Richard Fred Norman

April 28, 1936 ~ July 16, 2020 (age 84)


Richard Fred Norman, 84, died at his home in Laguna Woods, California on July 16, 2020.  He was born in April, 1936 in Elmhurst, IL to John Henry Norman and Marion Ruth King. 


Richard was a true philanthropist, even from a young age he worked to help the needs of others.  While attending York Community High School, Richard saw the need for a youth center community where he lived.  He worked diligently to raise funds to get it built, petitioning investors and city council.  He succeeded and the Elmhurst Youth Center was constructed.


In 1958, Richard married his college sweetheart, Martha “Jeannine” Buis, after attending Culver-Stockton College in Canton, MO.  They moved back to the Chicago suburbs and had three children, Phillip Nathan, Renee Elizabeth and Robert Andrew.  


In 1958, he began his long 27-year career with Grainger.  He was hired as a salesman and worked hard to move his way up the organization.  He retired in 1985 as President (D-Group). 


He continued his philanthropic work by working with AIDS patients, the homeless population in Chicago and served on the board of Catholic Charities for years.  


Richard started R.F. Norman Corporation in June 1983 and continued operations until 1996 when he moved to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  He and Jeannine spent their final retirement years there until she lost her battle to cancer in 2010. Richard moved to California shortly thereafter and lived near his son Robert until his passing.  


He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Jeannine and by his brothers, William John and James Paul and by his sisters, Nancy Ann and Jayne Ruth. He is survived by his siblings, Marion Jean (Ron Waldschmidt) and David Lawrence (Elsie) and his children, Philip Nathan (Malia), Renee Elizabeth (Melissa Herndon), and Robert Andrew; grandchildren Angela Jeannine, Julia Rose, Erik Nathan and Brian Robert, and numerous nieces and nephews.


A private family service was held at Derrick Funeral Home on Monday, August 3.  Richard was laid to rest at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lake Geneva next to his wife.







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