Norman Morgan, a proud participant of the greatest generation and known to his friends and fellow workers as “Stormin Norman”, passed away gently on Sept 9, 2017 at age 93. Although in his last years he was physically incapacitated by numerous maladies, he remained mentally strong and lucid until the final end. In his long and active life, he was always gung-ho in appreciating the best that life offered and enjoying many social activities, including playing bridge, golfing, bowling, going to the casino, ballpark and racetrack and attending military group social functions. He loved to chat and enjoyed meeting people. He was always generous with money and constructive in his criticism with family and friends.
Norman was a patriotic first generation American born in Detroit in 1924 to Russian-Jewish immigrants Gussie and Louis. He was the third born son and his brothers were Harry, Hyman and Gerry.
Norman joined the Navy at age 17 nine months before the outbreak of World War II in order to directly oppose the forces of fascism, which threatened religious freedom, democracy and the American way. He was stationed in South Africa for a month (of which he had fond stories and memories of his adventurous youth) when the Pearl Harbor attack occurred and his ship the USS Quincy was soon redeployed to the Pacific fleet to engage the Japanese Navy. In the most consequential event in his life, at the Battle of Savoy Island on August 9, 1942 his courageous ship was sunk by Japanese torpedoes and he was seriously wounded by shrapnel earning a purple heart. Hundreds of his shipmates were killed while Norman floated in shark-infested waters for many hours before being rescued. This fateful event remained in his consciousness for his entire life and influenced everything that he did.
He served in the Navy for 6 years with assignments in Hawaii, Nebraska and Washington D.C. Then he tried life as a civilian for just a few weeks before deciding again to rejoin the military, this time, signing up for the Army in 1947. Norman remained in the Army until 1962 when he finally retired as a Captain. During his 14 year Army career, he served duty in many locations including Washington D.C., Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Michigan, Japan and South Korea (Korean War). After his formal military career ended, he was also commissioned as a Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol during the 60’s and 70’s and led two international exchange visits to the Philippines and Malaysia.
In 1962 he relocated to Los Angeles California, where he began his next career as an Internal Revenue Officer. In 1972 he transferred to Phoenix Arizona and he continued with IRS until 1978 when he retired for a second time. Soon thereafter he began to work for the State of Arizona Revenue Department where he remained until 1985 when he retired for the third and final time. Norman resided in Phoenix, Arizona for his last 45 years, which is the place on Earth where he spent the greatest part of his life.
In 2011 he participated in a heartfelt trip to Washington DC sponsored by Honor Flights Arizona, visiting the recently constructed World War Two monument with other heroic WW11 veterans in triumphant and joyful celebration.
Norman was married to Reba Louise Tarpley in 1947 and together they had four children, Norman Louis, Linda Carol, Barbara Ann, and Nancy Ellen. Reba died in 2007. Norman is survived by the four children and his two grandchildren, Kimberly and Morgan, his two sons-in-law James and Thomas and his beloved Charlotte.
Funeral Services will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix at 10:30 a.m., on Thursday, September 14, 2017.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to Honor Flight Arizona http://honorflightaz.org/Print Obituary & Condolences