Iten Noa Fales, a recent East Hampton transplant, died peacefully at her daughter’s house on Cedar Street in East Hampton on Jan. 6, while surrounded by family. She was 97.
Mrs. Fales was born in Berlin, Germany, on May 7, 1916, to Adolf and Emile Noa. She grew up in Berlin during the stretch of time between the First and Second World Wars, just before the Nazis took over. Shortly thereafter, her father, a secular Jewish banker, had the foresight to send his daughter and son to study abroad in France and England, where Mrs. Fales attended the University of London.
In later years, she arrived in the United States as an impoverished refugee, meeting her first husband, Albert Scott, who was a pacifist Quaker, while volunteering at the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization, in Cambridge, Mass. The couple raised their four children on a 40-acre organic farm on Martha’s Vineyard. During the 1950s, the farm served as a popular gathering place for New York artists and intellectuals, many of whom later frequented East Hampton.
An avid swimmer and fencer, Mrs. Fales spoke five languages. She was also passionate about local and national political issues, seeing great value in exercising democratic rights, an option that didn’t exist while in Nazi Germany.
In her professional life, she worked as a producer at WGBH, a public radio station in Boston. She was also active in local historic preservation, founding the Harvard Square Defense Fund, a civic group intent on preserving the original character of Harvard Square, from her living room. While in the Boston area, she loved the Cambridge Music Club and was an active patron of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Boston Athenaeum, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the American Civil Liberties Union.
In 1966, she married DeCoursey Fales Jr., an archaeologist and professor of history. The couple lived in Cambridge and spent their summers in Duxbury, Mass., Greece, and France, while also paying frequent visits to her daughter in East Hampton. Mr. Fales died in 2000.
Mrs. Fales spent her last three summers in East Hampton and was a regular sunbather at Indian Wells and Albert’s Landing beaches, where she lounged in her bikini until quite recently.
She is survived by her four children: Peggy Scott Hammond of East Hampton, Abigail Higgins of Martha’s Vineyard, Kate Scott of Martha’s Vineyard, and Albert Scott of Newburyport, Mass. She is also survived by her first husband, Mr. Scott, who is now 100 years old. In addition, 9 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren survive her.
A burial is planned at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. Memorial contributions have been suggested to the A.C.L.U., 125 Broad Street, 18th floor, New York 10004.