Norman A. Smith, 63, died peacefully at home on February 2, 33 months after his level 4 glioblastoma diagnosis, surrounded by his three favorite people in the world – his loving wife of 32 years, Suzanne, and their beloved son Kyle and his wife, Lauren, of Manchester-by-the-Sea. Norm was born in West Hartford, CT to Dorothy and the late Neville Smith, happily living out his whole life within a 60-mile radius of that birthplace, including 30 years in his adopted hometown, Longmeadow, MA. Norm was exposed to and fell in love with the game of lacrosse at an early age – a love that would last a lifetime – through his high school career at Conard High School; through 4 of the best years of his life as a 2 time all-American midfielder and 1979 coach's award recipient at the University of Massachusetts; through his post-college days with the Connecticut Valley Lacrosse Club his father co-founded; and then dozens of other club and tournament teams straight through his last run with the 60+ Cloudsplitter Team during the 2019 Lake Placid Summit Classic. Norm's love of lacrosse covered all aspects of the sport – player, fan, youth coach, volunteer, promoter, radio commentator and most proudly, lacrosse Dad, always, but especially during Kyle's college playing career at the University of Massachusetts and Kyle's college coaching career at Merrimack College. Among many other accolades, Norm was a humble and proud inductee into the Western Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New England Lacrosse Halls of Fame and the UMass Athletic Hall of Fame. Beyond lacrosse, Norm highly valued the education he received at UMass, earning a BBA in Accounting from the Isenberg School in 1979 and an MBA in 1991, and he believed those unparalleled undergraduate and graduate experiences opened life-changing doors to a career he loved, spanning diverse & challenging senior financial jobs in Fortune 100 to start-up companies, including 16 years at MassMutual in positions such as Senior Vice President Finance of the U.S. Insurance Group, Senior Vice President & Corporate Controller, and Vice President Finance of the Disability Income Strategic Business. Of all the rewards his career provided, though, the co-workers turned life-long friends were the greatest. With his big heart, big laugh, love of life, self-assurance, and generous & loyal spirit, Norm drew people to him and kept them there. In addition to many, many friends Norm leaves behind three brothers, Neville Jr. (Skip) and his wife, Darlene, of Houston, TX; Jordan and his partner, Deborah Matassa, of Glastonbury, CT; Christopher and his wife, Susan, of West Hartford, CT; niece and nephews, Kevin, Tyler and Allison Smith, and Nicholas Wingate; his mother- and father-in-law, Patricia and Walter Wingate, who was his "let's go to the game" partner for many years and hundreds of games; and the rest of his much loved extended family. The family wishes to thank all of Norm's amazing care providers: Dr. Katz and Dr. Yunes and their teams at the D'Amour Center for Cancer Care; Dr. Wen, Lisa Doherty, Sarah Hogan, and the rest of the team at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Jill Bronner, Brittany Diaz, and Juan Curet at Beacon Hospice; and neurosurgeons Dr. Khaled and Dr. Chiocca. Should anyone wish to donate in Norm's memory, the UMass Men's Lacrosse Team, c/o Greg Cannella, Boyden Gym, 131 Commonwealth Ave, Amherst, MA 01002 would be a fine choice. A funeral mass for Norm will be Wednesday, February 10 at 11:00 am at Saint Mary's Church, 519 Longmeadow St, Longmeadow with burial following the mass at Saint Stanislaus Cemetery, 800 Montgomery St, Chicopee.
Published in Hartford Courant on Feb. 5, 2021.