Norman E. McKenna, of Toledo and Middleburg Hts., OH passed away on Saturday, November 17, 2012. He was born in Toledo to John E. and Eva (Merhab) McKenna on January 17, 1923. Norman was a Scott High School grad in 1941 and graduated from the University of Toledo in 1948. He earned his BBA and then did graduate work in speech and radio at Northwestern University the following year.
Norman was a self styled musician and singer who entertained as a comedian and M.C. for over seventy years. He wrote scripts while in school for the Bob Hope Show before serving in WWII.
Norman was a very proud of the University of Toledo, having served as president of Alpha Phi Omega and vice-president of the Alumni. He also was a member of Who's Who in American Fraternities in 1948.
Norman had a great association with many national organizations and was a member of the elite group of the National Committee to Preserve Medicare and Social Security. He was active through his eighties with the Senior Coalition and the United Seniors Association, and served as a contributor to many national organizations. The Elks and Fraternal Order of Eagles kept this man busy.
Norman was a WWII veteran and a charter member of the D-Day Memorial Museum in New Orleans, and a charter member of the WWII Army Memorial. He was discharged as a Battalion Sgt. Major, serving in Nuremburg at the end of WWII.
Norman's business career started in 1948 with UARCO Business Forms. He advanced from Sales to National Sales Trainer in Chicago and Toledo. He relocated with Pitney Bowes and went from record sales to District Manager, Fort Wayne, as the number one district in the country. Norman was promoted to Lansing and again had top operations for some four years.
He hired hundreds of sales reps, administrative and service personnel in his long career, which also included stops on Cleveland and Connecticut as General Manager and returning to Toledo for a brief stint for family reasons. His last 18 years were as a Branch Regional Manager, retiring as the first National Sales Director.
He was a master, at what he called "Inspirational sales meetings and training sessions." From east to west, "Stormin' Norman" (coined in his early career) ran these meetings all over the USA. He loved to train and see people grow. His career ran well into his eighties.
Norman met his wife, Mary, now deceased, when she was a counselor at the University of Toledo. Mary was part of the psychological testing group that evaluated Norman before he was allowed under the G.I. program to return to college. Some years later, they married and had two daughters. He is survived by daughters, Lynn, a Toledo area attorney married to Tim Hoover, owner of a local real estate appraisal company; and Nancy, married to Dr. Leigh Herman of Powell, Ohio. Also surviving Norman is his very special friend, Lenore Burgess, of Brook Park, Ohio, who worked tirelessly to care for him during his last illness.
Visitation will be held at the Foth-Dorfmeyer Mortuary, 3815 Sylvania Ave. (at Woodley Rd.) on Tuesday from 3-8 p.m. where funeral services will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Interment Ottawa Hills Memorial Park.
Donations for Norman, a long time cancer survivor until his last battle with leukemia, may be made in his memory to a cancer organization of the donor's choice.
Online condolences may be left for the family at
Published in Toledo Blade on Nov. 19, 2012