Norman W. “Bill” Austin ’42 died on September 10, 2008, at his home in Santa Ana, California.
He was born on May 3, 1920, in Arlington, Mass., and prepared for college at Arlington High School. He was a member of Chi Psi fraternity. After graduation, he served in the Navy from 1943 to 1945 and achieved the rank of lieutenant. After his discharge, he was hired as registered representative of H.C. Wainwright & Co. in Boston and worked there from 1946 to 1950. He was hired as a salesman at Kendall Co. in Boston in 1950 and worked in the Massachusetts office for 25 years. He transferred to the Los Angeles office in 1975 and worked there until his retirement in 1982. A devoted Boy Scout volunteer, in 1973 he was awarded the Silver Beaver Award, their highest honor, given for outstanding achievement in the service of youth. After retiring, he became fascinated with growing orchids, at one point cultivating more than 1,200 on his property. He served as president of the Southern California Orchid Species Society, a group dedicated to the cultivation of orchids as they grow in the rainforest before hybridization. He gave lectures on orchids, and founded the “Fascination of Orchids” show in Costa Mesa, which grew to be the largest orchid show in the Western Hemisphere. He was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Joan (Pheasant) Norman in 2004. He is survived by son Bill Jr. and daughter Wendy.