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1926 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
NORMAN ARTHUR BURANDT Norman Arthur Burandt of Pharr, Texas passed away on October 19, 2013. Born August 9, 1926 in Asheville, North Carolina, Norman was the younger of two children born to Henry A. and Erna L. Burandt. Norman was predeceased by his loving wife of 62 years, Selma, in 2011. Norman graduated from Highland Park High School, Dallas Texas in May 1944 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June. Initially sent to officers training school, he reconsidered his career goals, relocated to the Great Lakes as a member of the Bluejacket Choir, and subsequently boarded the USS Earle, a minesweeper in the Pacific, for the remainder of the war. Norman completed undergraduate studies at Southern Methodist University (BA in Psychology). After discovering a passion for teaching, his education continued with masters and doctoral work in physics and education at Texas A&M-Kingsville, Texas A&M-College Station, and University of Texas-Austin. Norman married the love of his life, Selma Marie Sorenson, on May 1, 1949. After briefly living in Dallas and Houston, Norman and Selma relocated to Selma's hometown of Pharr where he lived the majority of his life. After Selma's passing, he relocated to the Houston area to live closer to his beloved children. Norman often remarked that he was a lucky person to be able to earn a living while having so much fun. He taught 8th grade and high school science courses in PSJA schools and then spent 34 years at the University of Texas-Pan American teaching physics, math, computer, and engineering courses. He was a positive influence in the lives of thousands of students, as well as those with whom he worked. In addition to teaching, Norman co-owned and operated one of the first computer stores in the Valley, Valley Computer Systems, and was the owner of NABCO Systems, a software development company. Norman was very active in the Lutheran Church, in the Valley through both Our Savior's and Prince of Peace. He served as congregation president, lay minister, and choir director for many years, and, Synod wide, as a member of the Board. In retirement, he was active in organizations including the RGV Chapter of the .(Board Chair) and the Pharr Memorial Library (charter member and treasurer of Friends of the Library). In addition to embodying all the positive attributes of members of the Greatest Generation, Norman was a true Renaissance man. He seemed equally comfortable whether he was teaching physics, singing opera, working with computers, sewing dresses for his daughters, developing photos in his makeshift darkroom, building a house, preaching a church sermon, preparing a holiday meal, or rebuilding a car. He had a curiosity for life and seemed to excel at whatever he tried whether it was earning a pilot license in his spare time while doing doctoral work at UT-Austin or winning bridge competitions in college and ping pong championships in the Navy. His was a life well lived! He is survived by his 5 children and their families: son Dana of Corpus Christi; daughter Bridget and children, Lindsey and Whitney Moore of Houston; daughter Torrie and husband, Mike Green, and their children, Madison (Caleb Banister) and Cody, of Edmond, OK; son Barry and wife, Amparo, of Houston, and children Traci (Rodney Wilson), Lisa Molnar, and Manzur Vazquez; and son Kevin and wife, Tammy, and their children Jessica (Jonathan Warshaw), Travis and Taylor of Houston. Norman also leaves great-grandchildren: Able, Abigail, and Abbot Wilson, Sebastian and Dominic Molnar, Colton Warshaw, and, on the way, Anna Marie Banister. A memorial service and celebration of life will be held on Friday, November 8th from 6 to 8 pm at Pharr Memorial Library. In lieu of flowers, the family gratefully requests that contributions be made in Norman's name to Friends of the Pharr Memorial Library, 121 E. Cherokee, Pharr, TX 78577 or Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 266, Mission, TX 78573. Sign the guest book at www.themonitor.com/obituaries
Published in The Monitor on Nov. 3, 2013
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