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Frank J. Normali

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Frank J. Normali Obituary
FRANK J. NORMALI, 84, formerly of Estes Park, beloved husband of Marilyn Spillner; loving father of Deborah (Alex) Gibson, Dawn Normali, Scott (Linda) Normali, and Dianne (Paul) Michener; dear grandfather of Michelle (Tim) Hastie, Nisa (Constance) Michener, Kera (Jim) Connour, Lauren (Viki) Michener, Robert Normali, Iliana Normali-Kraft, Michael Michener, and Marrianna Lamont, and great-grandfather of Korrina and Jorin Connour, Alexis Hastie and Bryan Michener; son of the late Frank Normali, Sr. and Elsie and Ray Nickoson; cherished brother of Nancy Rae; uncle of many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his former wife and mother to his four children Joan (Herbert) Normali who also lived in Estes Park for several years. Frank peacefully passed away on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at his home in Parma, Ohio surrounded by his loving family. Funeral Services were conducted in Ohio following his death. Memorial contributions may be forwarded to the Historic Stanley Home Foundation, P.O. Box 2130, Estes Park, Colorado 80517 and the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, P.O. Box 3100, Estes Park, Colorado 80517. Frank and his former wife Judith (Ifft) Chandler moved from Ohio to Colorado in 1973. They purchased the Stanley Hotel in 1974. Frank loved the hotel at first sight and devoted the next 20 years of his life bringing her back from neglect and disrepair. Many believe that he saved the severely neglected historic hotel from the possible demolition that was being discussed prior to the Normali purchase. To prevent this from ever happening in the future in 1977 the Stanley was listed on the National Register of Historic Places through his efforts. Later, the ownership donated a scenic easement which protected the primary view corridor of the hotel for all time. During their ownership, millions were expended to repair, renovate and redecorate the historic buildings including installing heat for the first time to the main building in 1982 and sprinkler systems throughout the primary buildings. Frank was able to purchase and return many of the original furnishings to the hotel that had been removed or sold over the years, including the baby grand piano that was a gift from F.O. Stanley's to his wife Flora. The piano was played by John Philip Sousa and bears his signature. Frank and Judith brought back award-winning theater, music and the arts to the Stanley. The Stanley once again offered fine dining and entertainment. The Stanley became one of the top wedding venues in Colorado. Frank and Judith were host to many celebrities, artists, politicians and even royalty. Musicians Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Pablo Elivira, and Paul Simon along with Actors Dana Andrews, Richard Chamberlain, Michael Ansara, Beulah Bondi, Celeste Holm, Dale Robertson and many others stayed and/or performed at The Stanley. Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. Colorado's Governor Dick Lamb and his wife Dottie; Kansas Governor Alf Landon and many other politicians as well as Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko made a visit to The Stanley Hotel. Author Stephen King came to The Stanley in 1974. During his stay, he was inspired and wrote "The Shining" giving The Stanley the recognition it has as one of the most haunted hotels in America. Through the devastating floods of 1976 and 1982 and the deep recession of the 1980s, they persevered. In 1995, the Stanley was purchased by its present ownership and in 1996, Frank returned to Cleveland and restarted his investment business, and met and married Marilyn. He worked until almost the very end of his life in the business that he loved second only after that of Stanley Hotel Owner. In 2017, he completed and published his book, The Spirit of the Stanley which includes much of his story at the Stanley Hotel. Frank Normali was an extraordinary and generous man, a wonderful son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend. Our lives have been greatly enriched by knowing him. His legacy will live on in all of us. That great lady, the Stanley, which sits on the hill overlooking the beautiful Town of Estes Park and spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park is part of the legacy he protected for us all.
Published in Estes Park Trail-Gazette on June 1, 2018
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