He was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, on July 23, 1922 to deaf parents, Larry Lawton Norman and Toolie Eugenia Neill Norman. He had a brother, Larry, and sister, Vera.
Bob was raised in Garner, Texas, during the “Great Depression.” The accomplishments of this boy made quite an impression. Working in the fields and doing the farm chores never seemed to bother him, as he loved the outdoors.
He sold Cloverine salve, as well as garden seed; in winter, he trapped for furs – always pushing to succeed. He made things for play that interested young boys, which eliminated the need to have store-bought toys.
Failure to do what was expected of him was never his style; he would work even harder, going the extra mile. He was constantly busy doing one thing or the other; Many times assisted by his older brother. They drew their own “funnies” for their own newspaper, which was really “big business” and quite a caper. He was always collecting things, making scrap books and such. The building of his crystal set proved he had the “magic touch.”
After high school graduation, he went off to learn more. His education was interrupted by World War II, serving in the Marine Air Corp as a fighter pilot stationed in Okinawa! After which, he did return from far across the sea, promptly resumed his pursuit of a long overdue degree in petroleum geology at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, 1949.
He was forever showing his love for his friends, family and the community. He was fortunate to work at the Texas School for the Deaf, and while there, had the opportunity to meet and work with Helen Keller. It has been repeatedly said that “Bob Norman, was one of the kindest and most thoughtful individuals one could ever meet.”
Bob’s career started with a job at Shell Oil, and Arabian Oil Company. He came to Moab in 1954 with Delhi Taylor Oil Company. His initial assignment with Delhi Taylor was the drilling of oil and gas wells within Kansas, New Mexico, and Utah. While working on this project he was involved in the drilling, coring, and exploration of every deep potash test hole within Paradox Salt Basin. In 1964, Bob became the manager of minerals for Buttes Gas & Oil Company. He became internationally recognized as an expert on the salt facies of the Basin and was honored as the U.S. member of the steering committee for the International Conference on Saline deposits, sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council. He was responsible for the discovery of the Cane Creek potash deposit and the developmental geology of the Seven Mile and other potash properties.
Bob played a major role in the Grand County community, serving as the charter member of the following: Moab Rotary Club, 1965, and president, 1980-81; Moab Elks; Moab Chamber of Commerce; and the Community Baptist Church. Bob served on the following boards of directors in his tenure: Utah Board of Oil, Gas and Mining; Interstate Oil Compact Commission; Bureau of Land Management; Nuclear Waste Committee; Rotary International; Moab City Council; Utah Geological and Mining Survey under governors Clyde, Rampton and Matheson,; Grand County Water Conservancy District; Grand County Economic Development; Governor’s Nuclear Waste Repository Study; and Paradox Basin, Utah.
Bob also was instrumental in development of the Moab airport and the small tracts of Kayenta Heights. At age 69, Bob built King World Waterpark for the enjoyment of the Moab community.
Bob is survived by his wife, Diane Norman; and their three children: Kimberly, of Salt Lake City, Utah, Robert Norman Jr. (Chara), Tiffany, Justin of Moab, Utah, and Eric Norman of Sandy, Utah. He is also survived by his other grandchildren – Jarrod, Kelly, Ciara, Antonius, Karolina, Aprelle, Jessica and Marcela.
Bob was preceded in death by son, Jeff, and daughter, Christie.
A viewing will be held at Spanish Valley Mortuary, Sunday July 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held Monday, July 23 at the Community Church, 544 MiVida Drive, in Moab. The services will be held at 3 p.m. Following the services, the family welcomes attendees for a dinner at the Community Church.