Norton Lawrence Berman

Norton Lawrence Berman


BERMAN: Norton Lawrence Berman, aged 87, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 27, 2018, in New Orleans. Norton was born March 3, 1931, in Pittsburgh to Jack Berman and Rose Berman nee Schreiber. In addition to his parents, Norton was preceded in death by his brother Alan Berman (Joyce) and daughter Marsha Berman. He is survived by his sons Evan Berman (Dira) and Eric Berman (Diana), sons of Bernice Rinsma-Lehman, and his daughter Lauren N. Berman, daughter of Susan Berman nee Silverman. Norton was grandfather to Gillian Berman, Daniella Berman, and Naomi and Melanie Berman. A native of Pittsburgh, he received both his bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. He and his wife, Bernice, lived in the city while he worked briefly as a lawyer while earning his master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Pittsburgh’s GSPIA program. Leaving the practice of law for work in economic development in the late 1960s, his career took him and wife, Susan, from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, D.C., to the Peace Corps in Liberia and Botswana, and then to the Michigan Commerce department. In 1978, he and Susan moved to Papua, New Guinea, where Norton was trade secretary for the newly independent government, then back to Michigan in 1982 as the director of economic development for the state. Following stints in Rhode Island and New Jersey in similar positions, Norton returned to Michigan in 1986, where he founded his economic development consulting firm, the BermanGroup, LLC. The BermanGroup, LLC was hired by USAID to work in the Czech Republic and went on to run projects throughout Central and Eastern Europe. After 10-plus years working and traveling in the region with companion Dottie Stephenson, she and Norton returned stateside, settling in New Orleans where he continued to work in development, most notably for St. Joseph’s Seminary College. Norton had a life-long appreciation for both classical music and contemporary art. He served as executive director of the American Craft Council, president of the board of Pewabic Pottery in Detroit, and was an avid supporter of the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans Friends of Music and the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans. Friends may meet at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside on Friday, June 1, 2018, at 9 AM and then proceed to B’nai Israel Cemetery for 10 AM graveside services. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memoriam may be made to New Orleans Friends of Music, 5500 Prytania Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 or at A memorial service will be held in New Orleans at a later date. Please reach out to the family if you would like to be notified when the memorial is scheduled.

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