NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – Our dear friend, Norman Witty, died unexpectedly Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, in New York City where he resided. He died peacefully with his sister Frances Witty Hamermes, by his side.
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Born in Boston, Mass., in 1941, Norman graduated from Newton High School and Northwestern University where he was a member of Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity.
After college, he lived in Los Angeles, Calif., for several years and was active in the anti-war movement there.
Norman was an internationally known dealer of vintage movie posters, books and comics, which he traded and sold throughout the United States, France, and Italy. His lifelong love of film began in childhood, attending matinees at the legendary Majestic Oriental Theater in Mattapan, a neighborhood of Boston, Mass. Norman was a generous friend and mentor who taught others to love and appreciate great cinema.
In the early 1970s, while driving from Los Angeles to Boston, he passed through Northampton, Mass. He liked what he saw, relocated here and lived here for the next 30 years. He opened Omega Books store, selling American literature, illustrated books and later comics, in a building he owned at 213 Main St., Northampton, MA. Also a collector of art and pop culture artifacts, he possessed great instincts in all he acquired. Norman's expertise were coveted by artists and collectors in the U.S. and Europe. He was known as a leading figure in underground and vintage comics and mentored many successful artists. A Francophile and lover of French New Wave Cinema, he visited France many times, lived there in the mid-1990s, and had many lifelong friends there.
A man of strong will, deep intellect and sharp wit, Norman had many loyal and lifelong friends who will sorely miss him. He leaves behind his sister Frances Witty Hamermesh and her husband Daniel Hamermesh of Austin, Texas, his nephews David and Matthew Hamermesh and their families, and several cousins.
A private memorial is being held in New York City for family and close friends. A gathering of Northampton friends will be arranged for a later date.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Dec. 18, 2013