Joan Noel has lived in our community for more than 40 years; for nearly 15 of these years, she has proudly served on the Robertson Fire Protection District Board of Directors.
"I have seen a lot of changes over the years," she recalls. "Through it all, I have always felt like this was a good neighborhood."
Joan’s father-in-law was a firefighter for the City of St. Louis, inspiring in her and her husband lifelong respect and admiration for first responders. This led her husband to serve on Robertson’s board. When he passed away, Joan was asked to complete his board term. She did so proudly, and when her initial term was complete, she won reelection to continue her service.
"Being on the board has been an eye-opening experience," Joan says. "I truly admire the service and dedication of our firefighters and paramedics. One of my favorite parts of the job is when I hear someone from the neighborhood let us know how someone in their life was saved or had a positive outcome because of the men and women who work for the District.”
Joan says her work with the District is a lot like the experience of raising children.
"Sometimes you have to make hard decisions and say no for the good of the District and the community, which is difficult,” she explains. “And, sometimes you get to say yes and make good memories, lasting friendships, and have fun."
When reflecting on her experiences as a board member, some of Joan’s most memorable moments are the celebrations for retiring firefighters.
"It says a lot that our employees spend an entire career here at Robertson, that they want to work here and dedicate their life to our community," she says.
Joan has always been an active member of the community. She raised four Hazelwood West High School graduates, and her family was active with Our Lady of Mercy when it was open. She could often be found volunteering in the classroom and her children’s sporting events. She was also the owner of a retail gift shop before retiring in early 2020, right before the pandemic started.
Now, you can find her babysitting and enjoying her five grandchildren, helping her 90-year-old mother or reading a good book.
"I have always believed in the Golden Rule and always try to do the right thing," Joan says. "I think that has carried over to my time as a board member. I try to always do the right thing for the Robertson Fire Protection District."