Katharine Juliet Kwis Noland
February 28, 1920 – June 11, 2020
Katharine Juliet Kwis Noland, (Judy), passed away peacefully at Essex Meadows Health Center in Essex, Connecticut, where she had lived for 15 years, on June 11 after a brief illness. She had celebrated her 100th birthday on February 28, surrounded by family and friends.
In a full and varied life, Judy was an amazing mother, model wife, loyal friend, and exemplary office professional. In the early 1940s she was among the first group of employees of the War Advertising Council, later simply the Advertising Council, serving as Office Manager. The Council played a key advocacy role in World War II (including the creation of “Loose lips sink ships”), and later developed some of the most iconic public-service campaigns in U.S. history, including Smokey the Bear. As Office Manager, Judy was part of the creative team for these campaigns, as well as making personnel decisions for the Council, and coordinating and attending numerous lunches for dignitaries including several at the White House at the invitation of President Harry Truman.
Born in Larchmont, NY, she grew up in nearby Bronxville. Her father, Clyde Kwis, was an advertising executive credited with coming up with the phrase “Heinz 57 Varieties.” Her mother, Juliet Kwis, became a traveling salesperson after her husband’s death from pneumonia in 1926. She sold children’s clothes from her car to clientele that included Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, who also lived in Bronxville at the time.
Judy graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1938 and went to work for the Union Bag Corporation in northern New Jersey before obtaining her position at the War Advertising Council. She married her husband, Thomas Noland, in 1947. Once her first child was born, she resumed her career, this time for Fred Rudge Associates, in New Canaan, CT.
She and her husband raised their children in Norwalk and New Canaan, before moving to Old Saybrook in 1987. They also owned a beach home in Westbrook (CT) where they would have lively gatherings for family and friends through the years, and where Judy could be seen taking daily bike rides when she wasn’t spending time in the sun. They as a couple, and later Judy as a widow, enjoyed spending winters in Naples, Florida, where many of their friends from Connecticut and Kentucky would congregate. Judy was predeceased by her husband, Thomas Turley Noland, a chemical company executive and World War II combat veteran, who died in 1996. They would have celebrated their 50th anniversary ten days after his death. She is survived by her son, Thomas Turley Noland, Jr. (Vivian Ruth Sawyer) of Louisville, Kentucky, and her daughter Katharine Juliet (Kate) Noland of Pembroke, Massachusetts; four grandchildren (Andrew Noland, Sidney Wood, and Julianne and James Mariano); and one great-grandchild, Helena Ruth (Nell) Wood, whom she met for the first time on her 100th birthday three months ago. Judy is also survived by her goddaughter, Dr. Sloan M. McDonald, of Rio Vista, CA.
Judy was full of love for her children, grandchildren, goddaughter, and friends, and endeared herself to all who knew her with her quick wit and engaging stories. She never turned down a party, whether as hostess or guest. Her love of New York Times crossword puzzles was beyond compare; up until her last week, she was still able to enjoy doing them with family and friends, even virtually. Her family would like to express their gratitude to the Essex Meadows Health Center caregivers and staff who helped Judy tremendously in her later years. Their big hearts and professionalism are truly valued.
Services will be held at a later date, when we all can celebrate her life together.
Expressions of sympathy may be made in the form of donations to: The Essex Meadows Employee Appreciation Fund, 30 Bokum Road, Essex, CT06426.