James “Kin” Norman

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.