A longtime member of the Noble board of directors, Shelley Mullins, 56, passed away Nov. 23, 2017, after a short illness. Mullins is remembered as an active civic volunteer; a philanthropist; and a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother.
"Shelley's life stands as a testimony to service and generosity," said Bill Buckner, president and CEO of the Noble Research Institute. "She invested her energy, passion, kindness, and intelligence in her family and community. Though she is gone, her legacy will continue in all of those she touched. She will be greatly missed by the entire Noble family."
Shelley Dru Noble Mullins was born Aug. 8, 1961, in Ardmore, Oklahoma, to Sam and Mary Jane Noble. She spent her youth in Ardmore and graduated from Ardmore High School in 1979.
Mullins, a granddaughter of the organization's founder, Lloyd Noble, served as a board of directors member for nearly 20 years. In this role, she helped direct the organization's research, education and philanthropic activities.
Mullins attended the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. While at OU, she met her future husband, Jeffrey Mullins, on vacation in Mexico. The pair shared their first dinner at Senor Frog's and fell in love.
The pair wed on Oct. 15, 1983, and she moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where the couple started a family and built a life for more than 34 years.
Mullins' primary focus was caring for and supporting her family. As a grandmother, she went above and beyond to help her granddaughter, Anabelle, with everything from transporting her to school and gymnastics lessons to making sure she had festive dresses for Easter and Christmas.
"She was an amazing wife, mother, grandmother and sister. She was one of those people who truly put others first," said Rusty Noble, chairman of the Noble board of directors and Mullins' brother. "Growing up, she wanted to do two things: have a family and help others. She fulfilled both of those dreams. There are no words to express how much she meant to our family and her community."
In addition to supporting her family, Mullins was an active volunteer in the Vancouver community. She was a member, donor and volunteer at St. Mary's Anglican Church of Kerrisdale in Vancouver, where she served multiple roles.
She was a volunteer driver for cancer patients from the British Columbia Cancer Society, helping to ensure patients were safely transported to and from their cancer treatment appointments every week. She was also a volunteer canvasser for the cancer society, helping solicit donations and share information about the nonprofit.
Shelley Mullins learns about improving soil health during a tour of the Noble Research Institute's Red River Farm on Oct. 12, 2017.
Mullins was an active philanthropist who supported numerous nonprofits and charities, including the Bilby Foundation, British Columbia Cancer Society, Coast Foundation, Edgewood Recovery Center, Heart Transplant Homes Society, Ranch Hand Rescue, St. John's Northwestern Military Academy, St. John's School and Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Agency.
Even in her passing, Mullins gave back to her community one final time. As an organ donor, she provided potential life to four others.
Mullins was the granddaughter of Lloyd Noble, the founder of the Noble Research Institute (formerly Noble Foundation). She served on the Noble Research Institute's board of directors for almost 20 years, helping direct the organization's research, education and philanthropic activities. She also served as a member of the board of directors for the Quien Sabe Corporation.
She is survived by her husband, Jeffrey; children, Ryan Mullins and Blair Mullins; stepdaughter, Jodi Mullins; brothers, Russell Noble, Nick Noble, and Lloyd Noble; sisters-in-law Sally Noble and Janet Mullins; granddaughter, Anabelle Mullins; and pets, Leo and Lucas.