Eleanor Carraway Noell Torres, 30, passed into eternal peace on Saturday, December 17, 2016, surrounded by family in Chapel Hill, NC.
Eleanor was born on May 19, 1986, in Baltimore, MD as the third child of Paula Davis Noell and Charles Edwards Noell III. Eleanor grew up in Baltimore and San Diego, CA. Much of her childhood was spent riding horses, playing sports and being lovingly tormented by her older brother, Robert Davis Noell and sister, Helen Noell Byrd.
She spent four wonderful years at the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA, from which she graduated cum laude in 2004. She cherished her time at Episcopal and remarked with fondness on the memories and friends she made there. Eleanor graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from the Kenan Flagler School at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2008 and was an avid UNC basketball fan. She could often be found sitting on the baseline enthusiastically cheering for her beloved Tar Heels.
After college, Eleanor lived in New York City and later Chapel Hill. In the summer of 2009, she suffered a traumatic brain injury while studying in Costa Rica and spent nearly three weeks in a coma. Eleanor always had an incredibly strong will. Through her own determination, and great medical care, she worked hard to make a full recovery and live a wonderful, meaningful life. She was particularly grateful to Dr. Adrián Cácares at the Hospital Clínica Bíblica in San Jose, Costa Rica and Dr. Rocco Moratta at Silver Hill in Connecticut, among so many, for their roles in her road to recovery. Eleanor had a true love of, and unique appreciation for, life. She never complained about her difficult circumstances, instead finding strength in her faith, trusting in God’s plan and choosing to treasure every minute of the life she was given.
On August 20, 2016, Eleanor joyfully married Herminio Michael Torres in a beautiful ceremony at St. Philip’s Church in Durham, NC. Eleanor met Herminio while taking classes at Columbia University in New York City and they quickly became close. After their wedding, they made their new home together in Chapel Hill, albeit for far too short of a time. They have a dog, Rupert and a cat, Costello. Eleanor loved animals, and had developed a small business pet-sitting and dog walking, which had the added benefit of creating a number of meaningful friendships in the Chapel Hill community. Eleanor was very athletic and always wanted to be outside, running or walking in any weather, and would roam for hours around Central Park or the neighborhoods of Chapel Hill.
Those that knew Eleanor well will remember some of her most endearing qualities. She took great pride in rising very early each day and enjoyed calling her family and friends before 7 AM to share with them all that she had already accomplished. More importantly, she had an enormous heart. She deeply loved her family, friends and God. She never met a stranger and made friends everywhere she went. She loved helping others and giving gifts. She would be so proud and happy to know that she successfully donated her organs at the time of her passing and helped save the lives of multiple individuals.
Eleanor is survived by her husband Herminio; father Charlie; mother Paula and her husband Palmer T. H. Page; brother Davis and his wife Stacey; sister Nell and her husband Rusty; and four nieces and nephews, Wilson Noell, Eloise Noell, Walker Noell and Eleanor Leighton Byrd. She is also survived by a stepdaughter, Stephanie Torres, stepmother Barbara Voss, nine stepsiblings, and her grandmothers Lossie Taylor Noell and Irene Barden Tilley. She was predeceased by her grandfathers, Charles Edwards Noell Jr., Robert Bernard Davis and George Fennel Tilley.
A memorial service will be held 11 AM on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at The Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill. Gifts in Eleanor’s memory may be made to Orange County Animal Services Center, www.co.orange.nc.us/departments/animalservices or La Iglesia Buen Pastor www.elbuenpastordedurham.com in Durham, NC, both of which Eleanor cared about deeply and wanted to support.