Norman (Norm) Topping Booth, Jr., age 101, passed away in Santee, CA on April 25, 2023.
Norm was born April 12, 1922 in Honolulu, Hawaii, the son of Mary Blackshear Booth and Norman Topping Booth, Sr. Norm lived on the island of Oahu until he started college. Norm had an older sister, Helen, and a younger brother, Donald. Norm's father worked for the American Can Company, which allowed Norm and his siblings to grow up in Hawaii. Norm had very fond memories of his childhood in Hawaii, where he camped with his friends on the beach, went body surfing, and participated in activities with the Boy Scouts, including a trip by ship and train to the continental U.S. and Canada.
Norm attended Punahou High School in Honolulu. He became interested in cars at an early age and this interest continued throughout his lifetime. In high school, he worked part-time at Universal Motors. On the way home from work one day, Norm spotted a small new car on a car lot, sporting a red badge. The car turned out to be an American Bantam, and thus began Norm’s lifelong love for little cars. He later helped found a car club called the Pacific Bantam Austin Club (later renamed Austin Bantam Society), which is active to this day. Norm made many good friends through the car club; a number of these friends kept in close touch with Norm until the end of his life.
Following his high school graduation in 1939, Norm attended the University of Redlands for two years. In 1944, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating from college, Norm was called into active duty by the Navy and was sent to Midshipmen’s School in New York. He then became an engineering officer aboard the USS Lawrence during World War II. Norm was released from the Navy in 1946, entering the Navy Reserves. In 1951, Norm was called back to active duty and served on the U.S.S. Los Angeles during the Korean Conflict; he was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1952. Norm made some life-long friendships during his time in the Navy, and was very active in ship reunions up until he was in his 90’s.
Norm’s first professional job was for Kilpatrick in the Los Angeles area. In 1958, Norm and two partners founded Weatherite, an air conditioning contracting company. Norm retired from Weatherite at age 64. Within a year of leaving Weatherite, Norm started his own consulting business; he worked as a consultant in the air conditioning industry until his retirement at age 75.
Norm married Donna Dayton in the late 1940’s. Norm and Donna had three children together: two daughters, Stephanie and Robin, and a son, David. They divorced in the mid-1970’s. Norm was briefly married to his second wife, Margaret Joey Podurgiel. In 1987, Norm married Joyce Murry and they remained married until Joyce’s passing in 2005. Norm and Joyce enjoyed hosting and attending car club events, as well as traveling together, especially to Hawaii and Death Valley.
Norm greatly enjoyed spending time with his family members and friends. He will forever be remembered as a friendly, kind-hearted, and generous man. He will be deeply missed.
Norm is survived by his daughter, Stephanie Booth Kewley, his stepdaughters Brendell Ashton and Janice Lopez, and numerous other loved ones. Norm was predeceased by his daughter, Robin, and son, David.
At Norm’s request, no services will be held. His ashes were scattered at sea off the coast of San Diego.