Norman Parsons, former Sea Cliff mayor, dies
During and after his long career in corporate personnel management, Norman Parsons found plenty of time for volunteer work, serving as mayor of Sea Cliff, president of the Theodore Roosevelt Association and in other roles.
Parsons, 81, died Tuesday at home after a long battle with cancer.
He was born in Whitestone, Queens. He moved with his family to Beechhurst, Queens, as a teenager and graduated from Bayside High School. He received a psychology degree from Queens College and a master's in clinical psychology from Columbia University.
His first personnel management position was at New York Telephone, where he met his wife of 47 years, Linda.
After 16 years at New York Telephone and later AT&T, he worked for the College Entrance Examination Board in Manhattan. He retired to open his own personnel search firm for nonprofit organizations.
While trying to find a personnel director for St. Christopher's orphanage in Sea Cliff, he ended up taking the job himself and continued with the organization for five years as it expanded into other services. He retired for good in 2000.
In Sea Cliff, he also served as village trustee (1974-78); member of the zoning appeals board (1981-82); mayor for four terms (1983 to 1991); and planning board member (1993-2000).
He was also co-chairman of the North Shore Environmental Alliance, a group that opposed overdevelopment of the Glen Cove waterfront.
Parsons joined the Oyster Bay-based Theodore Roosevelt Association in 1991, serving as president in 2001. "He played a number of different roles," said the current president, Tweed Roosevelt of Boston.
Parsons was working on an association project -- rehabilitation of Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park on Oyster Bay Harbor -- at the time of his death. He was a member of the community committee that erected a statue of Roosevelt at the entrance to the hamlet.
He was also on the board of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of New York for a decade. "And he held every position you could except for priest and janitor at St. Luke's Church" in Sea Cliff, his wife said.
Other survivors include daughters Pamela Parsons and Catherine McGinley, both of Sea Cliff; a son, John of Philadelphia; and six grandchildren.
Visitation will be Sunday at Whitting Funeral Home in Glen Head from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Luke's Episcopalian Church in Sea Cliff.