Ralph Woolling ("Rick") Coble
August 23, 1944 – December 17, 2020
Ralph Woolling (“Rick”) Coble, age 76, of Noblesville, passed away on December 17, 2020. Rick was born on August 23, 1944, at Coleman Hospital in Indianapolis. He was the only child of, and was predeceased by, Ralph Bowman Coble and Alice Marie (“Deedy”) Woolling Coble Roggie. Rick had a gift for inspiring friendship and admiration in people and was dearly loved by his family.
He was raised on the northside of Indianapolis, near the Meridian Street bridge across White River. Rick attended Indianapolis Public School 84 and, in the summer of 1958, the Culver Woodcraft Camp at Lake Maxinkuckee, Indiana. He then entered Broad Ripple High School, Indianapolis, where he served as Sports Editor of the Riparian Yearbook and then as News Editor of the Riparian Newspaper, with the guidance of the legendary journalism teacher and advisor, Ruth Marie Griggs.
Following high school graduation in 1962, Rick attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where he was initiated into Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. After two years at IU, he transferred to the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, affiliating with the Phi Kappa Psi chapter at USC. In addition to his classes there, Rick served as a movie extra and also surfed, later recounting that he had seen the fins of sharks that were swimming nearby. In 1966, illness forced Rick to withdraw from USC before graduation and to return to Indianapolis.
It was the era of the Vietnam War and the Selective Service, or “the draft,” and, in 1967, Rick commenced duty in the U.S. Army. His basic training was at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and he later became an Army cook, continuing in this capacity in the Army Reserve into the early 1970s. During this time, Rick also returned to college work and, in 1970, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science from Butler University, Indianapolis. Following graduation, he worked with his father in the firm of Clayton, Coble, and Murray Realtors, but, after his father’s death in 1972, Rick continued as a self-employed realtor and, later, as an investor. He reported owning property on Mackinac Island, Michigan.
Along with these life events, both while a boy and as a young man, Rick spent time in the summers at his maternal grandparents’ cottage on Lake Wawasee, Indiana. Having become a skilled swimmer at an early age, he was an expert water-skier at Lake Wawasee and had many friends among the youthful crowd there. During some of these summers, he also vacationed with his parents at lakes in northern Michigan.
As to winter sports, Rick snow-skied in Colorado and New England. He also enjoyed watching professional sports events, playing poker, and gardening. Rick was committed to kindness toward all animals and, over the years, had many beloved cats and dogs. Since, through his mother’s family, the Woollings, he was of Omohundro ancestry, he maintained membership in the Texas Jack (Omohundro) Association. He also had a lifelong interest in Native American history and culture.
Rick is survived by first cousins Kaarta Jean Woolling Nemeth, Kenneth Rau Woolling, Jr., and Mary Catherine Woolling, all of Indianapolis; Letitia LeTellier Woolling Lynch, of Carmel, Indiana; and Glenn David Coble, of Marion, Ohio. Rick was predeceased by all of his uncles and aunts, and by first cousins Christopher Kent Woolling, Marietta Coble Ivey, and John Ralph Coble. A private family service was held.
Memorial contributions for Rick may be made to the following:
• Wolf Park, 4004 East 800 North, Battle Ground, IN 47920 https://wolfpark.org/
• Humane Society for Hamilton County, 1721 Pleasant Street, Noblesville, IN 46060 https://www.hamiltonhumane.com/
• Thornton W. Burgess Society, Green Briar Nature Center, 6 Discovery Hill Road, East Sandwich, MA 02537 http://www.thorntonburgess.org/
Ralph Woolling ("Rick") Coble
January 3, 2021
Rick was a congenial and kind man and always quick with a friendly word and incisive wit. His deep appreciation for nature was laudable. I believe he also generously donated to the historic Mackinac Island State Park. He will be missed.