Noble Horizons Blog

“I know every nook and cranny at Noble Horizons,” pronounces long-time volunteer Mary Barton, “I was one of the first volunteers at Noble and helped organize their first Christmas Fair.” Since then, Mary has had a hand in virtually every volunteer program at Noble, bringing energy, leadership and a good dose of humor to every corner of the Noble community.

Molly Tanner, recently appointed Director of Nursing at Noble Horizons, has cherished her relationships with seniors her whole life. “I was raised by my grandparents, so my love for that population was already there.”

For 24 years Kathy Mera served as the librarian at Housatonic Valley Regional High School. During that time she connected the school community with resources and helped them find answers to their questions. This approach informs her volunteer work to this day.

Keith Moon is a rock star on the Noble Horizons campus, consistently wowing his fans with his knowledge of Russian literature and history. For the past eight years, he’s been teaching in the Noble community, welcoming adult students from throughout the tri-state. Keith selects a new book each spring, facilitating lively discussions about literary works such as Anna Karenina and Crime and Punishment as well as historical books, including Lenin’s Tomb and a biography of Mikhail Gorbachev.

Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) math teacher and Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Chief Jacquie Rice needs to be good with numbers to calculate how many hours she and her team have dedicated to the Town of Salisbury and the surrounding area in the over 20 years she’s been a part of the squad. Get your calculator and do the math--they’re on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That’s well in excess of 175,000 volunteer hours for the squad during the time she’s been part of the SVAS team!


As a mother of five, Mary Ellen Baldwin knows what it takes to build a strong family, and for close to 45 years, her compassion, kindness and motherly love have nurtured the Noble Horizons family. Mary Ellen first joined the Noble in 1977 and fortunately for the many whose lives she continues to touch, her deep commitment to others endures.

Retired IBM electrical engineer Russ Day knows a few things about making connections. For 35 years he figured out how to channel energy where it needed to go to make things work. Today, after a full career and raising his five sons with his wife Michele, he’s the conduit for adding a spark of joy for residents at Noble Horizons.

As executive director of Canaan Childcare Center Fran Chapell has worked hard to create a caring and stimulating atmosphere for those at the beginning of life’s arc. She hires the best people she can find, helps them develop as professionals, sets standards for the center’s functioning, sees her organization as part of a larger connected community, and promotes a high standard of care so that families can go to work knowing their child is well cared for.

Nina Mathus has been part of the Noble Horizons volunteer community since the early 1980s when her mother came to live here. Back then, Nina worked a high-powered job in New York City and spent weekends in Salisbury at her husband’s family’s cottage on Twin Lakes. In the 1990s, her aunt came to reside at Noble as well.

Children at Salisbury Central School have emailed charming pictures of their drawings, paintings, crafting and chalk-work that you can see here.  As Pre-K teacher Rebecca Gaschel wrote,
We'd love to send pictures to your fabulous residents thus continuing our tradition of sending projects your way.   To circumvent the actual paper could the children take pictures of projects and drawings, pass them along in a safe way and you could print them? We are anxious to do something helpful to spread cheer not germs!

As life under COVID-19 continues to evolve, the Noble team is redoubling its meticulous commitment to maintaining the safety and well-being of all members of the Noble Horizons community. Administrator Bill Pond reviews and adjusts policies daily, responding to the latest DPH and CDC guidelines, as well as proactively implementing measures to keep the virus out of Noble. 

As we move through these surreal and challenging times, we are grateful for the close bonds that nourish us, now more than ever.  We draw strength, succor and friendship from each other and hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy.

Autumn Cockroft, the Nurse Manager on Riga, has lived her whole life in the company of seniors and was destined for her role at Noble Horizons.

We're so proud and honored that stories featuring Noble's staff, volunteers and animals have been featured in Main Street Magazine, a popular monthly magazine covering the Tri-State region. Enjoy reading these colorful vignettes highlighting five wonderful members of the Noble family.

Ask Norma Baker about her early years at Noble as a young, single mom with three small children aged 8, 5 and 4, and she recalls, “My coworkers were like family in those days when I really needed the support.” Twenty years later, Norma is one of the most beloved members of the Noble family, revered for her devotion, thoughtfulness, and kindness. Reflected one resident, "Norma is always there for me; she offers help, a sympathetic ear, she anticipates my needs, and she truly cares."


The concept of security changes as we age. During our youth, security can mean a well-paying job or a comfortable lifestyle. As the years unfurl, security includes protecting those you love; security post-retirement, however, is more nuanced.

Expressing gratitude has proven physical and emotional health benefits. With this in mind Noble Horizons hosted Salisbury Visiting Nurse Association (SVNA)’s Journal Writing for Wellness workshop with Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health’s Lara Tupper who focused the session on gratitude.

As a proud member of our community, State Representative Maria Horn has served on behalf of a variety of local causes including chairing the Board of Trustees of the Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the Domestic Violence Prevention Agency and the Women’s Support Services in Sharon. Today, in addition to being a member of Connecticut’s 64th Assembly district, she chairs the Women’s Support Services Governance Committee and serves as a member of the Board of Finance in Salisbury. Here, she updates the Noble Horizons community on issues likely to be considered during the 2020 Connecticut Legislative Session.

Sometimes, even the smallest measures of kindness weave themselves into the fabric of our relationships and strengthen the neighborly bonds that become the foundations of a community. For Bob Bates, a 27-year veteran staff member at Noble Horizons, understanding the routines of the many cottagers he has come to know over the years, lending a helping hand when needed, and the simple act of being around each day has made him a beloved member of the Noble Horizons family.

Abraham Keita was born during Liberia’s second Civil War in 2000 into a world so fraught with chaos that he only recently discovered his real age of 19. “Finally realizing my true age shifted me toward a different cause. A cause driven by the need to ensure that every child has the right to a name, nationality and identity.”