Carroll Noell Rather

October 13, 1935December 13, 2012

Carroll Noell Rather, 77, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, December 13, 2012 in a plane accident. Noell was born on October 13, 1935 in Dallas, Texas and was preceded in death by his parents, Fannie and Carroll Rather. Noell graduated from Highland Park High School in 1953 and from Southern Methodist University in 1957 where he earned a degree in geology. He then entered the United States Air Force (USAF), serving 10 years and rising to the rank of Captain. He flew the F-105 Thunder Chief in more than 60 combat missions in South East Asia, including one of the first missions over North Viet Nam. Noell returned from South East Asia to instruct F-105 pilots at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada. Honorably discharged from the USAF, Noell served as a commercial pilot for Braniff Airlines for three years before realizing that commercial aviation was anticlimactic to his “hair on fire” Air Force days and just not for him. He then realized his goal of being his own boss and built an energy company that he was actively involved with for more than 40 years. Noell’s true passion in life was flying, which he learned at age 16 and continued for 61 years, logging thousands of hours as a pilot. Sharing this passion with friends and family brought him great joy, as did donating much of his time and resources to charity and the betterment of others. Let’s be honest, he liked the attention! Many friends even called him by his call sign “Cobra”. Noell was an avid golfer, gin rummy player, a charter member of Bent Tree Country Club, and an active member of the Dallas Petroleum Club. He was greatly involved in the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association as well as other organizations, including most notably the Order of the Daedalians and the Quiet Bird Men (QB’s). Noell is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Jane Eiser Rather. He is also survived by sons Ralph Rather, Michael Rather, and David Rather; daughter, Gayle Hamilton; daughters-in-law Teresa Rather and Kelley Rather and six grandchildren: Leah Rather Petrunin, Brett Rather, Anna Rather, John Michael Rather, Taylor Rather, and Lindsay Rather. Services will be held at The Church of the Incarnation at 10:00AM on Tuesday, December 18, 2012. The church is located at 3966 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204. In lieu of flowers please send contributions to any of the following organizations: Red River Valley Pilots Association scholarship fund, the Frontiers of Flight Museum, or the Wounded Warrior Project.


  • Memorial Service Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Carroll Noell Rather

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Lynne Bogart

December 27, 2012

Dear Jane and family,
I have just learned of your loss today and my thoughts are with all of you at this time...

The Tom Mullins Family

December 19, 2012

Deepest and most heartfelt sympathy for all.

December 19, 2012

Noell and I officed together a long time ago. A better man in business could not be found. A man of his word, absolute integrity, and always great to partner with and share times. He will be greatly missed. Sandy Pofahl

Lindsey Heiser

December 18, 2012

Kelly, I am praying for you and your family!

December 18, 2012

My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time

Janet Katz

Doc Lambert

December 18, 2012

A great warrior and gentleman. God Speed.
from a fellow Rat (Nail66).

yvonne crum

December 17, 2012

Mayo and I both adored Noell. I flew with him at Braniff and Mayo went to SMU with him.. what a fun loving man and a heart of gold that persued his passion.. Our hearts go out to his family..

December 17, 2012

Great Pilot, great friend.

Bill Archer

William White

December 17, 2012

Nothing will endure more than Noell's personal qualities. He always made me smile.

Ted and Marlene pricr

December 17, 2012

Jane, Marlene and I give you and your family our heartfelt sympathy. Noel and I go back starting at Nellis AFB when he was recovering from an operation, then to Okinawa. I considered him a friend and great pilot. Only a few have been able to live a life as full as Noell. Our Prayers go out to you and your family.