William Noyovitz, GE exec who hiked Kilimanjaro at 78

William Noyovitz (in light hat) on his Mount Kilimanjaro trek in 2004. He fell short of the 19,300-foot summit, but was still enthusiastic about his 17,000-foot climb. "The man loved the challenge," a friend said.
William Noyovitz (in light hat) on his Mount Kilimanjaro trek in 2004. He fell short of the 19,300-foot summit, but was still enthusiastic about his 17,000-foot climb. "The man loved the challenge," a friend said.
Posted: April 07, 2014

When William B. Noyovitz told his daughter Margo Orlin that he intended to hike Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 2004, she did not discourage him.

"I laughed," Orlin said.

" 'If you think you can, and you really want to,' " she said she told her father, " 'I would rather you fell off the side of a mountain than off a rocking chair on your front porch.'

"He laughed and off he went."

Below the 19,341-foot summit in September 2004, she said, "he got to around 17,000. The altitude got him."

In days, he turned 79.

On Thursday, April 3, Mr. Noyovitz, 88, who retired in 1989 as a financial director for General Electric Co. in South Jersey, died at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, after a stroke.

The Kilimanjaro trek involved eight hikers, seven from South Jersey, organized by Steven Reiner, a former South Jersey podiatrist.

Reiner, who now lives in Port Townsend, Wash., said in a phone call from a ski lodge in British Columbia that he shared hours sweating with Mr. Noyovitz at a Maple Shade gym and, later, on ski slopes in Colorado.

On Kilimanjaro, Reiner said, Mr. Noyovitz "did amazingly well."

To compensate for his age, "one of the guides would leave earlier in the morning with him," before the others set out.

Fatigue stopped him short of completing the trek with Reiner and three others, but, Reiner said, Mr. Noyovitz was no less enthusiastic about what he had done.

"The man loved the challenge."

Mr. Noyovitz was a late convert to fitness.

"He quit smoking, cold turkey, at 45," his daughter said. "He gained a bunch of weight."

So he started skiing with Orlin and her husband, Alan. "In his 50s, he started to go to the gym."

After he retired in his mid-60s, she said, "he was spending three, four hours in the gym, four times a week."

And, she said, "he used to be a jogger. Five miles, six miles, into his 70s. Three, four times a week."

Mr. Noyovitz grew up near 40th Street and Girard Avenue in West Philadelphia, graduated from Overbrook High School, and flew 25 World War II combat missions as a radio operator and waist gunner on B-25 bombers based in the Philippines.

He returned to earn a bachelor's in accounting at Temple University on the GI Bill. He began his 40-year career, as an accountant with Radio Corporation of America, in 1959. Over the years he worked at several South Jersey locations and, while the family lived in Levittown, commuted to GE headquarters in Manhattan.

Besides his daughter, Mr. Noyovitz is survived by sons Paul and Philip, daughter Judi Hart, eight grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter. His wife, Evelyn, died in 1993.

A graveside service was set for 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 6, at Roosevelt Memorial Park, 2701 Old Lincoln Highway, Trevose.

Donations may be sent to United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia & Vicinity at www.ucpphila.org.

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.plattmemorial.com.


wnaedele@phillynews.com

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|