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Former Helena city commissioner, arts advocate Ed Noonan passes away

Posted: 1:49 PM, Jan 21, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-22 00:18:32-05
Ed Noonan

HELENA — Ed Noonan, a longtime leader in the Helena community and advocate for the arts, has passed away.

Art Noonan, Noonan’s brother, confirmed to MTN that he died on Monday.

Noonan was a native of Butte who had lived in Helena for more than 30 years. He was known for his work as a playwright and poet, and he received a fellowship from the Montana Arts Council.

Noonan was a longtime employee of Carroll College. Over the years, he worked in a variety of roles, including resident director for St. Charles and Borromeo Halls, director of student activities and, most recently, an adjunct instructor in English.

"Ed lived a life of service and courage and was always eager to respond to the Spirit's call," said a post on the college's Facebook page.

Starting in 2000, Noonan spent 15 years as the executive director of The Myrna Loy. Krys Holmes, the current executive director, said Noonan had basically saved the organization.

"He is an amazing and beautiful gift to this whole community," she said. "I think he did that for the city, I think he did that at Carroll College and I know that he did it in a lot of our lives personally -- just bringing in that generosity of spirit and creativity and hope and faith."

In 2015, Noonan was elected to the Helena City Commission, where he served until December 2019. He told MTN last year that he was proud of the progress the city had made on issues like access to affordable housing and being more responsive to citizens' concerns.

Earlier this month, the city had hired him to serve as interim manager of the Helena Civic Center.

"Ed will be remembered as a dedicated leader and educator who was committed to making Helena a better place to live," the city said in a news release. "His love for community and the people that live in it will be missed."

Noonan also served on numerous arts panels and was a current board member for the National Performance Network.

This story has been updated. The original post is below.


Ed Noonan, a longtime leader in the Helena community and advocate for the arts, has passed away.

Art Noonan, Noonan’s brother, confirmed that he died on Monday.

Noonan was a native of Butte who had lived in Helena for more than 30 years. He was a longtime employee of Carroll College in a variety of roles, including resident director, director of student activities and, most recently, an adjunct instructor in English. He also spent 15 years as the executive director of the Myrna Loy Center.

In addition to his other work, Noonan was known as a writer, playwright and poet.

In 2015, Noonan was elected to the Helena City Commission, where he served until December 2019. Earlier this month, the city had hired him to serve as interim manager of the Helena Civic Center.