In memory of Norman Landry


Well-known member
Norman Landry, a dear friend, passed away yesterday, August 20, 2011. Norman had a passion for building reproduction furniture and was deeply involved in the Society of American Period Furniture Makers. I am not sure how far back he goes in the group, but I know that he was one of the founding members of the Houston SAPFM, and was on the executive committee for several years for the national chapter.

On a personal note, Norman was a great friend and encourager. I have to say that if it weren't for Norman, I would not be where I am today in my teaching career. So many times Norman would just start talking to people - sometimes people he didn't even know -  and that is how I got  connected to a variety of people and groups. He introduced me to Roy Underhill, helped me get my instructional DVDs on the SAPFM web site, brought me down to Houston, TX to teach several classes to the SAPFM group, and many other situations that I will probably never even know about.

Norman had an energy and an enthusiasm about life that was contagious. He was no-nonsense, down-to-earth, and a very real person. With Norman, what you see is what you get - no masks. That is very refreshing.

I remember visiting him at his workshop in Houston - a 2 car garage where he had his workbench on wheels that he rolls out into his driveway whenever he wanted to use it. One thing that really amazed me was that he had a Shopsmith - and he actually used everything on it! The shop was absolutely spotless - every tool had its own place, and was probably well oiled before it was put away. He must have cringed when he saw my shop.

Norman, we will miss you with your overalls, blue denim SAPFM shirt, and Ben Franklin pony tail and glasses.

We will miss you.

I am sure there are many others who have fond memories of Norman. Please share them.
I just learned of Norman Landry's passing and want to add to Mary May's sentiments about Norman.  I met Norman about seven years ago but knew him longer on the telephone as the voice of Houston, TX where he lived. Norman had contacted me about getting a list of SAPFM members in the Houston area so he could bring together a gathering of period furniture makers to share furniture making ideas and experiences. This was to be the start of our formal regional chapter movement. Soon after, Norman was elected to the Executive Council and I was able to work more closely with him as a very active and enthusiastic member and our very first chapter coordinator. We can all thank Norman for promoting the idea and helping to foster the success of regional chapters through his strong leadership, enthusiasm, integrity, and passion. Since Norman took ill a few years ago and resigned his position on the Executive Council, it was always my hope that he would soon recover and become active again in SAPFM matters both on a regional and national level. Unfortunately, we have lost a dear friend and colleague to many and he will be sorely missed. May his wife Betty and their family find peace and love during this difficult time.

Norman - May your soul rest in peace and let us know if you want to start an SAPFM chapter in Paradise!

I too would like to extend my sympathy and prayers to Norm's family.

A true measure of a man is the mark he leaves on others, and Norm left his mark on this group in a very profound way.

Norm encouraged me and others to create the local chapters.  He gave me information on Georgia members and locations that helped us great the group.  Anything he could do to help, he was there.

I always enjoyed his Ben Franklin look and passion for our society and will miss seeing him at our gatherings.

Ken Johnson
Peach State SAPFM Chapter
Norman was a great guy. I am glad to say that I was lucky enough to meet him in person when he and Betty took me out to eat when I was in Houston. He was always cheerful and helpful with many insights into starting chapters. We ave lost a great ambassador.
The first time I met Norman, he wanted to start a local chapter.  At the time, it was my Executive Council duty to help him.  But unlike all of the other chapter startups, he did not need to be convinced that if he setup the first meeting, "people will come."  He already knew it would work.  All he wanted was some advice and a list of local SAPFM members.  He did not even care if he got a charter for his chapter.  He was going to do it anyway, and nobody was going to stop him!

He was a true entrepreneur with great vision and an indomitable spirit to get there.  His selfless service to this organization and to Period Furniture in general, touched many, many lives in the Houston area and across this Nation.

I am glad he touched mine, and I am richer for it.  I will miss him and his friendship.

Norman Landry loved period furniture, as we all do. But his love of period furniture will be carried through with his countless contributions to our organization. He has certainly helped to make The Society of American Period Furniture Makers the organization it is today. As do I, we all owe him a great debt of appreciation and he will be greatly missed in person and in spirit. Knowing his desire of knowledge towards period furniture construction I would hope that all of our additions towards that matter would meet with his appreciation. I only wonder what projects he might be working on today!