DRESDEN - Norman E. Coon, 72, of Dresden, Maine, died Thursday October 8, 2015, in Auburn, Maine, following a three-year battle with cancer.
Born on November 24, 1942 in Elgin, Illinois, to Ethel (Polnow) and Eugene Coon, Norm was the eldest in a family of eight children. His childhood years were born out on the family’s dairy farm in the cornfields of northern Illinois west of Chicago. Farm life is never easy, and his was made less so in post-depression era large family with many mouths to feed, long hours spent milking cows, mowing hay, planting and harvesting animal feed. Over the course of his elementary and high-school years, the hours and days spent outside in the wide-open of God’s earth instilled defining life-long characteristics: a love of the out-of-doors, an unwavering faith in the divine, and a fastidious dedication to hard work.
After high school graduation from Broadview Academy in La Fox, IL, Norman attended Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI, for an undergraduate education in zoology. He graduated in 1965, and began training in Kettering, Ohio, later that year for a career in microbiology. Plans changed in 1968 when he was accepted to Loma Linda University’s School of Medicine in California, which he successfully graduated from in 1972.
Post-graduate medical training included an internship and residency at Kettering Memorial Hospital, Ohio, microbiology and infectious diseases fellowships in Hartford, Connecticut, and an internal medicine residency in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The first half of Norman’s medical career was devoted to working as a pathologist at several hospitals and companies in Missouri, Illinois, and Michigan. He eventually moved to Maine with his family in 1996 where he spent the remainder of his professional years in primary care and infectious diseases practices at Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick, Maine, and the VA Maine Healthcare System in Augusta, Maine. Throughout his career in medicine he took regular medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Zimbabwe, and Mexico.
Norman met his wife to be in 1965 at Hinsdale Hospital where Roberta Lynn Herbert was in nursing school. Following a six-month courtship, Norman proposed to Roberta and they were married August 28, 1966, in Hinsdale, Illinois. Their son Nolan was born in 1972, daughter Gena in 1975, son Joel in 1978, and daughter Anna in 1984.
Norman’s passions were his family, medical mission trips, worshipping God, vegetable gardening, orchard husbandry, photography, and felling/cutting/splitting/stacking trees for firewood. “You can take the boy out of the country, but not the country out of the boy” was no more true than in Norman’s case as many of his adult years were spent away from the simpler rural living of his upbringing. Some of his most joyful moments were spent with a garden hoe, pruning pole, or growling Stihl chainsaw in hand.
Norman was predeceased by his mother Ethel and father Eugene, his sister Mary and brother Gene. He is survived by his wife of 49 years Roberta; his brothers Donald and Ronnie of Illinois, sisters Carol, Evelyn, and Sandra all of Illinois; son Nolan and wife Holly of Spokane, Washington; daughter Gena of Bath; son Joel and wife Samantha of Dresden; daughter Anna of Harpswell, and grandchildren Brendan, Ryan, and Nathan of Spokane, and Maggie and Cedar of Dresden.
The family would like to extend special thanks to:
Dr. Myron Krueger of Brunswick; Doctors Doug Rubinson and Deborah Schrag at Dana Farber Cancer Center; Dr. Greg Emmons at the Alfond Cancer Center, Dr. Devon Evans at New England Cancer Specialists, and Dr. Roger Austin and all the staff at the Auburn Hospice House.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, October 18, 2015, at 4:00 PM in the Brunswick Seventh-day Adventist Church located at 333 Maine St, Brunswick, Maine. All are welcome to attend and stay for a light supper immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, Norman requested that donations be given to the non-profit organization Maranatha Volunteers International One Day Church program. More information and online donation links may be found at https://maranatha.org/donate/.