Norman, of Teaneck, died on December 21st at Englewood Hospital. He is predeceased by Harriet Fried Fink, his beloved wife of 37 years. Born in the Bronx, he grew up in Cliffside Park, working as a youngster at Palisade Amusement Park. A WW2 veteran, he was an ardent sports fan with a special fondness for the Mets.
Best known as one of the greatest high school cross-country coaches in the state, Coach Fink amassed more than 350 wins at Dumont High School, including 21 League Championships, 5 Bergen County titles, and 9 State Sectional titles. His proudest moment came in 1971, when he won Dumont's first-ever State Championship title.
He encouraged his young runners, preaching self-confidence and personal endurance, but mostly to "run for fun!" He is in the New Jersey Coaching Hall of Fame.
A devoted teacher, Mr. Fink taught at Dumont High School for 35 years, inspiring generations of students with his dramatic reading of Shakespeare's "The Quality of Mercy Speech" from the Merchant of Venice. It was the highlight of his English class and instilled generosity and caring in his students. After he retired from coaching, he continued as a track and field official, and was the Huskies' most ardent supporter.
As Mr. Fink struggled with ill health, scores of former students from as far away as Australia rallied to help him recover from surgery, letting him know he was not alone, whether in person, by letter or video message, letting him know the effect he had had on their lives.
Mr. Fink is survived by his nephew, Phil Lebowitz and hundreds of "adopted" sons and daughters whom he inspired to become the best they could be.
Visiting will be at 8AM, with funeral services at 9AM, Tuesday, Dec. 24th 2013 at: Schoem's Menorah Chapel (201-843-9090), W-150 Route 4, Paramus NJ, GPS Address: 150 West State Route 4, Paramus NJ 07652.
Interment to follow at: Beth-El Cemetery, Paramus, NJ.
In his memory, donations to his scholarship fund may be made to: The Coach Norman Fink Supplemental Benefits Trust, PO Box 6890, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
Published in The Record/Herald News on Dec. 23, 2013