C. Norman Peacor passed away peacefully on July 16th surrounded by his family. Norman was born in Somerville, MA. He received his BS Cum Laude from Tufts University and his MS in Mathematics from the University of Michigan. He and his wife D. Jean Peacor, who passed away in 1998, raised their three children, Janice, Mark and Grant in Springfield, Monson and Orleans, MA. Norman served his country during World War II in the United States Navy, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander.
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Norman spent his business career with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company beginning as an actuary and retiring as the Executive Vice President and Chief Actuary for the company headquartered in Springfield, MA. In his successful career, Norman was a Chartered Life Member of the Society of Actuaries and the Life Office Management Association. He was in strong demand as a business speaker on such topics as actuarial instruments, operations research and, in the 1960's, the new field of electronic data management processing. In fact, he developed some of the first products using this new field. In addition to his successful career, Mr. Peacor devoted many, many hours to the betterment of Springfield, its institutions and its citizens. He was on the Board of Directors for the Salvation Army of Greater Springfield, the Springfield Chapter of the American Red Cross, and was President of the Springfield Orchestra Association.
Perhaps his two most significant civic accomplishments were as the President of the Board of Trustees of Western New England College (WNEC) and President of the Pioneer Valley United Way. As President of Trustees of WNEC, he conducted a successful 1970's campaign raising $4.5m to build the College's new library. He was also instrumental in founding the College's School of Law. As President of the United Way, he took on an organization facing difficulties. He began "Operation Turn-Around" and for the first time in many years the United Way met its goal - $1.8m in 1973.
Norman and his wife Jean enjoyed many interests together including Bridge and Amateur Radio Operations (Ham Radio). His call numbers are K1IJU. In amateur radio, he and his wife were involved in the very new business of radio transmissions through satellites. They travelled in various parts of the world honing their radio skills. In the 1970s Mr. Peacor served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Hampden County Radio Association and the Western Massachusetts section of emergency networks. Among his innovations at the time were perfecting emergency communications in the event of natural and man-made disasters including regular emergency drills, some simulated with power blackouts-tactics still used today.
After a lifetime of significant achievement, Norman was presented the prestigious William Pynchon Award in 1986. Founded in 1915 and named for the founder of Springfield, the Pynchon Award recognized and honored "devoted citizenship and distinguished civic service". Upon receiving the award, Norman was quoted in the Springfield paper-"You don't do volunteer work with the Pynchon Award as your goal. You do it because it is very satisfying to accomplish something that has a favorable impact on your community. Participation is its own award". Those words sum up his years of civic service.
Norman is survived by his daughter Janice Burling and her husband Richard of Providence, RI, his son Mark Peacor and his wife Beatriz of Santa Monica, CA, and his son Grant Peacor and his wife Melissa of Prince William, VA. He was blessed with six grandchildren - Megan Burns, Meredith Ellison, Sam Burling, Henry Peacor, Brendan Peacor and Ralph Peacor and two great -grandchildren Andrew Burns and Catherine Ellison. In addition, he is survived by two brothers and their wives, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Peacor of Yarmouthport, MA and Dr. and Mrs. Donald Peacor of Ann Arbor, MI.
Norman left his children and grandchildren a love of Cape Cod, Michigan Rummy, books, music and movies; the knowledge that the love and fun you have with family is everything, and the obligation to always do your best and serve your community.
A memorial service will be held on Friday August 12th at 3:30 PM at Epoch Assisted Living on the East Side, One Butler Ave., Providence RI. Internment will be Saturday, August 13th at 12 noon at the Orleans Cemetery, Orleans, MA.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the National Parkinson Foundation, Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 5018, Hagerstown, MD 21741.
Published in The Cape Codder from July 21 to July 28, 2011