David W. Norwine â Joyous Musician
David Westcott Norwine, loving husband, dad and grandpa, tenor soloist, and exceedingly joyous and kind human, died peacefully on August 17, 2022, at the age of 94. He was, and is, loved beyond measure.
The eldest son of Mary Alice (nee Westcott) and Courtney Norwine, David was born on Christmas Day, December 25, 1927 in Brooklyn, NY and lived for a short while in Passaic, spending his formative years in Short Hills, NJ. David served in WWII with the Navy as an electronics technician, was a graduate of Millburn High School, and earned double degrees from Bucknell University in 1952, a BS in Math and BA in English. He had a genius IQ, which he never discussed, because he believed "kindness matters more."
In Westfield in 1957, David met and married the love of his life, Peggy (nee Conlin) Norwine, and together they shared a joyful 60 years, a marriage filled with laughter, singing, adventure, and gentle kindness. Truly best friends. While they traveled the world, David and Peggy most enjoyed Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where they vacationed for over 40 years and had many cherished friends.
Coming from a musical family of many generations, David sang his way through life. From soloing as a young soprano in the fourth grade and throughout his schooling, to appearing in dozens of roles in Westfield's Community Players musicals, singing was his greatest joy. He was the tenor soloist in the Westfield Methodist Church for over 50 years, travelled abroad performing with the Wesley Singers, and was a charter member of the Oratorio Singers of Westfield. David sang in many churches in and out of town, and all over the world. He was a sought-after soloist for weddings, funerals, events and celebrations, and equally enjoyed performing sacred and secular works, from Brahams to Broadway. David retained his dulcet tenor voice right up until his last days, delighting friends, family, and even strangers in restaurants and shops, breaking into song at the drop of a hat or by request.
David was Vice President of Haward Corporation for 38 years. He worked in sales, first in textiles, in steel, chemicals, and then in the metal finishing industry since 1957. After retiring from Haward, he was founder and President of Norwine Associates, Inc., specializing in environmental consulting. David was in high demand for his expertise in the areas of pollution/environmental advice, and regulatory assistance. He was esteemed in his industry, and received virtually every award and recognition therein, including the Claude Blaser Memorial Award, the highest Award of the Masters' Association of Metal Finishers (MAMF), presented only four times in the organization's history. He was also awarded the prestigious National Association of Metal Finishers' (NAMF) Silvio Taormina Award presented for his many years of national and international outstanding service to his industry. David served on the NAMF Board of Directors for ten years, the executive committee for six, and five years as the National Chairman of Government Affairs, writing their bylaws, and travelling the nation speaking on industry behalf. He represented clients and appeared as expert witness before Congress, the EPA, OSHA, NYCDEP, NJDEP, NYCCAC, and PVSC. David served two terms as President of the MAMF and on the Board of Directors for 25 years. He served as the NJ state co-chairman of the review panel for the Strategic Goals Program, the EPA's Sustainable Industry Task Force, and Common Sense Initiatives. He was made a Life Member of both the MAMF and the NAMF, and continued his service to these Boards by Presidential appointment. He was also an active member of the American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers (AESF).
As proud of his career as he was, David's greatest pride was his kids. He was a show-up dad who ran cub scouts, performed for birthday parties, and everything in between. He didn't miss an event and supported every interest. He instilled curiosity and exploration. He was playful, open, a great model for life. And he was gentle. Through example, he ingrained love, laughter and having great fun, while instilling belief in oneself and doing good in the world. He was unparalleled in the Dad department.
While David was a loving husband, wonderful father, an accomplished musician, a fabulous writer and orator, a skilled woodworker and craftsman who restored antique pump organs, was esteemed in his career, as well as proficient at any technical or build project he undertook, his real genius was in the kindness and joy he brought to this world. He never said a negative word about anyone or anything and was often heard saying "It's so easy to be kind." His love was palpable and expressed, and while David is no longer here, his heart will continue to be felt by those who knew and loved him. He was all love.
David was predeceased by his wife and best friend, Peggy. He is survived by his son, Mark Norwine (Katie) of Cranford NJ, his daughter, Kathy Norwine of Alexandria VA, as well as two granddaughters, Emily and Mary Norwine, who he absolutely adored. David is also survived by his beloved sisters-in-law, Jan Norwine of Seattle, and Nancy Van Dolman of Lincoln, MA, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Arrangements are by Gray Funeral Home, 318 E. Broad Street, Westfield. Visitation Friday November 4, 2022 from 6-9 p.m. Funeral services at First United Methodist Church, 1 East Broad Street, Westfield on Saturday, November 5 at 1 p.m. Burial Monday November 7 at 11am, Fairview Cemetery of Westfield.