Obituary for Norma Schlesinger (Kaplan)
Norma P. Schlesinger, 89, of Bloomington, IN, formerly of Fayetteville, NY, passed away at the IU Health Hospice House on Sunday, May 7. Born in New York City to Clara and Boris Kaplan, Norma’s unusual middle name reflects that her birthday coincided with Armistice Day, a commemoration of the day on which WWI hostilities officially ceased.
Norma grew up in Manhattan, living with her parents and younger sister Elsa. She earned degrees from New York University (A.B., 1950) and Syracuse University (M.A. Education, 1972). She married Richard H. Schlesinger in New York City on August 21, 1948. They lived in several different locations until they settled in the metro Syracuse area in 1966, which was Norma’s home until she moved to Bloomington in 2009.
A nurturing person by nature and mother of three children, Norma had a gift for working with young children. She had an extensive career in early childhood education, including most significantly as a teacher at Syracuse University’s early childhood lab school/preschool. She also was an avid reader, a creative silversmith, and a talented cook. Widowed when she was just 45, she and a friend opened Tea Everson, a popular weekend
luncheon venue, which she continued to operate for two decades in Syracuse’s Everson Museum of Art. When she retired, Norma became a dedicated volunteer, especially with Crouse Hospital and WCNY public radio.
In Bloomington Norma volunteered at Bloomington Hospital. She resided at Bell Trace Senior Living, where she was widely involved in the life of that community. She was known to be a generous and supportive friend, as well as an independent woman with many interests.
Norma was preceded in death by her husband, parents, sister and a son, David. She is survived by her daughters Janet Schlesinger (Art Ganger) of Richmond, VA, and Louise Schlesinger (Ralph Gaebler) of Bloomington, IN; grandson Harrison Gaebler of Lawrence, KS; nephews Donald Glauber (Karen) of Middlebury, VT, James Glauber (Tracy Lieu) and family of Piedmont, CA; and her late son’s partner Ingrid Olson of Yachats, OR. The family deeply appreciates the support provided by Norma’s devoted caregivers: Sharon Holtsclaw, Linda Fryer and Kayla Delaplane.
There will be no service. If one wishes, memorial gifts may be made to the WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology (Bloomington), WCNY (Syracuse) or the charity of your choice.
The Funeral Chapel of Powell and Deckard, 3000 E. Third St. in Bloomington is handling arrangements