Norman M. Fording, 90, died on October 3, 2019 in York, Maine, surrounded by family. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, he was the son of Norman M. and Ingaborg (Anderson) Fording. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 61 years, Nancy, and is survived by his five children: Thomas Fording of Arlington, VA; Laura Fording (Thomas Fiske) of Princeton, NJ; Carolyn Fording of Reading, MA; John Fording of Norfolk, VA; and David Fording (Julia) of Glencoe, IL. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Benjamin, Eli, and Hannah, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Norm will always be remembered for his kindness and his steady nature, his love and devotion to family, his thoughtful observations, and his subtle but keen sense of humor. Norm rarely sought the spotlight, yet he was much admired for his calmness, his quiet warmth, and his friendly camaraderie and support. He loved people and cherished gatherings of friends and family. He was considered a true gentleman by many who knew him.
Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Norm moved to Philadelphia, PA when he was two years old. An only child, he soon found friendship in his city neighborhood. He always fondly recalled his boyhood friends and often reminisced about the good times they shared.
In 1942, during World War II, the family moved to Denver, CO, where Norm’s father was commissioned as a captain in the Army, working in financial management. In Colorado, Norm developed a fondness for the Rocky Mountains and the American West. He loved the ruggedness of the mountains, the wide open wilderness, and the beauty of nature. He always spoke with enthusiasm about the national parks and traveling out west. All his life, he delighted in exploring winding back-country roads and taking the “scenic route”.
Norm attended high school in Denver, and ultimately graduated from high school in 1946 in Tooele, Utah, where his family moved as part of an Army transfer.
When the war ended, Norm returned east and attended Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1951 in business administration with a minor in political science. Immediately following graduation, he enlisted in the Air Force and was sent to school to learn about aircraft engines, eventually serving as an instructor at the Jet Engine branch of the Aircraft & Engine School at Wichita Falls, TX. Later, stationed in the state of Washington, he was in charge of the Aircraft Engine Shop and worked as an aircraft inspector until his discharge in 1955.
Following his military service, Norm returned again to the Philadelphia area and met the love of his life, Nancy Ewen, at the Oak Lane Methodist Church. They married in 1957 and soon moved to Syracuse, NY, where Norm worked as a contract administrator for General Electric and pursued graduate education in his spare time. They soon started a family, became involved with their church, and formed lasting friendships.
After a brief move from Syracuse to Illinois, Norm and Nancy resettled on the East Coast in Franklin, MA, where their children spent the majority of their childhoods. Norm went to work for Raytheon in a variety of financial planning and administrative roles. In Franklin, Norm and Nancy were very active in the Franklin Federated Church, where Norm served on the Stewardship and Finance Committee, taught Sunday school, and was a high-school youth group leader. He supported his children’s many activities, and enjoyed countless dinner
parties and bridge games with friends and neighbors. Summer vacations were usually spent in Maine, most often in Ogunquit and at Moody Beach. Eventually, in 1977, the family purchased a summer cottage in Ogunquit, and in 1992, Norm and Nancy retired full-time to Maine. They were active in the Ogunquit Baptist Church, where Norm served as treasurer, and most recently were members of the First Parish Church in York.
Norm always loved nature, travel, and music, especially jazz. He was able to fulfill several of his dreams, taking a 25th wedding anniversary trip to England with Nancy, driving across the U.S. with his son, David, and traveling to France and to Germany. In retirement, he took up golf, and participated in outings with a group of Ogunquit friends. He and Nancy took numerous trips out west, explored national parks, and visited Hawaii. They loved attending music concerts, getting involved in local causes, and hiking the hills and mountains of Maine. Mount Battie, near Camden, was a favorite.
Norm will always be dearly loved and cherished by his family and friends. Norm’s family wishes to express sincere gratitude to the staff at Sentry Hill and Caring Way, both of York, ME, for their love, friendship, kindness, and compassionate care during his final years.
A memorial service celebrating Norm’s life is being planned for next spring or summer, with a date, time, and location to be announced.
Donations in Norman’s honor can be made to: The Nature Conservancy 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203, or via the internet at www.nature.org.
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