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03 June 2011

J'Noel Gardiner (1958 - ) finance professor.

Jay Noel Ball was raised in Wisconsin. After a variety of schools he graduated with a Ph.D. in business from the University of Georgia in 1987, and an MBA from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1988. In 1988 Jay married his classmate and girlfriend of eight years, and obtained a job teaching at Northeastern University in Boston.

He was denied tenure in 1993, as it had come out that he was a transvestite, despite the support of the finance faculty. Jay made the transition to female, and both partners turned up for the 1994 divorce hearing in female clothing. J’Noel had surgery from Dr Eugene Schrang.

She was hired in 1997 to teach finance at Park University, Kansas. She was a popular teacher, and no-one knew much about her past.

In May 1998, at a Founder's Day event she met the 85-year-old Marshall Gardiner, a two-term state-representative who was a donor to the university. After some months of dating, and after J'Noel explained her past during a game of scrabble, they were married in September by a Kansas supreme court judge. A year later Marshall suffered a heart attack on a flight to Baltimore, and J'Noel laid him on the floor of the plane.

He had died intestate, which meant that half of his $2.4 million estate went to his wife. His estranged son Joe Gardiner hired a private detective to investigate J'Noel. He challenged the probate of the will first on the grounds that J’Noel had signed a pre-nuptial agreement, but then on the grounds that Kansas does not recognize marriage between persons born the same sex. The Texas precedent of Christine Littleton was cited. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that as the current law is silent on transsexuals, they were as at birth, and that the Kansas prohibition on marriage between persons of the same sex applies.


Lani said...

I remember hearing about this case at the time. The man's son was interviewed on a program and he said that he and his family only met J'Noel once at a family reunion (I believe it was) and they begin talking about how they suspected she was really a man because she walked with a wide gait like a man. Then when his father died they pooled their money, hiring a detective to discover what they suspected all along.

KatrinaChicago said...

I her her as a professir during this time the case was ongoing. News stations, tv updates.. The entire nine! She carried herself with grace.. Very Very Smart!! Almost brilliant! We all knew that she was transgender. It was never discussed and it didnt matter. I learned so much from her. Leaving a legacy, cars are bad investments, buy the cheapest house on the best block and you will always have equity

KatrinaChicago said...

She never brought her case up.. Before class shed make us do this breathing meditation to relax for about 5 minutes.. I hope she is well. One of the Best professors that I ever had

Unknown said...

J'Noel, please contact me. Many of us professors at Park University felt horrible how you were treated. I hope you are doing well and that you are still teaching.
Mike Fitzmorris