March 8, 1944 – August 16, 2022
In loving memory ~
Norm Hall, beloved husband of Carol Hall, passed away peacefully at Glacier View Lodge only seven days after being admitted due to the rapid worsening of a rare neurocognitive disorder and associated dementia. He was 78. Over the past five or six years the disorder slowly robbed him of virtually all language – reading, writing, speaking, and understanding what was said to him – and his dementia recently led to agitation such that he could no longer be cared for at home.
Born in Eugene, Oregon, he wanted to be a doctor when he was a little boy, but later became focused on architecture. Although he studied in that field for three years, he decided he did not want to spend his life schmoozing with rich clients at cocktail parties, so he graduated from the University of Oregon in 1966 in Graphic Arts. He also earned a Master of Fine Arts degree (mainly etchings) in 1972, and although he operated a printmaking workshop for a while and exhibited in galleries, he later turned to writing as a better means of communicating his ideas.
Norm and Carol married in Eugene in 1968 and immigrated to Canada in 1975, settling in Courtenay. In 1983 they became Canadian citizens and moved to Denman Island, where Norm designed the house they both helped construct. Norm was also the principal architect of their extensive garden where they indulged their mutual passion for ornamental plants. Together they also wrote a successful gardening book, Timber Press Guide to Gardening in the Pacific Northwest (Timber Press, 2008).
An intense but very private person who did not suffer fools gladly, Norm could appear aloof, but this is simply because he never did understand the point of small talk or chit-chat. However, he loved nothing better than to sink his teeth into long, deep discussions, both on abstract matters and in solving practical problems. He leaves behind many unique insights as well as numerous one-of-a-kind constructions in the house and garden.
The fact that he always claimed to think best by talking made his loss of language an especially cruel fate. But as his cognitive ability deteriorated, he became very appreciative of small things (his last words to Carol were “Thank you”), and he was still able to enjoy listening to classical music and watching many different kinds of birds at their two window feeders.
Predeceased by his parents and older sister Barbara Deines (Don) of Eugene, Norm is survived by his brother Dave Hall (Jade) of Milpitas, CA; sister Nancy Bjeletich (John, deceased) of Cupertino, CA; sister-in-law Ann Boehm (Jim) of Baltimore, MD; and ten nieces and nephews (both his and Carol’s) and their families.
Carol is grateful for the many people in the health care system who have helped Norm over the past few years: the Denman Island ambulance paramedics (especially Jeremy) who attended his numerous near-fainting spells and/or falls; the First Responders who always arrived so quickly; Community Paramedics Jason and Sean who gave him regular individualized attention; the Geriatric Specialty Services team at Island Health; all the doctors, nurses, and specialists at North Island Hospital Comox Valley who did everything possible for him; and the understanding and compassionate staff at Glacier View Lodge. She is especially grateful for her very supportive friends (you know who you are) who have given so much help and shown so much concern in the past few years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
By request there will be no service. If you wish, please donate to a charity of your choice. Cremation has taken place, and in due time, his ashes will be scattered with Carol’s in the Denman Island Natural Burial Cemetery. In Norm’s memory, please listen to some of his favourite Baroque music, especially Pachelbel’s Canon, Handel’s Messiah, and the Bach cantatas Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and Sleepers Awake. And please feed the birds.
Though lovers be lost, love shall not
And death shall have no dominion.
– Dylan Thomas,
from And Death Shall Have No Dominion
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