Norma Deborah Altman
1931 - 2021

Norma Deborah Altman

Norma Deborah Altman (Lebovitz), 89, passed away peacefully but reluctantly, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020.

Norma was born in Oak Park, Ill., outside Chicago, March 16, 1931, to Samuel and Lily (Contorer) Lebovitz. What follows is Norma's obituary written by herself.

She lived in Chicago, with the exception of a few years, until her marriage, when she and her husband, moved in 1965, to La Crosse, where they spent the rest of their lives together.

She is survived by her husband, Burton; sons, James (Ellen Von Holtum), and Robert (Devi Segal), all of Minneapolis; a granddaughter, Erin Altman of Chicago; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Lilian and Sam Lebovitz; mother and father-in-law, Hilda (Plavin) and Jack Altman; sister, Phyllis Klapman and brother-in-law, Aaron (Nunny) Klapman; sister-in-law, Eleanor (Tudy) and brother-in-law, Harry Polisky; and brother-in-law, Irwin (Buddy) and sister-in-law, Dorothy Altman.

Norma graduated from Austin High School, Chicago, where she met her future husband, as members of the same freshman homeroom, and learned to admire, respect, and love him for the rest of their lives, (even though he used to copy her math homework). She received her S.S. and M.S. degrees at Northwestern University and later attended post graduate courses at UW-L. She taught school for 38 years, 24 of which were in La Crosse, mostly at Central High and Hamilton schools. She retired in 1990, to start a new career as a volunteer. She was a county volunteer guardian, a citizen advocate, a volunteer at the library, and humane society, and a dedicated worker for Learning in Retirement and several other community organizations. She described her volunteer work as fun and something that kept her from nibbling on her beloved chocolates, during the day and away from other sorts of mischief. She loved traveling which, included family trips and group trips planned by her husband, took her to six continents, (she felt that if she lived a little longer she might have made that all seven).

Although she always has a soft spot in her heart for Chicago, where she was raised, she learned to enjoy the lifestyle and the many wonderful friends and good times she had in La Crosse.

She will be cremated and a celebration of my mom's life will take place on a yet to be determined date in 2021.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Burt and Norma Altman Teacher Education Fund at UW-L; La Crosse Humane Society; or a donation of personal choice.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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Published by La Crosse Tribune on Jan. 3, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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4 Entries
I knew Norma from meeting her at a few meetings while teaching in elementary school. She was an intelligent lady who had a warm laugh and a beautiful smile. Then Dick and I were neighbors of her and her husband Burt. Such loving, kind people! Rest in Gods arms Norma!! Love you!
Dick and Bonnie Meinzer
January 13, 2021
My sympathies to Burt, sons and family and friends on Norma's passing. I got to know her through her wonderful work in the School District of La Crosse. Dynamic, self-confident, capable and caring come to mind when I think about her. It was always good to be in the same room with Norma. It was evident she liked people and that she enjoyed her work. She made a difference.
Terry R Witzke
January 11, 2021
I offer my sympathy to Burt and family. I was only acquainted with her and Burt late in life. Very sorry for your loss. Surely she is resting in peace now.
Balorie Miller
January 4, 2021
Jim and Robbie, My condolences to you on the passing of your mom. I enjoyed some brief conversations with her at the Crosse YMCA s few years ago. We had some fun conversations about the 'ol days. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Greg Voss
Greg Voss
January 3, 2021