Farewell Norman Eugene Hurt (3/13/1948 – 10/19/2011)
Our precious brother Norman Eugene Hurt, at the age of 63, passed away at about 7:30 PM, 19 October 2011 from lung complications resulting from radiation therapy for a cancer tumor under his left jaw over 3 years ago. He struggled with health problems in his jaw, throat, epiglottis, taste buds, saliva glands, and lungs since the radiation treatments. His darling daughter Ashley Marie Hurt survives him, as do brothers Robert M and Darryl H Hurt, and sisters Guyneth Kraus and Debra Tru. Brother Darryl has helped Ashley with administrative matters. Norman expressed the wish that his body go to the service of science, so no cremation or burial will occur. Ashley or others will schedule a collective celebration of Norman’s life.
I shall miss Norman till we meet again. He provided a glowing brightness in my life since his birth at my age of 5 in Houston, Texas. I loved him joyously his whole life as did everyone who met him. He lived with our family of parents and six children on England Street in Foster Place in Southeast Houston. I saw him as a delightful child, full of interest in and fascination about everything. He had a speech impediment till he had it corrected as an adult. At four he told me “Come quickly Wobuht, theahs a biwd unda the wagon!”. Family, friends, and neighbors doted on him, and of course the girls always loved him because he made them laugh and feel at home. As an adolescent, he s went to live at Buckner’s Baptist Children’s home where he spent his teenage years, worked for the campus radio station, and hobnobbed with a girlfriend or two. Our sisters Claudia and Debra lived there for a time too, and he loved them dearly. I went to visit him occasionally during my last year in high school in Oak Cliff (Dallas) in 1961, and gave him a bicycle to get around on. Norman moved back to Houston at 16, but decided soon to return to Buckner’s, and there he lived till he graduated from high school.
After taking a whirlwind round-trip tour to California in an old Volkswagen in the mid 1960’s with his orphanage buddy Fletcher Hurst, Norman joined the US Army in 1969. He became a clerk and typist for the Military Police and worked a year for a General in VietNam.
At the end of his single term of military service in 1971, Norman returned home to Houston. He moved to Fort Worth where he worked as assistant manager for the notorious Jim Hill of the notorious Cellar Club, a popular rock and roll night club. Norman contracted Hepatitis B, and Jim nursed him back to health. Norman returned to Houston and enrolled in the University of Houston while living in our mother’s home.
In that same year, Norman attended a seminar at the U of H intended to introduce students to The Urantia Book. Its teachings captivated Norman’s heart. He became a strong but subtle advocate of the book and its teachings for the remainder of his life. Norman pretty much lived his religion and delivered unselfish loving service to everyone he knew.
Norman spent several years earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, during which time he worked as a reporter for the U of H newspaper, The Cougar, and in the campus radio station. There he met and received inspiration from a CBS Records promotion manager who wanted radio stations to give their artists’ new records air time.
Around 1977 Norman became a Houston area Promotion Manager for CBS records. He spent several years at CBS promoting records for a variety of famous recording artists, and taking photographs and mingling with them during concert tours. Around 1984 Norman lost his CBS job in a massive company-wide layoff, and worked at a variety of jobs in the Houston area.
On 11 October 1984 Norman married Jeannie Sue Duke who gave birth to Ashley Marie in 1985. On 17 August 1988, Norman and Jeannie divorced. Thereafter Norman reared Ashley alone, and with the eager support of his mother, Ruby “Tommie” Hurt who cared for Ashley while Norman worked.
In 1986 Norman began work for a Rainsoft water treatment system dealer. He served several dealers till he settled in at Quality Water Systems of Texas where he excelled in in-home sales and sales training and motivation. He helped make QWS the number one dealer in the world.
Norman bought a house in Northwest Houston around 1999.
In 2000, the Rainsoft parent company Aquion Partners recognized Norman as the number one salesman in the world. During his time at QWS Norman wrote many articles and speeches related to selling Rainsoft systems, and provided articles for Water Technology Magazine. His brother Robert featured Norman on web sites http://normanhurt.com, and http://rainsoft.com.
In 2004 Norman attended University of Houston again and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism.
Norman guided his daughter wisely during her formative years, teaching her self-reliance, common sense, and the importance of standing up for herself while also treating others with respect. Norman had an infectious sense of humor, and insisted on making everyone feel at home in his presence. He said that his reading of How to Win Friends and Influence People as a teenager forever influenced his own attitude about treating people with with friendship and respect.
Norman encouraged Ashley to expand her world of knowledge, funding a summer in Europe to further her French studies and cultural experience, and providing a safe, sane environment for her to pursue her own Studio Artist degree program at the U of H, from which she graduates in December 2011.
In summer, 2011 Aquion Partners recognized Norman’s contributions by giving him a lifetime achievement award. In all, Norman gave 25 years as a salesman and manager for Rainsoft dealers.
In 2009 Norman noticed a sore area under his left jaw. A doctor diagnosed it as cancer. On the doctor’s advice, Norman accepted chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Apparently they cured the cancer, but the radiation killed him over a periof of three years of agonizing lock jaw, racking pain and discomfort, inability to taste, loss of saliva, inability to swallow food, and inability to control drainage into the lungs. The complications caused a blood infection in July 2009, and double pneumonia and a blood infection in early October 2011. Ashley took him to the Houston VA Medical Center on 2 October 2011 because he could not breathe well. The complications killed him today.
I know Norman’s soul rests in peace, and that he welcomed the liberation from suffering death could bring. He told me repeatedly he wanted the “plug pulled” rather than to live on life support. He said he wanted others to celebrate his life, not mourn his death. So, I celebrate, and invite all others to do likewise.
Norman Eugene Hurt beneficially, positively affected everyone his life touched. A truly good man has left us.
Note: I, Norman’s oldest brother Bob Hurt, request anyone with additions to make to the above commentary on his Norman’s life to send them to me by clicking the Email link below. I do not know all Norman’s friends, so any who receive this should forward it to others. I personally thank Bill McGraw, CEO of QWS, for his gracious and wise support of Norman during the years of Norman’s illness. Note also that I shall keep Norman’s personal web site alive indefinitely and post on it any comments people send me about him, his life, or his effect on their lives.