June Noble Smith Larkin Gibson died peacefully at her home in Greenwich, Connecticut, on June 23, 2020, with her family by her side. Born June 17, 1922, she was ninety-eight years old, and lived on the property, which she loved. She outlived her three husbands: John M. Gibson, Frank Y. Larkin and David S. Smith. She is survived by three sons: Noble Smith (Maribeth), David Smith (Jordan) and Jeremy Smith, seven grandchildren: (Zeb, Sarah, Jay, Cali, Tate, Niva, and Eleanor), and two great grandchildren: (Posy Joe and Wilson Pope). A fourth son, Bradford Smith, pre-deceased her in 2008. A younger sister, Sally Noble, died in 1944.
Her father, Edward J. Noble, was a well-known industrialist, who co-founded Lifesavers, a candy company, and later founded the American broadcasting Company (ABC), as well as other companies. Originally from Gouverneur, New York, Mr. Noble was always loyal to the
North Country, establishing three hospitals, and he also served as Chairman of St. Lawrence University.
June Gibson dedicated most of her adult life to serving on various philanthropic boards. She was a dedicated and generous advocate for the arts and education in New York City, Easthampton, and the Thousand Islands vicinity.
Growing up, she spent her summers in the Thousand Islands. She frequently spoke of the days of wooden boats. It was also the during the days of the polio epidemic, and she was not permitted to return to the family home in Greenwich, Connecticut until the middle of October. She only spoke of the happy times spent with her family in the North Country, riding horses and rowing her boats on the St. Lawrence River.
As an adult, she served as Chairman and President (and Chairman Emeritus) of the Edward John Noble Foundation (founded in 1940), and the St. Catherine’s Island Foundation (transferred in 1968). Her contributions included a myriad of philanthropic giving in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Georgia.
She particularly enjoyed her tenure on the board of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) since 1969, where she was a Life Trustee, and a long serving Board Member. In addition, she was an esteemed Co-Chair Emeriti of the Lincoln Center Directors Emeriti Council. She also served as the first woman chairman at the Juilliard School of Music from 1985 to 1994. In 2005, she was awarded with the Juilliard Medal and honorary doctorate. In 2008, The Juilliard School dedicated the June Noble Larkin Lobby to her.
In 1981, she served on the Presidential Task Force on the Arts and Humanities. In 1987, she was a cofounder of Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 2011, she was awarded another honorary doctorate from The Mannes School of Music.
She also served on several non-profit boards including the Arts Coalition of the Empire State, the New York Association of Grantmakers and the Museums Collaborative. She was a board member of Guild Hall of East Hampton, and a director of the Alliance for the Arts, Cultural Council Foundation, the New York City Cultural Council, and the New York International Festival of the Arts. She served on the Mayor’s Committee on Cultural Policy in New York City.
Additionally, she was a major donor providing philanthropic support to the American Museum of Natural History, which provides programs for its archeological sites on St. Catherine’s Island. It is through her efforts that the American Museum of Natural History has collected and published an anthropological and archeological history, which might otherwise have been lost forever.
She was the first woman chairman of her alma mater, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York, where she was a Life Trustee. She was also a Life Trustee at Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Massachusetts and received an honorary doctorate from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.
A memorial service will be held at an as yet unspecified date.