Norman Paul Taber
Norman Paul Taber
  • February 11, 1924 - November 24, 2017
  • Orlando, Florida

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Of Bangor, Brewer, and Orrington ME; Zephyrhills, Palm Bay and Orlando FL.

Norman P. Taber passed away on November 24, 2017 at his home in Orlando, Florida. The compassion, wit and wisdom of an infinitely loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend has now gone to be joined with his beloved wife Retta and his dear mother and father in the light of their Lord and Savior.

Norm was born in Brewer, Maine, on February 11, 1924, son of Arnold William and Catherine Cecelia (Cullinan) Taber. He attended Bangor schools, built a camp with his father on Swett’s Pond in Orrington, and bought a prized Model A Ford Phaeton. Then in 1942 at age eighteen he enlisted in the U.S. Army for the duration of the war.

Norm served humbly with the 877th Aviation Engineers in England, France, and Germany, ever mindful that others, like his beloved cousin Dennis Cullinan and brother-in-law Joe Lurix, paid the ultimate price for their service. During the Normandy invasion to liberate France, Norm did not receive mail from May until August 1944. When a stack of letters finally came, bearing news that his dear mother was sick with cancer, on top and opened first was a telegram which simply states: “Mother passed away this morning.”

On a happier note, when he stepped off his troop ship in New York City on Christmas Day, 1945, there waiting for him was the love of his life, Henrietta Lurix. They were married at St. Augustine’s Cathedral in Bridgeport, Conn., on September 2, 1946.

During the first year of marriage Norm was deathly ill from a lung disease contracted in Europe. Given a slim chance of survival, he had one and one-half lobes of his left lung removed at the VA Hospital in West Roxbury, Mass. Norm marveled the rest of his life at what he was able to do with only one good lung.

Over the next seventy years Norm and Retta built a home in Orrington where their four children got their start, lived ten years in South Brewer, then lived in Bangor and Veazie before finally retiring to Florida about ten years ago. Orrington, Brewer, Bangor, and all of Maine held a special place in Norm’s heart because of his many lifelong friends there. To his final days he wished them all to know how much he cherished their friendship.

Norm was a tireless worker. He was a route supervisor at Footman’s Dairy in Brewer, and a mail carrier at the Bangor Post Office. In 1960 a trailer truck rear-ended him, and he lost the full use of one leg and the ability to do heavy physical labor. Norm got back on his feet at a number of jobs, including selling cars at Sullivan Ford, managing the Brewer Motel, working as a mechanic at Henry Morrill’s Shell Station in South Brewer, and directing Hope House in Bangor. In his later years Norm greatly enjoyed working as a handyman for Alan Harding at his florist shop in Brewer, and as a rental car driver for Nancy O’Halloran at the Bangor Airport.

Norm had many interests, including fishing, woodcraft, antique autos, and traveling anywhere in the U.S. to see his Army buddies. One of Norm’s most memorable gifts was his comedic wit – he was often asked if he had a new joke, and he never disappointed. Norm loved Irish music and the memory of his “Grampy Cullinan” singing his favorite Irish songs. Two trips to Ireland were among the highlights of his life.

Norm was by nature considerate of others. His wisdom was the voice of experience. A teacher by example, his most recent "life lessons" were how to prepare for death with acceptance, grace, humor, and caring for those around him.

Norm was preceded in death by his sister and brothers, Patricia, William (“Buster”) and Gerry, and his grandsons Lucas and Erik. Survivors include his children, Mike (Jeanne Labuda) of Hampton VA, Dan (Mina Joy Ramos) of Claremont CA, Cathy of Dacula GA, and Patrick (Shari) of Veazie ME; a cherished sister-in-law Ada Taber of Brewer, Maine, seven grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. Norm is also survived by nieces and nephews who were always a joy to him.

The family would especially like to thank his granddaughter and her husband, Sarah and Philip Pezan and great granddaughter Lauren Ritter, for their loving care of Norm during the last two years of his life. He often said he could not have been cared for any better and he loved being with them. We would also like to thank Dr. Rose Appell-Brown and the Hospice of the Comforter for providing such caring and compassionate medical help when he needed it the most.

Visiting hours will be on Thursday, November 30, 2017, at 6-8 p.m., Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home, 501 E. Mitchell Hammock Road, Oviedo, FL. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, December 1, 2017, at 10:30 a.m., at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, 113 Lockwood Boulevard, Oviedo, FL. Following the mass, Norman will receive Military Funeral Honors rendered at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery, 5525 U.S. Highway 1, Mims, FL, where he will be interred with his wife Henrietta.