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John William Noga

John William Noga (December 10, 1903 in Richwood, West VirginiaOctober 13, 1997 in Manchester, New Hampshire) was a U.S. author and illustrator of wildlife, fishing, hunting, trapping, camping, boating, boating safety and outdoor adventure. He is best known for his nationally syndicated wildlife series "Field Notes," by John Noga. He originated the concept of an outdoorsman's one-box illustration and within the one-box format of his Field Notes. Nearly all of Noga's work pre-dates the internet.

Noga was raised in Manchester, New Hampshire where he attended Manchester Central High School. He attended Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, the University of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Noga was in the U.S. Army for 20 years and fought with the 172nd Field Artillery in World War II. He later served with the U.S. Navy Sea Bees, a construction unit.

Noga was head instructor of commercial art at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. He was art director for the Profile Advertising Agency of Manchester, New Hampshire. Noga was also a technical graphic illustrator and general art supervisor for the U.S. government military contractor, Sanders Associates Inc., of Nashua, New Hampshire working on nuclear submarine instrumentation -- a top secret project at the time. Starting in 1955 he served three terms as the Art Commissioner for Manchester, New Hampshire where he also was a member of the Manchester Artists Association

Noga spent the last 25 years of his life as a freelance commercial artist and illustrator. Noga was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, New Hampshire State Fish and Game Department, New England Outdoor Writers Association (life member), the New York State Outdoor Writers Association and Outdoor Writers Association of America.

Noga received the "Writer's Merit Award" from the National Shooting Sports Foundation and National Wildlife Federation in 1981 for his illustrative reporting on National Fishing and Hunting Day. In 1986 Noga was named "Sportsman of the Year" by the New England Outdoor Writers Association. Later he was the recipient of the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation's "Lifetime Achievement" award.

Family

Noga was married to the late Frances (McLaughlin) Noga of Manchester, New Hampshire. They had four children: Ruth (Noga) Roulx, who followed her father's interest in Boy Scouts of America serving as a long-time administrator of the Girls Scouts of America, New Hampshire's Swift Water Council. Ruth Roulx is enshrined in the athletic hall of fame of Trinity High School (Manchester, New Hampshire); the late John "Jack" Stephen Noga, who was a University of Notre Dame graduate and CFO of Hitchener Manufacturing Co., Inc. of New Hampshire. A bridge in Littleton, New Hampshire is named in his honor ; and twin daughters Francine (Noga) Walsh of Elkhart, Indiana, and Thomasine (Noga) Garipay of North Woodstock, New Hampshire.

Today John Noga's granddaughters, Gail (Roulx) Bourque and Patrice Roulx, both of Manchester, New Hampshire carry on his tradition of art. Gail Bourque is a professional graphic artist and illustrator, while Patrice Roulx is a professional fine artist

Publications & Work

After World War II Noga was commissioned to paint a portrait of General Douglas MacArthur, which hangs in the MacArthur Memorial Museum in Norfolk, Virginia. Noga was also commissioned to sculpt a head-and-shoulders bust of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The whereabouts of this piece is unknown.

"Field Notes" A nationally syndicated wildlife series that appeared weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader for 30 years. It also appeared in the New York Sportsman, New England Outdoors and National Wildlife Affiliates magazine.

Field Notes ... on Fishing, 182 pgs., copyright 2000 John Noga Estate, R&R Associates publisher, 8 Watts Landing, Litchfield, NH 03052. A pocket-sized four-season guide to fishing in North America including tips and techniques for novices and experts.

Noga's illustrations appeared on covers of National Wildlife Affiliates magazine, New Hampshire Fish and Game magazine and Fur, Fish and Game magazine.

Noga designed the 1976 Bicentennial Medal for the city of Manchester, New Hampshire that was cast in silver and is on permanent display in City Hall on Elm Street.

Quotes

I thought awards are for writers only. But I'm the only person that I know of who writes and illustrates at the same time. (John Noga at age 87 in 1992)

Writing & Quotes Of Others On Noga

"For winter rabbit hunting, Noga made a special pair of skis. He calls them "puckerbrush" skis. 'Actually, I converted an old pair of hickory downhill skis (the widest width that I had) and shortened them to five feet,' said Noga. He dug a groove in the flat center of each ski between the two outside grooves. He glued in strips of mohair which created drag, allowing him to more easily travel uphill." (Bob Harris, Outdoor columnist, Neighborhod News 1994)


"Currently, the late John Noga is being memorialized at N.H. Fish and Game Department headquarters in Concord. His Field Notes pieces -- a regular feature in the Get Out section -- have their own flavor. They're a mixture of cartoon and "did you know" type facts that are simple and timely advice tidbits. Noga 's art acts like a sort of grandfather to the reader, advising on the best way to entice salmon after ice out and how to be prepared for the start of fishing season. The pencil-style art adds to that impression." (Gary Dennis, New Hampshire Union Leader)
"CABIN fever led to an odd and rain-soaked adventure this week, but nonetheless I'm glad we set foot into the forest and explored the land. Call it a good walk unspoiled. Odd because we had no destination in mind. And soaked because it started raining after we advanced deep into the woods. Rain gear only works to a certain extent. What prompted the leisurely trek was a recent Field Notes illustration by the late John Noga , whose work continues to be an asset to this particular section of the paper. Noga reminded readers that deer and moose will soon be shedding their antlers -- usually between December and February, he said. With a remaining inch or two of snow on the ground, husband and wife laced up their weather-proof L.L. Beans and made tracks from the back yard into the not-so-dense softwoods of Canterbury. The snow meant it was virtually impossible to get lost, and, as a bonus, the search for antlers would be much more efficient. Despite the gray skies, it was a fine morning for a walk earlier this week. One line from Noga added a certain excitement to the quest: "The first to drop their antlers are large healthy bucks..." (Kevin Gray, New Hampshire Union Leader)
"(Noga) was such a talented man, and we learned that many years ago. He put his heart and soul into his work ... I know a lot of outdoorsmen read his Field Notes, and he'll be missed by that whole fraternity." (Bob Hilliard, New Hampshire Union Leader)
With great artistic talent and his love and knowledge of nature, the outdoors, and outdoor sports, John Noga has been able to share this gift with millions of people, said Bob Harris of Goffstown at the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation banquet where Noga was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

References

1. Noga Receives National Honor ..., New Hampshire Union Leader, April 23, 1992, p. 30

2. "Noga Honored," New Hampshire Union Leader, May 5, 1982, p. 47 SE2

3. "A Good Winter for Skiing, Even if You're 90," Neighborhood Publications, Inc., Goffstown, N.H., Feb. 9, 1994, pgs. 1 & 12

4. "Artist ... has the world of wildlife covered," New Hampshire Union Leader, April 6, 2001, p. C1

5. "It was a good walk unspoiled," New Hampshire Union Leader, December 22, 2000, p. C1

6. "John Noga Worked Wonders With Nature; Wildlife Artist Shared Passion With Field Notes, New Hampshire Union Leader, October 17, 1997, p. B1

7. "A New England Artist," New Hampshire Union Leader, October 14, 1997, obituaries

Credits

1. "Field Notes" is a registered trademark of the John Noga Estate. Reg. No. 1,254,516 Oct. 18, 1983. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of the logo or usage of this name is prohibited by law.

2. Field Notes ... on Fishing, copyright 2000 John Noga Estate, R&R Associates publisher, 8 Watts Landing, Litchfield, NH 03052 or e-mail: [merriroulx@verizon.net] No part of this publication, including any parts exhibited here, may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission of R&R Associates publisher.

3. All information contained in this biography is used by permission of the John Noga Estate.

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