We honor here members, friends and supporters of the American Council of the Blind who have impacted our lives in many wonderful ways. If you would like to submit a notice for this column, please include as much of the following information as possible.
Name (first, last, maiden if appropriate)
City of residence (upon passing)
State/province of residence (upon passing)
Other cities/states/countries of residence (places where other blind people may have known this person)
Date of death (day if known, month, year)
ACB affiliation (local/state/special-interest affiliates or national committees)
Deaths that occurred more than six months ago cannot be reported in this column.
On May 23, 2018, Joan Black passed away after a long illness. I had met Joan while living in Los Angeles in the late 1970s and found out she was visually impaired and worked at the Rand Corp. with Dr. Sam Genensky, the inventor of the CCTV.
After leaving the state and returning in 1986, I encountered her again at the first CCB convention I attended, in November 1986. At that convention, Joan, along with Etta Burge and Coletta Davis, was holding a luncheon, under Durward McDaniel’s mentorship, to form the California Council of Citizens with Low Vision.
Joan served as part of the leadership of CCCLV throughout its early years, including as president for a time and drafting the constitution. She also served CCB in other roles, notably as chair of the publications committee and writing a good bit for “The Blind Californian.” Under her leadership, the famous pictorial CCB brochure was produced.
Joan is part of a well-known and well-loved family. Her husband, Keith, is a retired rehabilitation counselor for the state of California. Their son, Ralph, is an attorney who has been involved in the creation and administration of legislation and regulations concerning services for and rights of the disabled community. Ralph’s wife is Catherine Campisi, former director of the Department of Rehabilitation. Keith’s parents, Dan and Leone, operated the vending stand in the Statehouse in Boise, Idaho in the early 1950s.
Joan Black is another example of the talented and committed people who made the California Council of the Blind the critically important organization it is today in the blind community.
— Bernice Kandarian
James Vernon Daigle
Feb. 2, 1930-May 25, 2018
James Vernon Daigle of Gonzales, La. died on May 25, 2018. He was 88.
He was a retired music technician, and an active member of Knights of Columbus and St. Mark Catholic Church. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Hazel Daigle; parents, Sidney and Mary Frances Mire Daigle; and six siblings. Survivors include a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Mr. James “Vernon” Daigle was held June 4 at St. Mark Catholic Church. Interment followed at Hope Haven Garden of Memory Cemetery Gonzales.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Louisiana School of the Visually Impaired, 2888 Brightside Ln., Baton Rouge, LA 70820, www.lsdvi.org.
Frederick W. Noesner
Frederick W. Noesner died May 30, 2018 of cancer. He was 71.
Totally blind since a toddler, he did more than most people with sight. He inspired all who took the time to get to know him. His parents, Doris and Fred Noesner, encouraged and facilitated his voracious need to do whatever a sighted person could do with a few adaptions and aids. Whatever he desired to do he accomplished, from renovating homes, building furniture, making and firing black powder guns, graduating from college with a degree in history, and reading everything he could get his hands on via the Library of Congress and more by scanning printed material via PCs and more recently by using his iPhone.
He climbed Mount Rainier with the Pelion Project in 1981, and other sites, skydived, met President Reagan with the other climbers and carried the Olympic torch. His work with the blindness community took him all over the country to train people on the Optacon, created a specialty store and took it to the yearly conventions, became a speaker and writer of articles on history and making things while blind and overcoming his disability. He also learned how to use a potter’s wheel to make pottery and sculpture out of clay, wire and bronze. While being a colonial interpreter for historic Philadelphia for 5 seasons he wrote his first novel, “The Fortunate Ones, 18th Century Philadelphia” as seen without sight. He was also interviewed for public radio about his novel and other adventures. While living in Philadelphia, he became a 32nd degree Mason.
In 2013 he moved to Delaware and was inspired by the mills in the area. He began his second novel, soon to be published, “Spin You a Yarn.” To write this book he learned all about sheep, wool and spinning. He also visited several mills in the area, as well as Mount Vernon’s mill. His very last accomplishments were learning to knit and how to use a drop spindle for spinning, along with how to operate an antique great walking wheel.
He is survived by his wife, Margarete A. Noesner, of 14 years; his daughters, Lynn Noesner Geer, Tiffany Noesner, and Elizabeth Noesner; and his granddaughter, Judith Jade Geer; his stepdaughter Maxie Kroen, and step-granddaughters, Julia, Vivian and Emily Kroen. His daughter, Gwynn, and stepdaughter, Bambie Plante Brown, preceded him in death, as did his brother, Robert F. Noesner and nephews, Robert M. Thomas, Donald Noesner, and Mathew Noesner, and his beloved Seeing Eye dog, Juniper, and trusted feline friend, Casper.