Dr. Norman W. "Norm" Ingham (1934 - 2015)

Obituary
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  • "Norman has been a family friend since his birth. I have..."
    - Betty Ann Mariani (for the White Family)
  • "My condolence to the Ingham family. I went to South Hadley..."
    - Patrick Beauregard
  • "I was privileged to be among those who cared for Norman..."
    - Violet White
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GRANBY - Dr. Norman W. Ingham, 80, died Monday, April 27, 2015, at Orchard Valley of Wilbraham.

He was born Dec. 31, 1934, in Holyoke, son of the late Earl M. and Gladys M. (Rust) Ingham, and though he lived in many places, he considered Granby his true home. Norm graduated from Middlebury College in 1957. He was also a Fulbright Scholar and studied in Berlin. He earned a master's degree in Russian from the University of Michigan in 1959, and he received his Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literature at Harvard University in 1963. Norm studied in the Soviet Union (Leningrad 1961) and Czechoslovakia (Prague 1963 to 1964).

He taught at Indiana University from 1964 to 1965, Harvard University from 1965 to 1971, and was a professor of Russian literature at the University of Chicago from 1971 to 2006, specializing in the Medieval period, and also teaching modern literature, humanities, and Russian civilization.

He was a member of several genealogical societies, including the National Genealogical Society and a contributing member of "The American Genealogist." He is a published author. His works include the book: "Ingham Genealogy The Descendants of Joseph Ingham of Saybrook Connecticut, and many articles on Russian Literature. He appeared in "Who's Who in America."

Norm truly believed that education was the key to one's success. He once said about the importance of language study in education: "A person can't be considered truly educated who hasn't mastered at least one language other than his or her own native language." He was fluent in Polish, Russian, Czech, Spanish, English, French, Italian, Old Church Slavonic, and Greek. He was methodical in everything he did, and remained a true gentleman throughout his life. Norm was not a religious person, but he respected other's spiritual beliefs, and even received a special permit to perform the marriage of his grandniece.

Norm was very close to his extended family and friends, whom he regularly spent time with. He felt that holidays were a particularly important time for family to gather. He was the designated family historian, saving all family memorabilia such as photos and papers as reminders of how important family was to him. He remained close to his friends, particularly Tom Feininger, Peter Salmon, and Warren Wellman, and spoke weekly with colleagues from the University of Chicago and those he met while working on genealogies. He had an intelligent, dry sense of humor. He loved telling people that his family descended from famous people and royalty, like Humphrey Bogart, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Glenn Close, Harry Truman, Clara Barton, and Princess Diana. He enjoyed playing poker, golf (saving the scorecards from every game), watching basketball and old movies, going to and listening to opera, collecting stamps, and reading. He also collected National Geographic magazines.

Norman was predeceased by his brothers Myron and Nelson. He is survived by two nieces, Patricia Gelinas of Granby, and Judith Ingham of Montague; five nephews, Lewis Ingham, Bill Ingham and Earl Ingham all of South Hadley, Richard Ingham of Stafford Springs, Connecticut, and Larry Ingham of Ayer; several great-nieces and nephews; many great-great-nieces and nephews; and his sister-in-law Jeannette Ingham.

A visiting hour will be held Monday, May 4, from 10 to 11 a.m. from the Beers and Story South Hadley Funeral Home, followed by a celebration of life service at Johnny's Tap Room at 11:30 a.m. Interment will follow in the West Cemetery, Granby.

Memorial contributions in his memory may be made to Life Choice Hospice, 15 Midstate Drive, Auburn, MA 01501, or the Friends of The Granby Free Public Library, 297 East State St., Granby, MA 01033.

For more information please visit www.beersandstory.com.

To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to www.gazettenet.com/obituaries.
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Beers & Story Funeral Home
10 Maple Street
Belchertown, MA 01007
(413) 323-6961
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette from Apr. 29 to Apr. 30, 2015
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