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Norman Larson

1938 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Norman Larson Obituary
Norman Tyler Larson

September 8, 1938 - February 20, 2018

Norman Tyler Larson, 79 of San Francisco passed away peacefully in the presence of comforting family on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. Norm was born on September 8, 1938. He was the 4th generation of Larsons born in San Francisco. His childhood was spent growing up with his younger brother, Steve, and parents, Kay and Roy, in the San Francisco area. He graduated valedictorian from Willow Glen High School in San Jose. He received a full academic Alfred P. Sloan scholarship to attend Stanford, University. He graduated from Stanford with a degree in Economics. Yet to develop a full vision for his life at age 22, he decided to continue his educational journey at Harvard where he earned a Law degree. Somewhere along this journey through law school and a tour with the California Air National Guard, Norm decided practicing law, and as he put it, "a series of career failures" was a deductive way of developing his eventual career vision. He was very proud to speak of his time in the Middle-East during the late 1960's to 1978, where he taught English as a second language to military personnel. He learned Arabic in Cairo and taught in Saudi Arabia and Iran. Norm was teaching in Iran at the time of the Islamic Republic revolution. He narrowly escaped the country as the Persian Dynasty fell to the Grand Ayatollah. He returned to San Francisco in late 1978 where he established his full time career as property owner and landlord.
Norm moved into his home on the Haight in 1985. His enthusiastic presence was quickly felt as his vision for what the Haight could become would be modeled by his unwavering commitment to improvement and preservation of his own property, the Doolan-Larson Residence and Storefronts. His knowledge and affection for the rich history of the area was a driving force behind achieving his goal of having his Haight and Ashbury building become San Francisco Landmark #253 on the National Register of Historic Places. Norm gifted the building to the San Francisco Heritage Foundation in order to preserve the rich history for others to experience for years to come. Norm's presence on the Haight was felt way beyond man-made structures. His personality was infused into the culture of the neighborhood. If you were fortunate to walk down Haight Street with Norm you couldn't help but feel like royalty as he was heralded with multiple hello's, good wishes, and of course many lingering eye to eye robust conversations. This often would lead to an invitation to continue the conversation while partaking of fine wine at his nearby home. He believed people were the backbone of the neighborhood and he invested in them. As one inspired friend stated recently, "Norm is truly the Duke of the Haight". Norm wore the nobleness of this title well.
Norm loved many things, however, the great love of his life was music. His devotion to the San Francisco Opera, the Symphony, and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra was long standing. In observing Norm at concerts, one often found him with eyes closed but far from sleep as he allowed the music to envelop his soul. Many people experienced his evangelization of baroque music, and subsequently, Norm was a gateway for many to experience the transformative power of this music as he did, so deeply, in his spirit.
It would be remiss to describe Norm's character and personality in a few sentences as he was a mosaic of traits. Understanding Norm's character can be revealed in the friends he's left behind. The outpouring of love, concern, and the unending kaleidoscope of stories from friends, as Norm's life came to an end, has spoken volumes to his character: of hospitality, creativity, philanthropy and humor to name a few. Norm lived a full and rich life. If riches were measured by the quality of friendships one has, Norman's wealth would be priceless and his memory will live on into the ages.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Kay Larson, of Los Gatos, CA, and survived by his brother, Steven Grant Larson, of Lahaina, Maui, nephew, Dennis Larson, of San Diego, CA, niece, Christine Paysinger, (Steve Paysinger), Silverton, OR, niece, Amy Brunner, (Ricardo Brunner), Montevideo, Uruguay, great nephew, Jacob Tyler Nix, Beaverton, OR, great nieces, Lucia, Emma, and Clara Brunner, of Montevideo, Uruguay, first cousins, Ed Olsen, (Linda), of San Anselmo, CA and Marilyn Olsen of Tiburon, CA.
Public viewing occurs on Thursday and Friday March 1st and 2nd from 4-6 p.m. at Duggan Welch Family Funeral Home, 3434 17th Street, San Francisco.
Private Graveside Services will be held on Saturday.
Stay tuned for a large celebration of life honoring Norm, currently in the planning stages, to occur in the late spring.
In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Norm's favorite organizations:
San Francisco Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 414 Mason Street, Suite 606 San Francisco, CA 94102
San Francisco Opera 301 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102
San Francisco Symphony 201 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 941020
San Francisco Heritage/ The HAAS Lilienthal House, 2007 Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 25, 2018
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