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Norman Gardner Luther

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Luther, Norman Gardner MANCHESTER, Conn. Norman Gardner Luther, 93, formerly of Schenectady, beloved husband for 63 years to the late Marion Ruth (Furman) Luther, passed away peacefully in Manchester on Friday, December 14, 2012. Born on May 23, 1919, he was the youngest of six, and only surviving son of the late Grace (Gardner) and Frederick Luther. Due to the untimely death of his father, Norman was the sole support of his mother and two older sisters while he was in high school. It is believed he is the sole surviving graduate of the Class of 1937 of Mont Pleasant High School. Norman was a 1942 graduate of the General Electric Company Apprentice Program, which at the time was equivalent to a college education. During his 29 years with GE, he held the positions of precision toolmaker, welding, small-machine and senior large-machine foreman. He worked on the first prop jet engine developed by the General Electric Company. During World War II, Norman was drafted four times, and four times he was sent home to continue the top secret clearance work he did at GE for the war effort. He later worked as a manufacturing engineer, manager of quality control or a troubleshooter at Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) in Latham, Glenville Gauge in Scotia and RS Machine in Glens Falls. He retired from Greno Industries. In addition to his vocation, Norman found the time to follow his avocation. Unable to find a satisfactory ice cream product, he embarked on making his own. Founded in 1954, Norman and Marion owned and operated Luther's Ice Cream Parlor, a Schenectady institution for more than 40 years. Customers were known to fill their coolers and bring Luther products home to neighboring states. The Luthers were "summer parents" to many of their employees, often lending an ear, a caring shoulder and their wise counsel as needed. Many important life lessons were taught and learned at Luther's on both sides of the counter. Who could forget "Luther the producer of the best ice cream in Schenectady!" In his younger days, Norman was active in the Boy Scouts of America as an assistant Scout leader for Troop 24 and Scoutmaster for Troop 255, Lincoln School. He was a master mason of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, Christopher Yates Lodge 1174 for more than 65 years. He served as a treasurer of the Pleasant Valley Elementary School PTA and president of the Mont Pleasant High School PTA. He was a member of the Mont Pleasant Association. Norman was elected to the Schenectady City Council and served honorably from 1968 through 1972. He was inordinately proud to represent the good people of "the City that Lights and Hauls the World." Throughout his life he was an active member of the consistory of the Mont Pleasant Reformed Church, Schenectady; member of the Thundervolts (a radio-control airplane club) from 1937 to 2007, and president from 1990-1999; chairman of his 50th high school class reunion, and an active member of the Niskayuna Reformed Church in the following capacities, Men of Retirement Age (MORA) member for 21 years and president for 6 years; Pairs and Spares Fellowship Group member for 21 years and president for 10 years; elder of the consistory; chairman of property and membership committees; chairman of antique show and a member of finance, search and strategic planning committees. He was honored in 2007 by the General Assembly of the State of New York for his lifetime of service to the community. In 2007, Norman and Marion moved to Connecticut to be closer to family. Norman continued his service to others as president of the Tobacco Valley Flyers Remote Control Club from 2008 through 2011. He was an amazing man, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, friend, mentor and leader. He lived his life with grace and honor, a friend to all. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Ward Ponticelli of Manchester, with whom he made his home; his grandchildren, Peter and Corey Ponticelli of Coventry, Conn., Alexandra and fiance Jason Marsh of Manchester and Eric and Jessica Ponticelli of Vernon, Conn.; his great-grandchildren, to whom he will forever be "Pop-Pop," Owen and Ian Ponticelli of Coventry and Logan Ponticelli of Vernon; his nieces, Patricia Gartner of Parsippany, N.J., and Barbara Weidman of Albany; his nephew, Clayton Stahl of Levittown, Pa.; grandniece and nephews and great-grandnieces and nephew. In addition to his wife Marion, Norman was predeceased by his son, David, in 1966 and his sisters, Marion and Dorothy. A celebration of Norman's life will be held Thursday, December 20, 2012 at Niskayuna Reformed Church, 3041 Troy Schenectady Road, Schenectady at 11 a.m. with burial to follow in Memorys Gardens, Colonie. Friends and family may pay their respects on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at the Jones Funeral Home, 1503 Union St., (at McClellan Street) Schenectady, from 4 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Niskayuna Reformed Church Building Fund. Condolences may be sent in care of Mr. and Mrs. Ward Ponticelli, 52 Vernon St., Manchester, CT 06042. For directions and online condolences, please visit jonesfh.net
Published in Albany Times Union from Dec. 18 to Dec. 19, 2012
Funeral Home
Jones Funeral Home
1503 Union Street Schenectady, NY 12309
(518) 346-3881
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