Grace Marion Smith was born in Kennebunk on Wonderbrook Farm on November 4, 1903. The farm house still stands, now called the Wonderbrook Center. Her father Alva F. Smith and his brother Bertelle A. Smith were leading Kennebunk citizens, as was her older brother Earle M. Smith. Grace graduated from Kennebunk High School in 1922 and from Gray’s Business School in Portland in 1924.
Paul Snowman Noyes was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on April 30, 1902. He grew up in Hancock, Massachusetts where his father, Victor Nathaniel Noyes, was assistant superintendent of the E.B. Estes & Sons Wood Turning and Enabling Mills. His father and mother, Dora Mae Snowman, were originally from Farmington, ME. Paul had left school at age 10 to help support the family and became a machinist like his father. His teacher tutored him through the eighth grade. At age 17 Paul was left caring for his four younger siblings following the institutionalization of his mother who had an incurable disease and death of his father. He came to Maine with his siblings parsing them out to relatives in Farmington and the Home for Little Wanderers.
Paul met Grace in 1921 when he was working with the state highway crew upgrading the Portland Road. He told the story, one day when he was breaking up the old roadway in front of Wonderbrook Farm, the jackhammer got caught and he couldn’t extricate it. He walked away, quitting his job, and took a job as a hired hand on Wonderbrook Farm. Paul and Grace were married on October 12, 1923. in the Congregational parsonage (now the Cole, Harrison Building) on Main Street by Rev. Will S. Coleman with two friends as witnesses and no family members in attendance. Paul continued working in the Wonderbrook Farm’s dairy business and cut ice in the Smith’s ice business. Later both Paul and Grace worked in the Maine and New Hampshire shoe industries. They both worked at Kesslen Shoe in Kennebunk where Grace was executive secretary to the managers Sam and Meir Saxe and Paul was a night watchman among other jobs.
By 1941 Paul was a machinist 1st class at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The local draft board declined to induct him at age 38, the oldest age for inductees, because of his greater value to the shipyard as a machinist. After 19 ½ years of marriage daughter, Barbara Anne Noyes, was born on April 12, 1943 and on August 2, 1944 Paula Elaine Noyes was born. At the end of WWII Paul was laid off. Because of his age, lack of a high school education and Congress’s Veteran’s Preference law he was unemployed off and on while his young family was growing up in Kennebunk. During those years, the family lived in eight different rental apartments in Kennebunk.
Paul passed away on January 24, 1965. Grace, left with meager income and no assets, moved to Orono, ME, to live with her daughter Paula and her husband Wayne Goodrich who were both students at the University of Maine. Following Paula’s divorce Grace continued to live with Paula and her family for a total of 21 years, first in Kennebunk and then with Paula and her second husband, Gary Singer, in Cumberland Foreside and Norwood, MA. Grace passed away on February 23, 1993, following eight years in the Plainville Nursing Home.
Honored by Paula Singer