Former Mayor Cathy Noon, a Wings of Hope friend, honored by Colorado General Assembly

Noon died of pancreatic cancer last year after hard-fought five-and-a-half-year battle

BY PETER JONES

A member of the Wings of Hope family was honored in March when the Colorado General Assembly officially marked the loss of former Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon, who lost her brave fight with pancreatic cancer last December after years of public service and visionary leadership.

From left, former Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon; Dr. Marco Del Chiaro; Maureen Shul, executive director of Wings of Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Research; and Richard Schulick, M.D., director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center.  

“[Noon] was a driving force behind Centennial’s emergence and became an influential figure in the community,” the proclamation reads in part. “… The Colorado House of Representatives mourns the loss of a remarkable leader whose dedication and contributions left an indelible mark on the City of Centennial and its residents.”

Noon led the elected Centennial Home Rule Charter Commission that drafted the city’s guiding document and served two terms as Centennial’s second mayor before embarking on her greatest challenge—a five-and-a-half-year battle with one of the most difficult of cancers. Even in her final years, Noon was a dedicated community volunteer, serving on the Wings of Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Research board and helping select research grant recipients.

The late Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon was honored March 8 by the Colorado General Assembly. From left, state Reps. David Ortiz, Chad Clifford, and Eliza Hamrick, Evie and Lina Williams (Noon’s granddaughters), Jim Noon (her husband), Whitney Williams (her daughter) and Sen. Chris Kolker.

“It was appropriate for the State Legislature to acknowledge and memorialize Cathy’s many accomplishments on behalf of her community, city and the entire Denver area,” said Maureen Shul, Wings of Hope’s founder and executive director. “Her impact while serving as mayor is immeasurable, as was her commitment to furthering pancreatic cancer research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, for which she was a tireless advocate.”

State Rep. Eliza Hamrick, a Centennial resident since the city’s founding in 2001, says she spearheaded the tribute because of her tremendous respect for Noon and all she had done for the city, including grassroots volunteer work during the nascent incorporation movement.

“I refer to Cathy Noon as the founding mother of Centennial,” Hamrick said. “… Cathy Noon’s major legacy is a strong Centennial, and I am so very proud to have known her.”

Sen. Chris Kolker, whose district also includes Centennial, was the proclamation’s co-sponsor.

“It was an honor to acknowledge all of the important work Cathy Noon has done to establish our great city and furthering it as a viable, thriving place to live,” he said.

The award-winning Noon was equally respected during her lifetime. In 2019, the Denver Regional Council of Governments presented her with the organization’s highest honor, the John V. Cristensen Award, recognizing the mayor’s outstanding leadership and commitment to regional collaboration.

Jim Noon, Cathy’s husband, who had stood strong by her through all of life’s challenges, attended the ceremony, along with his daughter and granddaughters.

“I felt proud of Cathy for being honored by the State Legislature because of her regional work as mayor. She was known and loved by all,” he said.

After a moment of silence, the chimes on the Senate floor rang for a minute in Noon’s honor.

“It was a beautiful memorial for an amazing public servant,” Hamrick said.

For more information on Wings of Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Research, visit wingsofhopepcr.org.