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Norman (Norm) Marks


1935 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Norman (Norm) Marks Obituary
February 18, 1935 - November 30, 2016 Norm, age 81, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family. Norm was born in Montreal, Canada, to Abraham Marks and Rose (Berk) Marks. The family moved to Boyle Heights in 1939. Growing up poor in the 40's wasn't easy, but Norm transcended his limited means. Attending Roosevelt High School, he made great friends, many of whom are still part of our extended family. He excelled in gymnastics, and went on to Cal State LA, where he won the 1957 NCAA Free Exercise Championship in Gymnastics, for which he is enshrined in the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. After college, he began a career as an educator with LAUSD, shortly thereafter meeting the love of his life, Joan Orshoff. They fell quickly in love, and were married in 1961. They settled in the San Fernando Valley where their children, son, Gary, and daughter, Allison, were born. Norm rose up in the ranks of LAUSD, and became the leader of the secondary Intern Program. He loved this teacher training program, and left an inspiring and indelible mark to thousands of teachers he trained, and by extension, even more students. During the summers, Norm, along with his brother Jack, sister-in-law Joan, and his wife, Joan, owned and operated a summer camp, Camp Akela, in Prescott, Arizona, where he continued to touch the lives of kids and young adults, many of whom still look upon those summers as their happiest times. In fact, there were few who met him who weren't touched in some transformative and positive way by this man who became the best husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, friend, and mentor anyone could imagine. He was well respected and an inspiration to everyone who knew him, and he will be missed very much. His grandchildren, Jordan and Olivia, had a special bond and loving relationship with their Papa, and he adored them. He was so very proud of them, as he was Gary and Allison, whom he and Joan felt are the most loving and supportive children any parent could ask for. Norm and Joan, who were soulmates, said by many to be an inspiration, often marked their tremendous romance and love by collecting panels of the "Love is¿" comic strip by Kim Casali. But, not one single panel could ever properly capture or describe the love and devotion he had for his wife and family. Love is¿yesterday, today, and forever and ever. Donations in Norm's name can be made to Lustgarten Foundation, 1111 Stewart Avenue, Bethpage, NY 11714.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Dec. 10 to Dec. 11, 2016
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