sort of person you cherish when you are with him. His spirit was such that we were reminded of our higher selves by conversing with him. He and I shared many discussions about our religious beliefs and thoughts. They have continued to be friends all these years. Sharing in each others joys and sorrows. You will be missed by your family and your friends. I grew up respecting and enjoying all the time I got to spent with him. He graciously allowed me to write a paper on him when I was in high school and having grown up as a missionary kid it was truly fascinating to find out more of his beliefs and religious background. I completed my doctrate under his kind and able supervision. I was impressed by his scholarship and deep understanding of history and theology and realized that he was not an ordinary scholar. Scholarly terms and Latin phrases describing deep theological concepts and unique historical events came out of his mouth effortlessly and his demeanor and presence created a unique aura that was both uplifting and captivating. He and his family always welcomed me like a family member in their home. King after I knew him from the forward he wrote for Dr. I feel the Sikhs have lost a great friend and sincere well wisher.King is such a soul which not resting at a place other than the feet of God almighty. Words cannot begin to express how I knew Noel. Add some almonds and apple juice. I was sure Noel had superpowers. Noel made a special trip to my home church in the Bay Area to perform a private baptism ceremony for my daughter. The wine never made it that far. The good spirits in which Noel concluded the rest of the ceremony left no doubt that the blessings of the Eucharist had been fully imparted. I felt that our congregation was the richer for having him as one of our parishioners. King for his scholarly contributions for many years. More than once he was a visiting scholar at the Guru Nanak University in Amritsar and Punjabi University in Patiala. A few years ago he served on the thesis committee that awarded the doctoral degree in political science to Dr. Tarlochan Singh of California and Dr. Raghbir Singh Bains of Vancouver. He told me that he received the honor on behalf of all Sehajdhari Sikhs world who could not be present at the convention. I also served with him as member of the PhD thesis committee on subjects relating to Sikh subjects. His commitment to Sikhee and the Sikh world was from the deep of his heart and unquestionable. His faith in the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was evident from his frequent reading of gurbani and always keeping a Nit Nem gutka with him during travels. He confided in me many years ago that he was religiously maintaining uncut long hair. From his earning he often made charitable donations to various gurdwaras and supported his research on Sikh issues. I always called him as my Sikh friend and he responded similarly. He had this wonderful gleaming presence that just drew you to him. His spirituality and love was boundless. I was honored to have known him and am now humbled by our loss. Respect and Peace to his family and friends. He was unfailingly patient with the frequent foolishness of academia and his sense of humor often gave me the perspective I dearly needed to get through some of the rough spots. I immediately recognized him as The Teacher. I have often said I majored in Noel King. I would rather have been part of this circle than an initiate in any prestigious or secret society. He would as readily comment on the activities of a bird family nesting in his yard as of the Old Man of the Mountain or St Thomas. He embodied a sublime serenity that touched every person he came in contact with. He inspired myself and many others to reach their fullest potential academically and spiritually. The world will be a diminished place without you while the heavens will rejoice in your presence. I thought it was a shame that I had neither bourbon nor mint to hand to share one with him. But his brand of wisdom is needed now more than ever. He was not well at all but cheerful nonetheless. I explained the drift of my paper on Sikh Resistance that was nearing completion much to my relief and Norel expressed interest in seeing the paper when completed. I sent it to him later when it was done. He made some valuable comments but also confided the difficulty he had reading in the midst of his treatment. Noticing the Sacred within everything and everyone is the most enduring lesson that I learned from this great man. As he passes into the heavenly realm we all can smile and cry at once. I remember fondly the discussions we had at Merrill and he will be missed. I heard recently that the more you use a particular memory the more you change and mold it to match your own needs and mythologies. The peipoo is what makes people creative. It is the light inside us that sometimes makes us blind and it is the essence of the solution. He laughed and waggled his beard and told me about circling hawks and of wandering the sacred hills in bare feet. I admired him and thought of him often. I will treasure his memory and trust his spirit is still with us. I came to him in his later years and treasure the many moments we shared. He became my mentor of theology. He wanted to see no harm done to any creature. He remembered the good things I did and affirmed me in every way. I am grateful that we became friends although we came from different worlds. Hope what you have shared with me I will shared with others in hospitality and authenticity. He looked like a wise old man full of wisdom with his flowing white silvery beard and long hair. As a Sikh I can say that he looked like my dear old granfater with that white hair and beard full of love.King is beloved by the Sikhs all across the world. Kings family God is love and love is God and Prof. When I called on him in office hours some time later the students were stacked up like waiting airliners so he sent me down the hall to make some tea. Hide us under the shadow of your wings. I wonder if he knew how much his words meant to me. Such was his love for the teachings and the people of these religions that at one time or another I thought he belonged to each one of those religions. and his terrific humor and dynamism. I had a couple of meetings in his rural side home in Watsenwille Ca where he was living with his teen age daughter and his wife. He could narate ancient Sikh history with so much ease. I always found him very cooperative and helpful. He was really living a pure Sikh way of life. In him we have lost a great visionary and a true friend of Sikhs. We learned about pilgramage as never before. Some years later my wife Kristin and I visited Noel and Laurie in Watsonville. To this day we remember their hospitality and grace. Our condolences and best wishes to the family. Hospitality was surely an important way for him to show his care for us all. What a joy and a blessing to have known such a one. He asked me to teach him Hindi and to undertake some research in the emergence of devotional worship among the Hindus in Kenya and Uganda. We briefly looked at the life of an East African Hindu saint Hirji Bapa who had developed following among Kenyan Africans in Kisumu where a Ram temple had been constructed for them. I accepted this offer to work with him. I received much support and encouragement from Noel as I began my forays in teaching with trepidation. I spent nearly two years in Santa Cruz and did UCSC jitney commuting to Berkely every week. At the time Noel and Evelyn still had a house in Oxford. We maintained regular contact whilst I was in London as well as after I had joined the Department of Sociology at University of Bristol. The last time I met Noel in Bristol was when he and Jeremy visited me and we had a most delightful conversastion to remember our long association and had a good laugh over a pint of beer. I was sad that I could never get to see him in California but we had several telephone conversations during which he always conveyed his kindness and affection for me and our famiily. I will always cherish the memory of his great friendship with gratitude. I thought of myself as a wife and mom until Noel saw the spark he was so good at discovering. He personally took me to UCSC and introduced me to everyone he could in the history department at Merrill. My heart is with his family and my prayers with Noel. I turned my eyes from a classroom chalk board to behold a shaggy head and full beard. From Legon to Kampala and beyond he stimulated many to do theology. He understood my passion for justice and compassion and the need to respect the human nature that carries the divinity of God. He handed me a copy of one of her early ones and got me hooked. He was of course generous in many ways. The reason for this is because the day he departed happens to be my birthday. Now my mind travels to the delicious produce from that garden and orchard. And exemplary to see the extraordinary number of students he was helping in one fashion or another. Noel remains beyond the reach of time. I remember touring Oxford together and I remember Noel showing me his chickens in the wild part of his backyard in Watsonville. We shall miss him but he is very much alive in our memories. And I have been so moved to read the testimonies of others who knew and loved him. Reading these stories has kindled in me memories of my own friendship with Noel that I have not thought about in years. This was especially true regarding my spiritual identity. I arrived at Merrill College as a refugee from my own Catholic childhood. But I sensed that there was something more still to be discovered. Noel had the remarkable gift of being able to transform himself to meet whoever was standing before him. Initially this was confusing to me. He saw and cherished the particular way of being of each one of us. I am so grateful to him for that precious gift. He was also a rector in the nearby town of Shelford for some time. His name is Cory and he is thirteen years old. He has been severely traumatized by life. All I can offer him is what you offered me. So these brilliant gifts you so freely gave will keep giving. I took Zoe up on my shoulders and stood knee deep in the water with Noel while we talked about this and that. I just remember enjoying their company and not set out to do anything let alone anything clever. I hope Noel knew and felt how much he was appreciated and loved by all of us. It took sometime for me to recompose myself. My wife consoled me because it was expected and inevitable due to the growth of cancerous cells in his stomach. We felt that someone very close to us has departed from us forever. We had a brief interaction during the tea break and instantly developed liking for one and another. The lectures that he delivered on the research methodology for the Study of Religion were very much liked by the students and faculty as well. He impressed every one with the knowledge and understanding that he possessed about the world religions. He was an academic par excellence but also gave due space to the tradition as well. He used to call his study of the religions as A Pilgrimage into the World Religions. Besides the modern methods he laid equal stress upon the knowledge of traditional scholarship. He used to advise the Sikh scholars to master these two disciplines in order to confront the academic issues that have cropped up in the Sikh Studies. He respected the tradition but at the same he did not allow it influence his writings. He was a great scholar who had understood Sikhism in its true sense. Listening to him really was a treat rather God given opportunity. He conducted himself like any Punjabi and admired the Sikhs from the core of his heart. The highest Sikh body Sri Akal Takht Sahib and S. King for his academic services to Sikhism that he had rendered in the tradition of J. I had long sessions of discussion with him on various issues of Sikh Studies. He took a keen interest in my academic career. He was candid enough to admit that unlike the other big names in the field of Religious Studies he has not build any academic empire to dole out fellowships to his favored students. King rescheduled his visit to England in such a way that he may be helpful to me in my pursuit. I did it dutifully with a request that Prof. He always greeted me and my friends in front of his house reminding me how eagerly he was awaiting me. I enjoyed every bit of his hospitality and outpouring love. Perhaps he was aware of the divine call that may come any time. From the emails that I continue to receive I felt he was mentally prepared for his last journey. Usually he would reach Amritsar in late Oct. and after staying for a month or so would leave to celebrate the Christmas with his wife and children in California. Before leaving Amritsar he used to celebrate his birth day by hosting a tea party to the students and faculty of the Department of Guru Nanak Studies. For that purpose he had traveled extensively in Pakistan. He had a great fascination towards the Indus Valley Civilization and traveled with me all the way from Ropar in Punjab to Kali Banga in Rajasthan in order to have first hand information of these sites. He was pained to see the fast disappearing Jaina temples in Pakistan and lamented over the apathy of Jaina community because they were not paying due attention to document their shrines in Pakistan. King was an Adjunct Professor at G. We always treated him as a fatherly figure. He was so much loved by my wife and sons Samrat and Shahbaz that they took pleasure to sit with him on computer every evening to do the emails dictated by him. His picture along with me still hangs in our drawing room. It gives us the feeling that he is ever present with us. He was ready to help in this matter but the persons at the helm of affairs preferred to look the other way. With his passing away a void has occurred in the field of Sikh Studies which is difficult to fill in but the ideals that Dr. King pursued will continue to beacon up and inspire the young Sikh scholars. His death is a personal loss to those who came into contact with him. He was a bridge between the tradition and modernity. With him a legend has passed into eternity. May God rest his soul in peace. I write to deliver heartfelt condolences to Mrs. I received information that Professor Noel King had entered consultation with the late Dr. Joseph Nakabaale Kiwanuka the then Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Uganda. The application was successful. As a colleague he was a dependable friend. As the Head of Department he was a leader who wished the faculty he led to do great things. There under the able hand of the late Professor Sir E. I taught classes on the Religions of the Land of Africa. I also had ample time for reciprocally intellectual enrichment with the late Professor Noel Q. Noel turned his attention to the new student and launched into a historical story about a bishop getting a tour of a newly completed cathedral from the architect of the cathedral. I cannot imagine my life without Noel. He enriched it in so many ways and I look forward to our meeting again. Even then he was special as he talked with with undergraduates. In fact we were only direct colleagues while both of us were in Uganda and he was known as John the baptist. He loved sitting cross legged on the floor with a little table with a semi circular embayment for his then rather larger tummy. He was excited by the mysteries of belief systems that I suppose drew him eventually to Sufism. He provided comfort without trying to presume he felt our loss. I regret that my visits to santa Cruz were limited but always enjoyable as were the more frequent telephone calls. I had not wanted to return until I had some idea of what I was doing there. He invited me to speak to his History of Religions classes and agreed to be chair of my thesis committee. His belief in me and my work was a profound and foundational experience for me as I forged my own unique path through the academic landscape. King that I received the sad news. It was a real joy and privilege to work with him as head of department which he devoted his energies to build up. His friendliness extended like a balloon being filled with air. He told stories and anecdotes with lively humour. May his soul rest in eternal peace. May you his family find strength to absorb the loss which has struck a deep gap in your life. It is good to have such witness to the joy and stiffening of sinew he brought. I went along and blithely dived in making quite a splash and thrashing around to get warm. Rice Pudding the Mad Monk and Lover of the Russian Queen was a favourite. Punch Magazine was another source of inspiration. One cartoon he repeated endlessly was of a poor broken down horse brought to the vet who opined. He often felt that way himself. Perhaps it was his unconventional dress though that meant we had no fear of him as an adult. He was able to appreciate their rough humour and match their jokes. And his popularity has had enduring physical effect. I would also like to add my personal thanks. He was kind and sympathetic and offered as much help as I would need to get settled. I simply say thank you for touching me. Kennedy was twice mayor of our little town under the city on the hill. That series can be found at McHenry. Among his many aids to me was helping me write and study under professor Gary Lease. He was so kind to those the academy would turn away. I had three professors and for my money few had better. What greater glory could anyone have. He infused in me a quest for learning and respect for all religions of the world. He was a man of deep knowledge and personal experience and was always happy to impart wisdom to all his students. He gave a great service to not just academia but all who had the benefit of learning from him in so many ways. He was a very peaceful and kind man and really enjoyed playing with his kids at the beach. We should do our best to pass it on. It was painless and caused him no distress. It was a privelage to share those moments of such a wonderful life. I was tearing newspaper strips to be used as such when I made this discovery. I loved the way he was so proud of all his children. Every moment spent with him was a rich experience whether there or walking in the UCSC garden. Our very best wishes to Laurie and his whole family on what is almost the first anniversary of his death. One day he was wearing his usual knotted rope around his waist and one of the students asked him why he wore that instead of a belt. He replied that his wife had recently died and that he had decided to divest himself of his worldly possessions and focus the remainder of his life on spiritual matters. It turned out that he had been invited to give a department seminar. To say I was flabbergasted would be an understatement. I had the blind luck of being a TA for Noel for a year back then. His touch was filled with a warmth and tenderness I have only since felt from HH the Dalai Lama.com to post a comment to your blog. You are commenting using your Twitter account. step-by-step instructions OPERATING instructions for form 2553 FOR WATER FILL STATIONS
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  89. ao cuoi on

    Please click here to see the Memorial Services page for further details. We will also be posting regular updates about memorial services for Noel as plans develop. Please stay tuned for more information. In difficult time I looked for him to seek his advice and Pak Noel gave me encouragement to solve the problems. We shared an interest in religion. I was very touched by his interest. It was a privilege to have known him. We used to talk about Africa and share stories about life there. I will miss his warmth and his embrace of humanity. Noel King will live on in stories told about the great figures of UCSC. We were so different that it was hard for us to connect. The sort of person you cherish when you are with him. His spirit was such that we were reminded of our higher selves by conversing with him. He and I shared many discussions about our religious beliefs and thoughts. They have continued to be friends all these years. Sharing in each others joys and sorrows. You will be missed by your family and your friends. I grew up respecting and enjoying all the time I got to spent with him. He graciously allowed me to write a paper on him when I was in high school and having grown up as a missionary kid it was truly fascinating to find out more of his beliefs and religious background. I completed my doctrate under his kind and able supervision. I was impressed by his scholarship and deep understanding of history and theology and realized that he was not an ordinary scholar. Scholarly terms and Latin phrases describing deep theological concepts and unique historical events came out of his mouth effortlessly and his demeanor and presence created a unique aura that was both uplifting and captivating. He and his family always welcomed me like a family member in their home. King after I knew him from the forward he wrote for Dr. I feel the Sikhs have lost a great friend and sincere well wisher.King is such a soul which not resting at a place other than the feet of God almighty. Words cannot begin to express how I knew Noel. Add some almonds and apple juice. I was sure Noel had superpowers. Noel made a special trip to my home church in the Bay Area to perform a private baptism ceremony for my daughter. The wine never made it that far. The good spirits in which Noel concluded the rest of the ceremony left no doubt that the blessings of the Eucharist had been fully imparted. I felt that our congregation was the richer for having him as one of our parishioners. King for his scholarly contributions for many years. More than once he was a visiting scholar at the Guru Nanak University in Amritsar and Punjabi University in Patiala. A few years ago he served on the thesis committee that awarded the doctoral degree in political science to Dr. Tarlochan Singh of California and Dr. Raghbir Singh Bains of Vancouver. He told me that he received the honor on behalf of all Sehajdhari Sikhs world who could not be present at the convention. I also served with him as member of the PhD thesis committee on subjects relating to Sikh subjects. His commitment to Sikhee and the Sikh world was from the deep of his heart and unquestionable. His faith in the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was evident from his frequent reading of gurbani and always keeping a Nit Nem gutka with him during travels. He confided in me many years ago that he was religiously maintaining uncut long hair. From his earning he often made charitable donations to various gurdwaras and supported his research on Sikh issues. I always called him as my Sikh friend and he responded similarly. He had this wonderful gleaming presence that just drew you to him. His spirituality and love was boundless. I was honored to have known him and am now humbled by our loss. Respect and Peace to his family and friends. He was unfailingly patient with the frequent foolishness of academia and his sense of humor often gave me the perspective I dearly needed to get through some of the rough spots. I immediately recognized him as The Teacher. I have often said I majored in Noel King. I would rather have been part of this circle than an initiate in any prestigious or secret society. He would as readily comment on the activities of a bird family nesting in his yard as of the Old Man of the Mountain or St Thomas. He embodied a sublime serenity that touched every person he came in contact with. He inspired myself and many others to reach their fullest potential academically and spiritually. The world will be a diminished place without you while the heavens will rejoice in your presence. I thought it was a shame that I had neither bourbon nor mint to hand to share one with him. But his brand of wisdom is needed now more than ever. He was not well at all but cheerful nonetheless. I explained the drift of my paper on Sikh Resistance that was nearing completion much to my relief and Norel expressed interest in seeing the paper when completed. I sent it to him later when it was done. He made some valuable comments but also confided the difficulty he had reading in the midst of his treatment. Noticing the Sacred within everything and everyone is the most enduring lesson that I learned from this great man. As he passes into the heavenly realm we all can smile and cry at once. I remember fondly the discussions we had at Merrill and he will be missed. I heard recently that the more you use a particular memory the more you change and mold it to match your own needs and mythologies. The peipoo is what makes people creative. It is the light inside us that sometimes makes us blind and it is the essence of the solution. He laughed and waggled his beard and told me about circling hawks and of wandering the sacred hills in bare feet. I admired him and thought of him often. I will treasure his memory and trust his spirit is still with us. I came to him in his later years and treasure the many moments we shared. He became my mentor of theology. He wanted to see no harm done to any creature. He remembered the good things I did and affirmed me in every way. I am grateful that we became friends although we came from different worlds. Hope what you have shared with me I will shared with others in hospitality and authenticity. He looked like a wise old man full of wisdom with his flowing white silvery beard and long hair. As a Sikh I can say that he looked like my dear old granfater with that white hair and beard full of love.King is beloved by the Sikhs all across the world. Kings family God is love and love is God and Prof. When I called on him in office hours some time later the students were stacked up like waiting airliners so he sent me down the hall to make some tea. Hide us under the shadow of your wings. I wonder if he knew how much his words meant to me. Such was his love for the teachings and the people of these religions that at one time or another I thought he belonged to each one of those religions. and his terrific humor and dynamism. I had a couple of meetings in his rural side home in Watsenwille Ca where he was living with his teen age daughter and his wife. He could narate ancient Sikh history with so much ease. I always found him very cooperative and helpful. He was really living a pure Sikh way of life. In him we have lost a great visionary and a true friend of Sikhs. We learned about pilgramage as never before. Some years later my wife Kristin and I visited Noel and Laurie in Watsonville. To this day we remember their hospitality and grace. Our condolences and best wishes to the family. Hospitality was surely an important way for him to show his care for us all. What a joy and a blessing to have known such a one. He asked me to teach him Hindi and to undertake some research in the emergence of devotional worship among the Hindus in Kenya and Uganda. We briefly looked at the life of an East African Hindu saint Hirji Bapa who had developed following among Kenyan Africans in Kisumu where a Ram temple had been constructed for them. I accepted this offer to work with him. I received much support and encouragement from Noel as I began my forays in teaching with trepidation. I spent nearly two years in Santa Cruz and did UCSC jitney commuting to Berkely every week. At the time Noel and Evelyn still had a house in Oxford. We maintained regular contact whilst I was in London as well as after I had joined the Department of Sociology at University of Bristol. The last time I met Noel in Bristol was when he and Jeremy visited me and we had a most delightful conversastion to remember our long association and had a good laugh over a pint of beer. I was sad that I could never get to see him in California but we had several telephone conversations during which he always conveyed his kindness and affection for me and our famiily. I will always cherish the memory of his great friendship with gratitude. I thought of myself as a wife and mom until Noel saw the spark he was so good at discovering. He personally took me to UCSC and introduced me to everyone he could in the history department at Merrill. My heart is with his family and my prayers with Noel. I turned my eyes from a classroom chalk board to behold a shaggy head and full beard. From Legon to Kampala and beyond he stimulated many to do theology. He understood my passion for justice and compassion and the need to respect the human nature that carries the divinity of God. He handed me a copy of one of her early ones and got me hooked. He was of course generous in many ways. The reason for this is because the day he departed happens to be my birthday. Now my mind travels to the delicious produce from that garden and orchard. And exemplary to see the extraordinary number of students he was helping in one fashion or another. Noel remains beyond the reach of time. I remember touring Oxford together and I remember Noel showing me his chickens in the wild part of his backyard in Watsonville. We shall miss him but he is very much alive in our memories. And I have been so moved to read the testimonies of others who knew and loved him. Reading these stories has kindled in me memories of my own friendship with Noel that I have not thought about in years. This was especially true regarding my spiritual identity. I arrived at Merrill College as a refugee from my own Catholic childhood. But I sensed that there was something more still to be discovered. Noel had the remarkable gift of being able to transform himself to meet whoever was standing before him. Initially this was confusing to me. He saw and cherished the particular way of being of each one of us. I am so grateful to him for that precious gift. He was also a rector in the nearby town of Shelford for some time. His name is Cory and he is thirteen years old. He has been severely traumatized by life. All I can offer him is what you offered me. So these brilliant gifts you so freely gave will keep giving. I took Zoe up on my shoulders and stood knee deep in the water with Noel while we talked about this and that. I just remember enjoying their company and not set out to do anything let alone anything clever. I hope Noel knew and felt how much he was appreciated and loved by all of us. It took sometime for me to recompose myself. My wife consoled me because it was expected and inevitable due to the growth of cancerous cells in his stomach. We felt that someone very close to us has departed from us forever. We had a brief interaction during the tea break and instantly developed liking for one and another. The lectures that he delivered on the research methodology for the Study of Religion were very much liked by the students and faculty as well. He impressed every one with the knowledge and understanding that he possessed about the world religions. He was an academic par excellence but also gave due space to the tradition as well. He used to call his study of the religions as A Pilgrimage into the World Religions. Besides the modern methods he laid equal stress upon the knowledge of traditional scholarship. He used to advise the Sikh scholars to master these two disciplines in order to confront the academic issues that have cropped up in the Sikh Studies. He respected the tradition but at the same he did not allow it influence his writings. He was a great scholar who had understood Sikhism in its true sense. Listening to him really was a treat rather God given opportunity. He conducted himself like any Punjabi and admired the Sikhs from the core of his heart. The highest Sikh body Sri Akal Takht Sahib and S. King for his academic services to Sikhism that he had rendered in the tradition of J. I had long sessions of discussion with him on various issues of Sikh Studies. He took a keen interest in my academic career. He was candid enough to admit that unlike the other big names in the field of Religious Studies he has not build any academic empire to dole out fellowships to his favored students. King rescheduled his visit to England in such a way that he may be helpful to me in my pursuit. I did it dutifully with a request that Prof. He always greeted me and my friends in front of his house reminding me how eagerly he was awaiting me. I enjoyed every bit of his hospitality and outpouring love. Perhaps he was aware of the divine call that may come any time. From the emails that I continue to receive I felt he was mentally prepared for his last journey. Usually he would reach Amritsar in late Oct. and after staying for a month or so would leave to celebrate the Christmas with his wife and children in California. Before leaving Amritsar he used to celebrate his birth day by hosting a tea party to the students and faculty of the Department of Guru Nanak Studies. For that purpose he had traveled extensively in Pakistan. He had a great fascination towards the Indus Valley Civilization and traveled with me all the way from Ropar in Punjab to Kali Banga in Rajasthan in order to have first hand information of these sites. He was pained to see the fast disappearing Jaina temples in Pakistan and lamented over the apathy of Jaina community because they were not paying due attention to document their shrines in Pakistan. King was an Adjunct Professor at G. We always treated him as a fatherly figure. He was so much loved by my wife and sons Samrat and Shahbaz that they took pleasure to sit with him on computer every evening to do the emails dictated by him. His picture along with me still hangs in our drawing room. It gives us the feeling that he is ever present with us. He was ready to help in this matter but the persons at the helm of affairs preferred to look the other way. With his passing away a void has occurred in the field of Sikh Studies which is difficult to fill in but the ideals that Dr. King pursued will continue to beacon up and inspire the young Sikh scholars. His death is a personal loss to those who came into contact with him. He was a bridge between the tradition and modernity. With him a legend has passed into eternity. May God rest his soul in peace. I write to deliver heartfelt condolences to Mrs. I received information that Professor Noel King had entered consultation with the late Dr. Joseph Nakabaale Kiwanuka the then Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Uganda. The application was successful. As a colleague he was a dependable friend. As the Head of Department he was a leader who wished the faculty he led to do great things. There under the able hand of the late Professor Sir E. I taught classes on the Religions of the Land of Africa. I also had ample time for reciprocally intellectual enrichment with the late Professor Noel Q. Noel turned his attention to the new student and launched into a historical story about a bishop getting a tour of a newly completed cathedral from the architect of the cathedral. I cannot imagine my life without Noel. He enriched it in so many ways and I look forward to our meeting again. Even then he was special as he talked with with undergraduates. In fact we were only direct colleagues while both of us were in Uganda and he was known as John the baptist. He loved sitting cross legged on the floor with a little table with a semi circular embayment for his then rather larger tummy. He was excited by the mysteries of belief systems that I suppose drew him eventually to Sufism. He provided comfort without trying to presume he felt our loss. I regret that my visits to santa Cruz were limited but always enjoyable as were the more frequent telephone calls. I had not wanted to return until I had some idea of what I was doing there. He invited me to speak to his History of Religions classes and agreed to be chair of my thesis committee. His belief in me and my work was a profound and foundational experience for me as I forged my own unique path through the academic landscape. King that I received the sad news. It was a real joy and privilege to work with him as head of department which he devoted his energies to build up. His friendliness extended like a balloon being filled with air. He told stories and anecdotes with lively humour. May his soul rest in eternal peace. May you his family find strength to absorb the loss which has struck a deep gap in your life. It is good to have such witness to the joy and stiffening of sinew he brought. I went along and blithely dived in making quite a splash and thrashing around to get warm. Rice Pudding the Mad Monk and Lover of the Russian Queen was a favourite. Punch Magazine was another source of inspiration. One cartoon he repeated endlessly was of a poor broken down horse brought to the vet who opined. He often felt that way himself. Perhaps it was his unconventional dress though that meant we had no fear of him as an adult. He was able to appreciate their rough humour and match their jokes. And his popularity has had enduring physical effect. I would also like to add my personal thanks. He was kind and sympathetic and offered as much help as I would need to get settled. I simply say thank you for touching me. Kennedy was twice mayor of our little town under the city on the hill. That series can be found at McHenry. Among his many aids to me was helping me write and study under professor Gary Lease. He was so kind to those the academy would turn away. I had three professors and for my money few had better. What greater glory could anyone have. He infused in me a quest for learning and respect for all religions of the world. He was a man of deep knowledge and personal experience and was always happy to impart wisdom to all his students. He gave a great service to not just academia but all who had the benefit of learning from him in so many ways. He was a very peaceful and kind man and really enjoyed playing with his kids at the beach. We should do our best to pass it on. It was painless and caused him no distress. It was a privelage to share those moments of such a wonderful life. I was tearing newspaper strips to be used as such when I made this discovery. I loved the way he was so proud of all his children. Every moment spent with him was a rich experience whether there or walking in the UCSC garden. Our very best wishes to Laurie and his whole family on what is almost the first anniversary of his death. One day he was wearing his usual knotted rope around his waist and one of the students asked him why he wore that instead of a belt. He replied that his wife had recently died and that he had decided to divest himself of his worldly possessions and focus the remainder of his life on spiritual matters. It turned out that he had been invited to give a department seminar. To say I was flabbergasted would be an understatement. I had the blind luck of being a TA for Noel for a year back then. His touch was filled with a warmth and tenderness I have only since felt from HH the Dalai Lama.com to post a comment to your blog. You are commenting using your Twitter account. A readout noise of the cash value loaded on your card will be displayed entertainment weekly the amount of water litres to cubic feet you require. step-by-step drawing operating engineers instructions for form 2553 FOR WATER FILL STATIONS
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  90. Anonymous on

    My name is Scott Fritz, and studied the History of World Religions under Dr. Noel King from 1989 to 1991. I always remember when he had Baba Ram Das speak in our class.

  91. Patron Saint of Knives on

    Every once in awhile… I find myself missing him… The world is a little emptier…

  92. June Wellesley on

    I wonder did Noel ever stay at the Rectory in Glympton,

  93. Susannah Grover on

    I was fortunate enough to be one of his students, along with Donald Nicholl who co-taught a class with Noel at UCSC back in 1974-1975. He was pure delight and if I were the Source of Everything, I would feel I did very well in creating Noel King. A beautiful expression of humanity and divinity all rolled into one. Until we meet again, Bodhisattva. . .

  94. +Fr. Allen Martinez on

    Thanks to the support of Professor Noel King, I received my BA degree with a double major in Biology and Religious Studies from UCSC in 1985.
    Eternal rest grant unto, Noel, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him forevermore. May he now rest in peace with the Angels in Heaven. Thank you, Professor King, for your mentorship in my academic development at UCSC. +Fr. Allen

  95. Dr. Frederick G. Elias on

    It was my honor, and still is, to have known Noel from 1972-1976.
    We would often discuss religion and philosophy for hours. He was the reason I attended UCSC (72-74).
    Walking across Merrill College he would greet my with, “how are you doing today, my brother).
    Noel was like a father and brother to me – all in one.
    My humble sympathies to the family. Please let me know when there will be a future remembrance for my friend, Noel.
    Thank you.
    Namaste,
    Dr. Fred (Noel called me by my Arabic name – Fareed)

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