Thursday, May 6, 2010
We won’t go into great detail about Noel Twyman’s funeral yesterday as such matters are best held for private conversations. However, we will note a few things.
It was a lovely service attended by a very large crowd including a large number of well known horsemen from Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina and a few other far-flung places. It would have been easy to conduct a horse show, fox hunt or race meet with the group that gathered in Noel’s honor.
His interment was attended by the assembled group as well as two fox hounds and one of Noel’s favorite foxhunters. The chestnut gelding stood quietly through the entire proceeding barely swishing his tail at the occasional fly. He did turn his head with pricked ears to look back at Casanova huntsman Tommy Lee Jones when he sounded his horn to honor his fallen friend.
Here is the obituary that ran in the Charlottesville Daily Progress and the Orange Review:
William Noel Twyman, 65, of Orange, died on Sunday, May 2, 2010, at his residence.
He was born on March 30, 1945, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, the son of the late Delmar and Mabel Wilson Twyman.
Mr. Twyman was a member of Oak Chapel Baptist Church, the Keswick Hunt Club, the Orange County Rescue Squad, the Virginia Horse Shows Association Hall of Fame and the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia B. Twyman; a daughter, Vaughan T. Jenkins and her husband, Noel; a son, Robert N. Twyman and his wife, Carey; two grandchildren, Taylor Jenkins and Riley Twyman; and a special friend, Silke Meyer.
Funeral services were held 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, 2010, from the Oak Chapel Baptist Church with interment at Graham Cemetery. The Reverend Bobby Greene officiated.
The family received friends from 6 until 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at the Preddy Funeral Home, 250 West Main Street, Orange.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Oak Chapel Baptist Church Memorial Fund, 11415 Montford Road, Orange, VA 22960.
Editor’s note: As you can see, Noel’s obit was a lot like Noel – short on pretense, just the facts. Here are a few other points to note.
Noel died of cancer. Worth noting, when so many of us have lost loved ones to the still all too-often fatal disease.
Being modest, which he was, his obit doesn’t mention any of his many accomplishments. He rode in practically every horseshow on the East Coast including at Madison Square Garden. Noel and Manhattan is a combo I’m sorry I missed.
He rode steeplechasers well and for a number of folks, most notably Marion DuPont Scott of Montpelier, Battleship and Mongo fame. He was smart enough to get off them while he was still in one piece.
He was an excellent showman and could stand up any horse and make him/her look good. If you had one in any type of conformation class, Noel was one of the fraternity of Virginians who you wanted on the end of your horse’s reins.
He claimed his dad taught him that “if he didn’t have something nice to say about a man’s horse, than don’t say anything at all.” This led to the inside joke offered for a particularly unattractive or incorrect individual – “Well, he has a nice tail.” To Noel there was “plain” and then there was “plain as a mud fence.” Working with Noel, what you were ultimately looking for was a horse that was “key-rect.”
I always figured that if we could get Noel to talk horses with another old friend, the good Brazilian horseman Jose DeCamargo, they could completely describe one and nobody (but the two of them) would have any idea what was said.
Noel (right with Pug Hart) was just as comfortable on a tractor as he was on a horse. And maybe even more so in an ambulance where he, no doubt, saved a few lives in that same low-key way he did everything else.
Noel was a fixture at L. Clay Camp’s yearling consignment for many years at Saratoga. Can’t remember if he liked Camp’s fresh peach daiquiris or not…
Speaking of Saratoga, he knew his way around. Don’t know if he ever stole the canoe, but I wouldn’t have put it past him. In the old days, when the corner table at the Spyte and Duyvil was the Virginians meeting spot after a long day showing or looking at yearlings, Noel knew just where to step so as not to fall through the floor! (Eventually, the piano fell through said floor and that was the end of that.)
Until he met cancer, seems like Noel always knew exactly where to step… -- Glenn Petty
(Photos courtesy of Orange County Review, Phil Audibert and Hart Farm)
Posted by GP at 12:57 PM