John Noer, 86, a resident of the Mayflower Community, presents a 4,000-piece jigsaw puzzle entitle, “Animals of the World,” to Farrah Deppe, a fourth grade teacher at Davis Elementary on Thursday, Feb. 17. The puzzle features fun cartoon characters superimposed on an accurate map of the world. Located in the upper left hand corner is a legend to help viewers learn about where the different animals from around the world are from.
By J.O. Parker
It only took him 18-days, but the finished product will serve as an educational tool for years to come.
John Noer, 86, who has been putting together puzzles since he was a kid, is at it again.
Noer, who resides with his wife, Dorothy, at the Mayflower Community in Grinnell, recently completed a 4,000-piece jigsaw puzzle entitled, “Animals of the World.”
The puzzle was made in Taiwan by Yu Gong Fang, and was a gift from his daughter, who resides with her family in Taiwan.
The puzzle features fun cartoon characters superimposed on an accurate map of the world. Located in the upper left hand corner is a legend to help viewers learn about where the different animals from around the world are from.
When he finished the puzzle earlier this year, Noer asked Mayflower Executive Director Steve Langerud to come look at it and make a suggestion on what to do with it.
“He suggested giving it to Davis Elementary in Grinnell,” said Noer.
After having the puzzle matted and framed by Jim Beckman, owner of Beckman Gallery in Grinnell, Noer reached out to Davis Elementary Principal Brian Conway to see if the school was interested in having the puzzle for educational purposes.
“He agreed it would be something the school would be interested in having,” Noer said.
"It is a puzzle that kids can learn from and are already fascinated by,” note Principal Conway. “We are very appreciative of the connection that we have with the Mayflower Community and its residents. Something that has been lost during the pandemic is our close connection to learning experiences with Mayflower residents and we are excited that this is slowly coming back.
The donation took place on Thursday, Feb. 17.
“I know it will be something our students will enjoy looking at in the building,” said Farrah Deppe, fourth grade teacher at Davis.
Noer most recently completed a 40,320-piece puzzle featuring 10 Disney Scenes. Three sections of that puzzle were donated to the Strand Theatre.
He has also completed a 3,000-piece puzzle of an African jungle scene that is on display in his dining room, a 9,000-piece puzzle of a colorful underwater scene that was formerly on display in the Mayflower Health Center – Carman Center, but has since been moved to Noer’s apartment building and a 4,000-piece puzzle of 100 Beatles songs. That puzzle will be raffled off at a later date by the Mayflower Community. In addition, Noer has completed a 4,000-piece human body puzzle that is 10-foot tall. His daughter in Taiwan sent the puzzle to him. Once she returns to the states, she plans to use the puzzle in teaching high school anthropology.
In addition to puzzling, Noer enjoys playing card games and says he knows 65 card games. He is also working on a book about his puzzling and card game hobbies. The book will be entitled, “Puzzling Adventures.”
“It keeps me off the streets and out of trouble,” Noer said of his puzzle and game hobbies.