Billy B. Noblin
(September 7, 1926 in Hartford, AL - September 1, 2018 in Pensacola, FL)
The strong frame, steady hands, and iron will of Billy B. Noblin finally succumbed to the
ravages of time on September 1, 2018...fittingly on a Saturday, his day off. His bed at
Covenant Hospice in Pensacola, Florida was surrounded by many family members singing
“Amazing Grace” when God’s great mercy came in a final breath and allowed his fighting
spirit to flee his spent body and soar to Heaven.
Billy B. was born in Hartford, Alabama on September 7, 1926 only two weeks before the
Great Miami Hurricane made a second landfall on the northern Gulf Coast. Its powerful
winds roared across his father’s best cotton crop in years, blowing it to kingdom come. The
aftermath ended the great land boom in the area and forced many families to rely heavily
on their young children to work the fields, essentially sacrificing all playtime. Billy B., the
eldest son, his younger brother, Robert and his four older sisters, Louise, Jeanette, Eliza and
Sara Nell worked the land, tended chickens, hogs and cattle six days a week, stopping only
to eat and to sleep. They would go to church on Sundays, but Billy B would sleep in the
pew, exhausted after hitching the ornery mules to the wagon and driving over paths he had
to forge to get there. He became an Iron Man without ever visiting a gym or running a
In 1943 at the age of 17, Billy B. enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp. His desire to be a
pilot was dashed due to a decreased need for pilots; however, his working man skills and
steady hands were used to become an airplane mechanic. He qualified to maintain B-17’s
and B-29’s, but was assigned instead to the 417th Night Fighter Squadron at Fritzlar Air Base
in Germany working primarily on P-61’s the “Black Widow” as a part of the Occupation
Force. He served during the war only learning about the front lines from his fellow soldiers
and kinfolk. He often spoke about occasionally working alongside German prisoners, never
believing they could keep up with him.
After witnessing by ground and by air the destruction of Europe, Billy B. returned to the
states in December of 1946, settling long enough in Chicago, Illinois to meet the love of his
life, Thea Mae Meyer, of German descent. “True love has no enemies,” he would say. They
married on April 30, 1949, moved to warmer temperatures in Northwest Florida outside
Bonifay, where Billy B. returned to farming and Thea Mae traded her city clothes for overalls
and boots. While farming, they began their family, but Billy B. quickly realized country life
would never suit his city girl wife. After briefly living in Chicago and Gary, Indiana they
settled in Pensacola with their five children. Billy B. began working with Sunbeam Bread,
retiring in 1990 after thirty years.
Billy B. and Thea Mae sacrificed throughout their lives to provide a wonderful, loving
family home enjoyed by their five children, seven grandchildren, and now seven
great-grandchildren for many, many years.
His iron will fueled his independence after losing his wife of 64 years in 2013. He cared
for himself at his home up until his final days because that was where he wanted to remain.
Billy B. dearly loved his family. Children; Donna M. Harris, Ronald G. Noblin (Mary),
Carol A. Noblin, Joan S. Parker (John) and Jane L. Conti (Rick) Grandchildren: Tonia C.
Marsh, Justin L. Harris, Kimberly N. Harris, Dr. Jeremy M. Vinson (Ashley), Tyler G. Noblin,
Riki N. Conti, Jacey L. Conti Great Grandchildren: Madison D. Crenshaw (Cole), Mitchell J.
Marsh, Mahaley N. Marsh, Kayleigh N. Hansley, Jordan S. Leduc, Kaiden J. Dunnavent, and
Luke M. Vinson.
A Memorial Service for the family will be in the future. In lieu of flowers please make
donations to Covenant Hospice, 5041 N 12th Ave, Pensacola, FL 32504.
The family would like to express its deepest gratitude for the loving care given by the
Angels at Covenant Hospice and Sacred Heart Hospital.