Norman D. Block ’58 died onFebruary 20, 2019, in Carmel, California.
(The following was published in the Sun Journal on March 7, 2019:)
Norman David Block, formerly of South Paris, passed away peacefully in California, surrounded by loving family, on February 20, 2019.
Norman was born on June 29, 1936, and raised in South Paris, Maine. The oldest of four, Norman’s siblings teased him affectionately throughout his life for being the “only boy” in the family, and the oldest. He saved cards affectionately signed with love from his “younger” sister for all of his life.
From the time he was a young boy, Norman was ambitious and incredibly intelligent. In high school, Norman was active in plays, he was a sports manager, he served on the student council, and was editor of the school yearbook. He also won the National Science Fair Award. He graduated from South Paris High School in 1954 as valedictorian of his class. He said his dream was to become a foreign diplomat, and he received the triple titles of most dramatic, most literary, and most likely to succeed in his class.
Norman went to Bowdoin College, and he was deeply loyal to his alma mater (and to his home state of Maine) throughout his life. He was a Rhodes Scholar, he studied law at Harvard Law School, and he graduated at the top of his class.
Norman worked for CBS records for twenty-three years. Throughout his tenure at CBS, Norman served as managing director of CBS Records (which later became Sony Entertainment) in Paris and in Switzerland, and director of business affairs for CBS Records International. He loved music, and took great pleasure in sharing his love of music and performances with his family, treating them on occasion to special concerts and shows.
Norman was also an avid fly fisherman and tyer, and he had a favorite stream in Switzerland where he loved to fish. He also loved to golf, and he frequently played in the United States and Europe. He relished his annual trip to a golf course in Sicily.
Norman was a voracious reader, and he treasured his collection of books. He also had a deep appreciation for the law. He was a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court, and he never tired of contemplating a new constitution for the United States—one that would reflect a modern reality the founders likely never anticipated. He dreamed of a universal health care system, based on the model in Switzerland where he lived for over two decades. He also longed for gun control background checks, and estate tax reform.
Norman was equally passionate about his beloved Yankees, whom he adored. He loved children, and he made his family laugh with the affectionate and funny nicknames he gave his nieces. He loved magic tricks, and developed a unique proficiency as a magician. He also had a notorious and insatiable sweet tooth. He was particularly fond of minty and chocolate candies. Junior Mints and Mentos were among his favorites.
Norman is survived by his loving sister, nieces, great-nieces, and great-nephews.