Tardy, Noel Ann

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August 7, 1950 - November 7, 2017

Tardy, Noel Ann

Noel Ann Tardy of Dallas passed away November 7, 2017.  She is preceded in death by her parents, James Noel and Bessie Kopecky Tardy and her beloved dogs Princess, BamBam and Truffles.  She is survived by her sister, Sharon McDade (Bill); her nieces, Tricia Pogue (Dean), Michelle Poole (Michael), Kristen McDade (Greg Wilson); and numerous great nieces and nephews and cousins. She is also survived by her aunts, Lillian Curry of Houston and Mary Steely (Jerry) of Corsicana, Texas.

Noel was born in Dallas, Texas, on August 7, 1950 to James and Bess Tardy. They lived most of her childhood in a wonderful house on DeLoache and Inwood in Dallas. Jim and Bess hosted many parties and events for people of all ages. Noel had horses on the property and close friends in the neighborhood, also of all ages. She cherished those friendships as well as her closeness to her local and Houston family. Ethel James was Noel’s dear nanny for most of her childhood.

Noel attended Ursuline Academy and graduated from Hillcrest High School. A lifelong music lover, she played and sang in public school bands, orchestras and choruses before attending Texas Woman’s University as a music major and a member of the Aglaians Literary-Social Club. She was awarded a stage band music scholarship for her work with the TWU Serenaders playing guitar and bass and was a member of The Women’s Chorus of Dallas and of the mixed chorus, Resounding Harmony. She later attended the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

Noel’s careers and hobbies followed her passions and her love for life. She pursued many diverse fields — from massage therapy to accounting to information technology. She and her mother began a catering business together many years ago that still exists in the form of TwoHotCzechs. No matter what she was doing, music and food were always in her life.

Though Noel studied classical guitar at Texas Woman’s University, once she picked up the ukulele her musical focus and her life both changed and expanded. She established Ukelady Music and had both a brick and mortar shop in White Rock and a thriving website. She not only sold ukuleles but gave advice on the best one for each student/customer. She taught classes for young children, including a time teaching kids with illnesses at a local hospital. She founded the Lone Star Ukulele Fest and the nonprofit Ukulele in the Classroom program to teach music literacy to children.

After discovering she had cancer — and following her difficult treatments — Noel co-created Spirit Runners in 2012 as a way to share healing music with anyone going through hardship. She and her production partner produced a CD and performed many concerts.

Noel was the first ukulele player to perform as part of the Brookhaven Guitar Ensemble. She appeared on stages in Spain and The Czech Republic as part of her music travels. She performed tirelessly at all kinds of venues in Dallas — from Roy’s restaurant to the Bath House at White Rock Lake and the Manske Library in Farmer’s Branch. Most recently, this past October she won a cherished competition at the Guitar Foundation of America Festival at Collin College.

Noel was a writer as well. She wrote a children’s book and various articles, and was the 2017 Words of Women recipient for an essay about her grandmother. The award-winning essay describes a fork her MaMa was given to be used for their entire voyage while immigrating on board a ship from Czechoslovakia to America around 1912. This fork became one of her most treasured possessions.

Noel was an active member of the Dallas LGBTQ community and an activist for women, fighting for improved healthcare, equal wages and equal rights. She enjoyed her friendships with the pastors and the parishioners in the different centers of faith she attended, remaining close to them during her life journey. In recent years she was very active on Facebook where she championed her political and social views.

And, as so many will recall, Noel loved her dogs Princess, BamBam and Truffles. They were her children. When Princess was so sick the last couple of years, Noel cared for her faithfully.

Noel celebrated life and pursued her dreams until they came true. She was passionate about her music and her culinary accomplishments and shared this love with everyone. Her family and her Czech traditions were her mainstay, and her creativity was the driving energy in all she did. She touched more lives than we know. She will be remembered and she will be missed.

A celebration of Noel’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, December 3, at Brookhaven College in Farmer’s Branch, Building H.

In lieu of flowers, Noel’s family suggests that donations be given to the Ukulele Kids Club (theukc.org). Noel loved teaching children and especially enjoyed her time teaching kids at a Dallas hospital. The Ukulele Kids Club mission is to harness the healing power of music by supporting music therapy programs and gifting ukuleles to hospital music therapy programs so that children in need can be sent home with the gift of music for life.

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James Hill

December 09, 2017 6:15AM

Thank you for your music, Noel. You brought much Aloha into the world and I have many fond memories of our time together.


Jennie

December 03, 2017 12:15PM

I took ukelele lessons from Noel a couple years ago and really enjoyed my time with her. I hope she is still making music in heaven :)


Linda Abramson Evans

December 03, 2017 12:13PM

Missing Noel so much, remembering years past, and a final phone conversation when she called two weeks before her death. As always, she was thinking of helping someone else--a new friend who wanted to enter the ESL field, and thought to connect her with me. I'll treasure the 45-minute conversation that covered so much more, catching up since our last International Women's Day Dallas event in March, that we've shared for the past 16 years at the event hosted by Christine Jarosz. This year, Noel entered and won the annual essay contest, receiving the award before her traditional Ukelele performance that always entertains our attendees. I first met Noel sometime after 1988 at Nonie's house, grandmother of Melinda (Mel) Petty Brooks, Noel's friend since childhood. Mel was President of the Business & Professional Women's Club (BPW) Dallas Inc. and I had just joined that year, later spending many hours with Mel as friendship grew beyond organizational projects. During different time periods, earlier for Noel and later for me, we were both members of The Women's Chorus of Dallas with many mutual friends. In the decades since first meeting, Noel's presence has been a joy in my life. On the fateful night that she reached out on Facebook to ask friends about heart attack symptoms, we begged her to call 911. We will always remember and miss Noel, and hope that she is at peace.


Sue Borgersen

December 02, 2017 1:13PM

From Dallas to Nova Scotia, ours was a close friendship that spanned the miles. Noel and I were kindred spirits on so many levels. There is a hole in my life without this dear soul. RIP Noel, I will think of you whenever I lift my sopranino to play.


Cindi Gant

December 02, 2017 12:47PM

I did not know her very well but I knew her well enough to know of her soft heart which accompanied her feisty side. Noel was my aunt's neighbor. She was always cooking something fabulous and sharing it with my her. She was very thoughtful and kind and shared interesting personal stories. When my aunt was in the hospital Noel would call or text me for updates. It was comforting knowing she was near by if needed. She is greatly missed.


David Beer

November 27, 2017 4:05PM

Although I did't know Noel well, I remember her as a classmate of Hillcrest High School, class of 1968. Next year at our class's 50th Reunion, the last weekend of October, 2018.
She will be mentioned at that time as one of the classmates who have passed since our class graduated in 1968.
My condolences to Noel's family on her passing, may her memory be a blessing.


Barbara Baker

November 26, 2017 11:05AM

I first met Noel back at Hillcrest High School, when we took some classes together. We recently reconnected through Facebook, and discovered some shared passions about women's rights, politics, and life. I was hoping to meet up with her in the near future, and also hear her play her ukulele. But alas, it was not to be. I remain sad that such a vibrant, caring woman, who loved playing music, decorating her home, cooking good food, and taking care of her beloved Princess, has left us far too soon. I extend my deepest condolences to Noel's family and her other friends.


Sharon Almand

November 26, 2017 10:59AM

Thank you, Noel, for your wonderful contribution while on this earth. Your witty personality and your musical talent will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, dear sister.


Diana Hubbard - Hall

November 24, 2017 4:55PM

I met Noel many moons back in the Women's Chorus . She was such an amazingly talented lady . For me personally , Noel inspired me to be more than just a girl from Dallas . Leave a mark .. Ms. Tardy left many marks and the on on my heart will always rename . Prayers for peace .


Elizabeth Brown

November 20, 2017 9:16AM

We miss the happiness Noel brought into our lives.
Ken, Elizabeth, and Libby


Crystal Kia-Paul

November 19, 2017 9:55PM

My deepest condolences for everyone that new Noel. She always made time to chat with you about ukulele's. She is going to be missed.


Gina R Williams

November 19, 2017 4:40PM

Noel was such a talented woman and touched so many lives. She still had much left to offer and was taken before we were ready. I hope that love, peace and light guide her in her next journey. May those same divine powers provide comfort for those who loved her.


Ellen Singer

November 19, 2017 2:42PM

I first met Noel at a Ukulele workshop/retreat in Molokai, then saw her twice at the two Lone Star Ukulele Festivals I attended in Dallas. Noel was a warm, delightful, intelligent, friendly, caring person, and I'm sure everyone who knew her will miss her greatly. My condolences to her family.
xoxoxo


Lois Wagenseil

November 19, 2017 10:42AM

I heard Noel play two songs at Brookhaven just the Weds before. It was a beautiful performance. That is how I will remember her. Peace and condolences.


Gina R Williams

November 19, 2017 8:20AM

Noel was such a talented and multi-faceted person. She shared her gifts freely and touched so many lives. May love, peace and light guide her in her next journey. May those same divine powers provide comfort for those who loved her.


Eric DeVine

November 19, 2017 1:00AM

I absolutely loved working with Noel! What a great spirt and full of enthusiasm! The ukulele community will miss her tremendously!


Bob and Judy Sparkman

November 18, 2017 9:04PM

Bob and I met Noel in 2004 through our daughter Ann when she and Noel were singing with The Women's Chorus of Dallas. You could say that Noel kick-started my ukulele playing because prior to that I was just singing along with Bob when he played guitar or ukulele. I started out playing the soprano uke, learning as I went, and playing with Noel's group, known at that time as UFO. We played at luaus, charity events, and just for fun. I have since moved on to playing the baritone uke, but I can honestly say that I probably would not be playing ukulele if I had not met Noel. She has touched many lives with her love of music.


Terry Td Doherty

November 18, 2017 12:43PM

I had the privilege of being Noel’s personal trainer many years ago. She took her health seriously even back then. I found her to b a very compassionate woman who loved to laugh and found great joy in others. I will miss her. My heart breaks for her family and her pups. Her passing is a shock and I am deeply saddened.


Jan Partin

November 18, 2017 11:17AM

Noel and I met during our college years as music majors at Texas Woman's University and were roommates for a while after we graduated. She was an enormously talented woman who had a wonderfully irreverent sense of humor. Our paths diverged and reconnected many times over the years, most recently when I saw that she was opening at Uncle Calvin's and when she asked me to take some photographs of her and Princess. I remember so many good times filled with good food, good wine, and wonderful laughter. Rest in peace, my friend. Your presence will be missed.


Melinda Brooks

November 18, 2017 9:17AM

Noel was more than a friend. She was the closest thing to a sister that I had. We met when I was born and she was 5 months old. Her family and nanny raised me as much as my own family did. I loved her very much and will miss her.


Michelle Kiba

November 18, 2017 12:24AM

Too young, so special and very talented. I miss you big bunches Noel. Heaven is a better place for your presence.


Victoria

November 17, 2017 11:06PM

Noel will be missed. She brought so many people together with her passion and joy for the ukulele.


Kaye Davis

November 17, 2017 6:20PM

Condolences to Noel’s family and many friends. I will miss the occasional phone call and her Facebook posts of the delicious meals she prepared. Noel, you are missed and I regret we never made it to the Midway Point like we planned. Rest In Peace!


Charman Aiwohi

November 17, 2017 2:13PM

Noel was a very special lady may she rest in peace.


Mark Jackson

November 17, 2017 1:37PM

I never knew Noel, but I know her rich legacy. She sounds like a wonderful human being. Please accept our condolences from Australia to the ukulele community.


Grenda Walton

November 17, 2017 12:07PM

I am very happy I knew Noel. She inspired me while I tried to play the Ukulele. She will be sadly missed a joy to be with.Rest in Peace Noel.


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