BRICE PRAIRIE, Wis. — Alma Regina Noll of Brice Prairie died suddenly Oct. 11, 2010. Alma was born in Paterson, N.J., the second of ten children of Dean and Liz Noll. She is survived by her life partner of 23 years, Melani C. Fay, and her two beautiful daughters, Zoe Bernadette Noll Fay, 18, and Maia Carolina Fay Noll, 16. She is survived also by her mother, Liz Noll; her sisters, Gabriella Babbitt, Ave Maria Miller, Bernadette Noll, Cheryl Black and Loretta Noll; and her brothers, Thaddeus Noll, Justin Noll, Damien Noll and Gregory Noll. She leaves behind 25 nieces and nephews; six great-nieces and nephews; and an immeasurable extensive, loving tribe.
Alma was a devoted mother, partner and loving creator of a home for her family. She truly believed that family life was the well where she could go to be nourished, strengthened and renewed. She was forever fortified by the deep well of love that she found in her immediate, extended and chosen family and in her vast circle of supportive, loving and passionate friends.
Alma held a deep appreciation for nature's wildness and lived simply and truly according to the seasons. Alma's home overlooking Lake Onalaska offered her an amazing glimpse into these seasonal changes and she enjoyed participating in many ways: birding, building, backyard sugaring and simply serving as witness to the abundance and the gifts that nature delivered.
Alma was an old-fashioned maker with an innovative mind. She enjoyed a wide variety of traditional crafts and took great pleasure sharing her love of these crafts with children and adults alike. She was the inventor of MAMZ butter, which has slathered farmer's hands and baby's bottoms around the world.
Alma was highly self-educated and loved the acquisition of and sharing of knowledge. Her avid involvement, interest and inspiration brought unity to the communities she touched and she possessed an unlimited capacity to connect people and communities.
Alma received a B.S. from Misericordia University in Pennsylvania in 1975. In 1978, she received a B.S. in nursing from Georgetown University. After five years of working as an RN and commissioned officer for the public health service in South Dakota and New Mexico, she went on to receive a Family Nurse Practitioner's degree from University of Colorado in Denver. Alma continued her work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a Public Health Nurse Practitioner for several years after, in northern Wisconsin and eventually for the Ho Chunk Tribe in the La Crosse area.
A few years after adopting her two daughters, Alma met with some other inspired minds to begin the creation of The Waldorf Iniative. Through years of concerted efforts and unceasing dedication, this iniative became the now Three Rivers Waldorf School, located in the lower Northside neighborhood of La Crosse.
Alma was deeply committed to ensuring the diversity of the school. She embraced each individual who wished to ascend in their inner development. Her passion was to provide assistance to families in need, so Waldorf Education could be accessible to all who sought it. She spent countless hours with individual families to find ways the school and families could come to a sustainable financial balance for all involved. She knew the importance of this task.
She dearly loved and cherished the children at the school. Alma took great pleasure in seeing young children grow and develop over the years into mature, capable, joyful adults. She delighted in the opportunity for playground supervision once each week and often shared her observations of individual students. Her nursing background served the school well over the years. She removed splinters, held children having seizures, diagnosed chickenpox and checked for head lice! She taught many a child to make sure to drink more if they had headaches and to try ginger for upset stomachs.
It was her example that is her legacy. We deeply miss her and support her on her journey.
A memorial and labyrinth ceremony for Alma will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 30, at Three Rivers School. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made into an account towards the future education of Maia and Zoe at Citizens State Bank, 625 Main St., Onalaska, WI 54650, and to Three Rivers Waldorf School, 901 Caledonia St., La Crosse, WI 54601.
Alma's never ending credos echo in the lives, minds and hearts of all who knew her. She lived simply and truly and joyfully and she especially appreciated the abundance of life. She was a true visionary and her ideas and work will continue to serve as inspiration to those whose lives she touched. We are filled with sorrowful inspiration.