WEST JEFFERSON, Ohio (Formerly Youngstown) – Norman Richard Fawcett, age 89, died Thursday, November 2, 2017, at Arbors West in West Jefferson, Ohio.
Norman was born January 2, 1928, in Youngstown, Ohio, the last of four children born to Luther Thomas and Clara Sherwood Fawcett.
Norman’s father was of a long-standing Quaker heritage. A civil engineer who worked for the Mahoning County engineer, Norman’s father was the bridge engineer for the Canfield Road bridge over Mill Creek at Lanterman’s Mill in Youngstown and at one time a design consultant for the expansive Mill Creek Park, which Norman’s brother Sherwood said was a frequent picnic destination for the family and rugged playground for the kids. In the late 1930s Norman’s father became the chief engineer of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District, and the chief engineer’s residence where Norman spent much of his mid-childhood through adolescence was a large historic stone house built around 1831 in the woods overlooking Meander Reservoir. Norman’s summers were spent with his family at a cottage on the bluffs above Lake Erie in Conneaut.
Norman’s mother was very music-oriented and her children became accomplished musicians. Despite his limitations described below, Norman studied piano to the extent he was able, and from what Norman’s caregivers from the 1980s told his niece Judy, he could play the piano well into his adulthood. In his later years Norman still loved and appreciated music.
Norman suffered from serious health issues from a very early age. He had a privileged childhood and adolescence but tragically his adult years were spent in institutional settings. Norman’s niece, Judy (his brother, Sherwood’s daughter) met Norman for the first time in 1991 when he was 63 and over the years she pretty much adopted him.
Norman had a wide smile that would brighten most anyone’s day. He would give the best hugs with his long arms to anyone who wanted one. In later decades he did not talk much but he had his own language that those who knew him understood. He was ornery in a harmless way – he loved to do things that would make people laugh or smile. Over the many years people loved to tell stories about what Norman had been up to. Norman’s gift was his ability to bring simple joy and laughter to those around him.
Norman is preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Jean Hazzard (George) and Ruth Bosworth (Robbins) and brother, Sherwood; as well as Jean’s twin sons, Jeffrey and Edmund.
Norman is survived by Sherwood’s wife, Martha and nieces and nephews across the country.
Norman will be dearly missed by his niece Judy, who spent a lifetime with him over the years, especially during the last almost decade of his life when she was with him daily. To her Norman was a true joy and a tremendous gift.
Norman’s family is very grateful for those of his caregivers and fellow residents who loved and were so very good to Norman over the decades, especially at Arbors West in West Jefferson, where he spent the last 8+ years of his life and other locations prior to that, including Boardman Community Care in Youngstown.
Family and friends may send condolences at www.lanefuneralhomes.com.
A television tribute will air Thursday, November 30 at the following approximate times:
6:41 a.m. WYTV and 8:41 a.m. MyYTV and 9:58 a.m. on FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.