Norm Pariseau's longtime service to the Prescott Valley community ended early Monday morning when he drew his last breath. But his contributions will go on forever.
Pariseau, 57, passed away at his Dewey home following a lengthy battle with cancer. "It's a very sad day, no doubt about it," said Steve Rutherford, another longtime Prescott Valley businessman. "We knew it was coming and tried to prepare, but you just don't get prepared for losing a Norm Pariseau."
Owner of Norm's Lock and Safe with his wife, Jody, Norm always sported a cap with the business name, but figuratively, he wore many hats in the community, and before that, an Army helmet during his service in Vietnam.
The Pariseaus moved to Prescott Valley in 1994, when George's Lock and Safe in Prescott hired him. About three years later, Norm and Jody started their own business in Prescott Valley. Since joining the Chamber of Commerce in 1996, Norm served on the board of directors and numerous committees and this past June, the board elected him chairman.
"That meant a lot to him," Jody said. "With a 'mom and pop' business - the salt of Prescott Valley - and not being a big business owner, to be elected chairman was special."
"It's an easy call to make Norm Pariseau chairman of the chamber board," said Rutherford.
Chamber CEO and President Marnie Uhl credited Norm with her current position.
"Norm was just a kindred spirit, a wonderful person," Uhl said Monday by phone from the Pariseau home. "He was the last remaining member on the board of the committee that hired me, and I probably got my job because of him."
The chamber's executive assistant, Beverly Oleson, knew Norm even before that.
"Oh gosh, he was an incredible guy. He had a great sense of humor, always joking around.
Oleson said Norm and Jody single-handedly ran the Prescott Valley Days and the Holiday Festival of Lights parades for more than a decade. Jody confirmed they had been the organizers for 15 years.
Prescott Valley Town Manager Larry Tarkowski said Norm and Jody have been involved in the community since day one.
"Norm not only raised his family here, but chose to be a passionate cheerleader for the town and the chamber, and also a doer," said Tarkowski.
Uhl, Rutherford, Tarkowski and Oleson all were members of the Prescott Valley Early Bird Lions club with Norm, who served in every position from Tail Twister to President through the years, and was Lion of the Year more than once.
"I liked to say, 'roar,' to him, (as a Lion)," Oleson said with a laugh.
Uhl also said Norm was instrumental in starting Prescott Valley's Valley of Lights holiday drive-through, to the extent of helping to run electrical cords.
"He was just a champion for business, knowing what it took and what it took to help each other," Uhl said.
As a locksmith, Norm opened many a car door without payment.
"He had a heart of gold and would do anything for anybody," Oleson said.
"I just want people to know how much he enjoyed all the stuff he did for the community," said Jody. "He touched so many people's hearts."
She related a story of a young couple whose car he unlocked at a local restaurant. When the wife told him they had no money, he told them they didn't need it. Two months later, they entered his shop and handed him $40.
"Norm gave it back and said, 'go have dinner,'" Jody said.
Norm and Jody celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this past June. Their two children, Chris and Amy, live in the area with their families. Chris and his wife, Alisha, have two daughters, Trinity and Chloe. Amy's daughters are Kacie and Kaylee.
Chris stepped into his father's locksmith role upon Norm's retirement. They recently moved the business to a new location.
"Norm was sick for so long and fought to stay here so long. I know it was because he was worried about me. But I've got two amazing kids and an awesome family and friend base, " Jody said, adding as her voice broke, "Last night I told him it was OK to go."
Jody plans to carry on the volunteer work she and Norm always have done, after she takes "a little breather."
"He was an amazing, amazing man," she said.
Rutherford summed up best, "Norm Pariseau is as fine a man as God ever dropped on this planet and thank God He dropped him into our community."
Funeral services are at 2 p.m. Friday at the Junction Christian Fellowship in Poland Junction.
Posted: Friday, April 9, 2010
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I only knew Norm over the phone but every time we spoke he was awesome and energetic and he will be missed but not forgotten, my regards and lending hand to Jody, if there is anything I can do let me know.