Coping with Grief
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Norm was born in St Paul’s Vancouver, BC January 28th, 1934, to parents Martin Henry and Hattie Paulson. He was an only child and grew up with fields, orchards and fine memories of both BC’s lower mainland and the warm Interior. In the early 60's he headed north to the Yukon Territory to work as an accountant in a garage in Watson Lake. There he met Ruby, who had also ventured northwest from Ontario to work as a teacher. They wed in July 1962 then purchased property and a business on Teslin Lake. There they enjoyed their time working with the tourists and experiencing family life in Canada’s North. Deep friendships were formed with friends in Yukon, that carry through until this day and we know they too are mourning the loss of a very dear friend.
Norm and Ruby were blessed with three children. Judith (Judy and Tim) was born in Yukon Territory. Deborah (Debbie and Dave) was born in BC’s Interior and David (Dave and Jennifer) on Vancouver Island. In 1966, after completing a 6-week accounting course, Norm secured his position as the Village Administrator (Clerk) in Gold River, and Norm and Ruby settled there to raise their family. Once again deep and lifelong friendships were formed and carried through the years. Norm proudly served in the Village office from 1966 – 1983 after which time administrative skills led him to take the position of Municipal Administrator in Cumberland, BC from which he retired in 1994. Through his work, he spent much time in public service for both communities. Norm also took pride in his term on the Airport Commission helping to bring an expansion to the Comox Valley terminal, as well he enjoyed working with the Justice Institute. At age 55 he found a passion for painting which saw him explore a whole new creative side. His paintings won him accolades as ‘People’s Choice’ in various art exhibits. The awards were well deserved, we were proud, and he was unabashedly humble.
Norm had a spirit of adventure, which Ruby shared, and over the years they traveled together to many amazing places, from South America and the Caribbean, to Europe, including the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas. During his retirement, Norm played with Fiddle Jam which allowed him to express himself with his accordion. These were wonderful times for him as his natural ear allowed him to tilt his head, listen for a few notes and join enthusiastically in any jam. Again, he was a rare, modest talent. Norm was very fond of this instrument but more importantly he enjoyed being a part of the multi-generational ensemble led by Craig Freeman. He delighted to see people up, moving and dancing to an energetic jig inspired by the group’s lively tunes.
Norm loved to be out in an orchard or field picking fruit and berries. He also enjoyed the outdoor activities of skiing, hiking, beach walks and working outdoors. His family and friends were his joy, and he delighted in spending time with loved ones, exploring or playing games. His grandchildren, Bradley, Karalyn and Gregory; Grant and Leanne; and Ethan and Fraser felt his warm affection and kindness. As wit and humour filled Norm’s life, he could both give and take a good (and at times a bad) joke. His unforgettable laugh and the glint in his eye brought his optimism to every encounter. Children’s laughter and dance delighted him. His beautiful great grandchildren Isaac (7), Emma & Will (5) and Josh (3) charmed and warmed his already toasty heart. They will miss Gramps very much. We will all miss his smiles, our excursions for ice-cream or donuts, playing crib, and Rolling Out the Barrel together. However, our grief is muted as we acknowledge that he experienced great days right up until the end, and we enjoyed them with him.
If you would like to celebrate Norm's life with us, bring some Laughter - Love - Art - Music - Kindness - Generosity into your day.