Visitation for James “Kin” Norman, 68, Lawrence, formerly of Kansas City, will be 3 to 5pm Sunday, August 29, 2021 at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.
Kin Norman was a self-effacing, humble man. In spite of the fact that he was the smartest guy in the room. And the funniest. And the most well read. And the most talented.
James Kindred Norman was born on January 17, 1953, in Joplin, Missouri, and died August 21, 2021, in Lawrence, Kansas.
Kin graduated from Parkwood High School in Joplin, MO in 1971, where he was a champion debater and editor of an award-winning newspaper. He also choreographed the end-of-school assembly in which the entire senior class danced on the auditorium stage to Johnny B. Goode.
After high school he pursued his love of literature to earn an undergraduate degree in English from Missouri Southern State College and a master’s degree from Pittsburg State University, all while working full time managing electronic stores for the family business.
Upon completing his education, Kin moved to Kansas City where he spent over 30 years as a professor at Devry University, teaching English to mostly tech-focused students who had no idea they loved literature until they met Professor Norman. He was a demanding but adored teacher who developed friendships with many students that lasted long beyond their college years.
Kin was preceded in death by his parents William Polk Norman and Evadeane Norman of Joplin, Missouri. He is survived by his son, William Reed Norman, Lawrence, Kansas; sisters Nancy Spoeneman of Leawood, Carol Gold of Kansas City, and Leslie Norman Hubble of Kansas City; nephews William Gold and David Spoeneman; nieces Jill Lewandowski and Amy Cowan; two great-nephews; five great-nieces; and many friends who loved him.
Kin loved his family, friends, books, film and music. He was an amazing, completely self-taught guitarist and visual artist. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of literature and writers, along with an equally astounding knowledge of music and musicians. He was truly a unique person who positively impacted countless lives and will forever be very fondly remembered by those of us who were so privileged to know him.
Messages & Condolences
Sorry, Kelly and I didn’t make it yesterday. Please know you and your family are in our prayers.
Love The Sullivans
REED I DID NOT GET TO MEET YOUR DAD…YOU HAVE OUR SINCERE REGARDS AND PRAYERS FOR YOUR STRENGTH AND COMFORT DURING THIS TIME OF DISTRESS
Kin was an amazing uncle who spent time in our home weekly when I was a child, interacting with my father in intellectual Mensa-style debates that later led me to participate in high school and college debate. He argued as a way of showing interest/ love, and I am forever grateful that he would not allow me easy answers to future career choices… he let me know that responses like “Perhaps I will be a hairdresser or a Chiefs cheerleader” were unacceptable. As I wrap up my PhD, I probably need to thank my Uncle Kin for always challenging me. Arguing with me. Expecting the best of me. Thank you, much love.
Growing up as a kid, I particularly remember it was always a joy to spend the Christmas holiday with Kin and the rest of the Norman family. It was an event we all looked forward to. He is in a good place. Our prayers are with you.
Our heartfelt sympathy is with all of you, wish we could have been with you during this time. I know it’s difficult for each family member to be with this loss of Kin, he will be with us in spirit though. Our prayers are with you.
Much Love from the Fraley Family.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
So sad to hear this. So many of the memories that I retain from high school have Kin in them somewhere. Working on the Spectator every third Saturday. Getting passes to go to the printer. Talking books or ideas over cheap beer at Nina’s. Kin, it wouldn’t have been the same without you.
Leslie, my condolences to you and your family. I very much enjoyed learning more about your wonderful and talented brother.
I remember being in debate class with Kin at Parkwood. Kin was reluctant to participate at first. I told our debate coach I thought Kin was extremely articulate and should be on a team. She was not convinced, but gave him a shot. We were stunned by his ability to perform on his feet. It was so much fun to watch him rip through somebody’s best effort at argument. The other guy didn’t stand a chance. I, too, danced on that stage with the class of ’71, thanks to Kin. My deepest condolences to the family.
Kin was a very good friend and Brother-In-Law. He made me laugh. He was always the smartest person in the room. He was a great photographer and developed his own pictures. We had great times on Delaware Street and at Beaver Lake. Love you, Kin
I just received the news about Kin and I am heartbroken. I was one of those many friends who loved him and danced on that stage with the senior class of ‘71. Kin was a great friend to me all through high school and college and I will never forget him. Sending my love and prayers to his family.
Kin rest in peace you will be missed.
On behalf of the entire class of 1971 Parkwood High School.
Kin was definitely one of a kind. I will remember him for his dry sense of humor and his boundless knowledge of literature and music. RIP Kin.
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