It’s the story you never want to write.
An email arrived yesterday with unwelcome news, Norm Woods, Publisher of GolfScene Magazine, had lost his battle with cancer on Monday night.
I did not know Norm well on a personal level, but whenever we met up at some golf-related event there was always something to talk about. As the creator of a regional golf publication based in the Waterloo region of Ontario, there were many parallels with our own work at Flagstick so the chats usually became a sounding board for the business we work in.
It was through Norm’s son Steve (he and his wife also had a daughter, Kim) that I was given better glimpses of what Norm was really about. On a few trips I took alongside Steve, who worked with his father through his own design company and will continue to operate GolfScene, he would often mention Norm. Usually it was something funny his dad had done, but other times Steve would surprise me with a detail about his father’s life before he started GolfScene, and in this way my image of Norm was really shaped – through the eyes of a son who loved and respected him for, among other things, his caring and generous ways.
It was not a bad way to really see what a man is all about.
Started as a newspaper in 1998, Woods progressed his magazine tremendously in recent years to make it THE golf publication to read in his part of Ontario. But you could see in the carefully crafted pages that it was more than a business for Norm; it reflected his personality as well. It connected with people, just as Norm could do so well. From my perspective that is what he was so good at and a big reason why he will be missed by many.
That said, it comes as no surprise as to how Norm’s life will be celebrated this coming Thursday.
Eschewing formal funeral arrangements, for one last time Norm has instead chosen to have a far more social occasion, something I hear he really enjoyed.
Those wanting to share memories of Norm and celebrate his life with his family and friends are invited to drop by the Whistle Bear Golf Club at 1316 Dickie Settlement Road in Cambridge on Thursday, September 1, 2011 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
For more insight on Norm see the tribute by Ian Hutchinson here.