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Noelle Shikim Ip

August 24, 1996 ~ October 26, 2019 (age 23)



Noelle (Scarlette) Shikim Ip was born on a bright, clear and warm morning on August 24, 1996 in Chicago, IL to her parents, Dianne Cooke and Hon Ip, so eager to join us that she arrived a few days early. Noelle died on a grey, overcast and chilly morning, October 26, 2019 in Madison, WI. She was born Christopher Gejung, but knew early on that biology did not match her reality, and she bravely embarked on the difficult journey of transition to her true identity. She legally changed her name to Noelle in 2014 and pursued her transformation with tireless enthusiasm.

Standing up for what she believed, defending her friends, speaking her mind: that was our daughter. Noelle was smart, caring, compassionate and gifted. She read widely, consuming information voraciously and retaining everything that she read. A true musician, she played the violin for most of her life, earning State Honors, was a member of Wisconsin Youth Symphony, and continued playing as a young adult. The striking young busker on State Street – that was our Noelle. She composed music, and her compositions will be her lasting gift to her friends. She loved science, art, nature, and especially humor; her wit was sharp and her laughter was genuine. She planned to pursue her passion, computer security, as a career.

Noelle liked to befriend everyone she met and though her life was short, she touched many of us. Deeply. She would do anything for her friends. Even when her pockets were empty, her heart was full, and she’d offer help. May the spark that was Noelle ignite something inside us, and may we pass that light on to others.

A private ceremony for Noelle will be held for her family, and her ashes will be left in a place where she felt truly happy and peaceful, the last of her many transitions. Friends who knew her as Scarlette have organized a memorial at The Crucible, 3116 Commercial Ave., Madison WI, on Sunday, November 3 at 1:00 pm. Contributions in her memory may be directed to WYSO student scholarships at  To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

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