Marcia Noyes James

Marcia Noyes James

Feb. 24, 1935 – July 31, 2011

 Marcia Noyes James, 76, passed away in San Clemente on July 31, 2011.  She was a beloved wife, mother and friend. 


Marcia was born in Dayton, Ohio, to Marjorie and MacArthur Noyes.  She later moved to Palatine, Ill., where she met the future love of her life, Charles B. James II.  They were both 14 years old. Marcia attended Palatine High School, where she was a cheerleader and an honor student.  Following high school, Noyes attended Northwestern University. She was an active member of The Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and spent her summers on Cape Cod.  


Chuck and Marcia married in 1956 when Chuck was attending the University of Wisconsin.  They had three children, Mac, Laurie and Chuck.  The James family then relocated to Florida, where James pursued her love of painting.  Her work was exhibited in numerous art shows, including a dual show with her son, Mac (also a painter) at the Union League Club in New York City.  James’ work is owned by many private collectors.


During their time in Florida, the entire James family became avid tennis players.  It was also in Florida where she designed three James homes.  She also deigned a James home in Dallas. These homes were featured on home tours.


James was always active in the arts including the Tampa Museum of Art and the Dallas Ballet.


The couple retired to Orange County in 2001. James was an active member of the Laguna Art Museum along with literary organizations including the American Association of University Women and local book and poetry clubs.  


Marcia James will always be remembered as a beautiful, kind, loving, giving and selfless woman who touched everyone with whom she came in contact.  She remains in our hearts, thoughts and lives forever. 


James is survived by her husband of 55 years, Charles B. James II and her children, Mac, Laurie and Chuck.  


A private interment will be held at St. Andrews by-the-Sea in San Clemente. A celebration of life memorial will take place locally in the early fall. In lieu of flowers, donations in James’ memory can be made to the American Cancer Society.



Maria Jane Gilman


Born on April 22, 1913, in Ceres, Calif., Maria Jane Gilman was daughter of Ora and Guy Whitmore.  Gilman moved to the Bay Area as a teen, learned to play golf on Bay Beach and was brought to Laguna Beach for summer vacations.  After attending Pasadena City College, she moved to Los Angeles to work for a greeting card company as well as a stint painting bubbles and smoke for Walt Disney’s studio on “Snow White”.  


Gilman more firmly established her presence in Laguna Beach when she bought a lot at the foot of Mystic Hills from ‘Uncle Joe’ Thurston. At age 24, she hand-modeled ceramic flower jewelry, earning enough to have a house built in what was a eucalyptus grove.


In 1941 she was the youngest exhibitor at the Festival of Arts, where she won the best-decorated booth award.


She married a builder, David Canedy Gilman in 1943 and had one daughter, Susan, in 1948. After David’s passing in 1972, Gilman co-created and ran an antique shop called Attic Fantasies in Laguna Beach for eight years.  Gilman was a Girl Scout leader as well as a member of the Business and Professional Woman’s Club. Gilman exhibited her ceramic flowers at the Sawdust Festival for three summers in the late 1980s, then the oldest exhibitor there.


After being a landlord in Laguna Beach for over 60 years, Gilman moved to Taos, N.M., with her daughter, Susan in 2001. She and Susan relocated again to Wisconsin in 2006


Gilman passed away peacefully in her sleep on July 9, 2011. She is survived by her daughter, Susan Gilman; sister, Willoughby Rosenthal; nieces, Adria Shields and Ora Sterling; three  grandchildren and three great grandchildren.


 Beloved by all who knew her and outstanding in her service as a citizen of Laguna Beach for 67 years, “Janie” will be sorely missed. 


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