Wendy Jane Noel Frederick, 67, of Brandon

Wendy Jane Noel Frederick

BRANDON — Wendy Jane Noel Frederick, beloved wife, sister, aunt, and friend of the community, passed away from pancreatic cancer on Thursday, November 3, 2022, at Porter Medical Center in Middlebury at the age of 67.

Wendy was born in Glen Cove, N.Y. on March 13, 1955, the daughter of Dick and Helen (neé Tracy) Noel. Wendy moved with her family to Vermont in 1965, graduated from Otter Valley Union High School in 1973, and received her BA degree in Piano Performance from Johnson State College in 1978. 

Upon graduation, Wendy returned home to Brandon where she became very active in local arts. She was a lover of all forms of art and creative expression and worked in several mediums throughout her life.

Shortly after graduating from Johnson, Wendy worked at the music library at Middlebury College. She was president of the Friends of the Library in Brandon for many years and designed the Christmas wreath auction poster art for the Brandon Free Public Library for several years. When Brandon had a contest for a new town logo, Wendy won, and an edited version of her art can still be seen on town vehicles to this day.

Wendy loved to sew and used her skills in the fabric arts to make everything from furniture covers and home decor to wedding dresses and men’s fashion. She also made many Christmas outfits and dress-up costumes for her nieces and nephews. In the late 1980s, she opened her own alterations and fabric store with a partner, Suit Yourself, in Rutland.

Wendy was a talented musician who was skilled in playing piano, flute, French horn, and the violin. Her greatest love, though, was always the piano, and she loved sharing her love with anyone who would ask. She was an accompanist for several vocal groups, including the Brandon Festival Singers, as well as the piano accompanist for multiple productions at both Neshobe School and OVUHS. She also taught piano to many over the years. 

She loved challenging music and reveled in playing Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Stravinsky, Copeland and Rachmaninoff, among others.

In the late 1980s, Wendy began showing symptoms of multiple sclerosis. It greatly affected her mobility, and as the disease progressed her hands became less agile to the point she was no longer able to play the piano or work on a sewing machine. In the 2000s, she turned to mosaic art and became a moderator for mosaicartists.org and was very active and well-respected in the Society of American Mosaic Artists. 

Within a few hours of her passing, more than 30 artists in the group from around the country shared their stories of how Wendy had mentored and affected their art expression, brought the community together, and even helped resolve conflicts between artists.

In her personal life, Wendy had a hilarious and imaginative sense of humor that could break the tension in a room. Often irreverent and shocking, it was rarely mean-spirited, but brightened the room and helped people not to take things so seriously. She was a highly empathetic person who knew the right things to say to leave people feeling better than when they had come to her.

She loved sharing her knowledge and experience with people and had a unique understanding of how individual people learned.

Wendy was an animal lover, especially of the feline variety, and always had at least one or two cats in her home. Most of them came to her, almost as though they knew she was The Cat Lady who would help them.

Wendy is survived by her husband, Greg Frederick of Brandon, whom she married in St. Johnsbury on December 8, 1979; one sister, Kathie Butler of Delaware, OH; one brother, Jeffrey Noel of Brandon; two nieces, three nephews, and two great-nieces; and many cousins. She was predeceased by her parents.

A private gathering in celebration of her life will take place at a later date.

Memorial gifts in lieu of flowers may be made in her memory to: Brandon Area Rescue Squad, PO Box 232, Brandon, VT 05733. Arrangements are under the direction of the Miller & Ketchum Funeral Home in Brandon.

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