Norton Lawrence Berman
May 27, 2018

Visitation Information

June 1 2018 - 9:00 am
Friends may meet at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside 15232

Funeral Information

June 1 2018 - 10:00 am
Graveside Services and Interment at B'Nai Israel Cemetery, Penn Hills, PA 15235

BERMAN, NORTON LAWRENCE: Aged 87, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 27, 2018 in New Orleans, LA. Norton was born March 3, 1931 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Jack Berman and Rose Berman nee Schreiber. In addition to his parents, Norton was preceded in death by his brother Alan Berman (Joyce) and daughter Marsha Berman. He is survived by his sons Evan Berman (Dira) and Eric Berman (Diana), sons of Bernice Rinsma-Lehman, and his daughter Lauren N. Berman, daughter of Susan Berman nee Silverman. Norton was grandfather to Gillian Berman, Daniella Berman, and Naomi and Melanie Berman. 

A native of Pittsburgh, he received both his Bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. He and his wife, Bernice, lived in the city while he worked briefly as a lawyer while earning his Master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Pittsburgh’s GSPIA program. Leaving the practice of law for work in economic development in the late 1960’s, his career took him and wife, Susan, from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington D.C. to the Peace Corps in Liberia and Botswana, and then to the Michigan Commerce department. In 1978, he and Susan moved to Papua New Guinea where Norton was trade secretary for the newly independent government, then back to Michigan in 1982 as the director of economic development for the state. 

Following stints in Rhode Island and New Jersey in similar positions, Norton returned to Michigan in 1986, where he founded his economic development consulting firm, the BermanGroup, LLC. The BermanGroup, LLC was hired by USAID to work in the Czech Republic and went on to run projects throughout Central and Eastern Europe. After 10-plus years working and traveling in the region with companion, Dottie Stephenson, she and Norton returned stateside, settling in New Orleans where he continued to work in development, most notably for St. Joseph’s Seminary College. Norton had a life-long appreciation for both classical music and contemporary art. He served as executive director of the American Craft Council, President of the Board of Pewabic Pottery in Detroit, Michigan, and was an avid supporter of the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans Friends of Music, and the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans. Friends may meet at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside on Friday, June 1 at 9 AM and then proceed to B’Nai Israel Cemetery for 10 AM Graveside Services. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memoriam may be made to New Orleans Friends of Music, 5500 Prytania Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 or at  A memorial service will be held in New Orleans at a later date. Please reach out to the family if you would like to be notified when the memorial is scheduled.


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I am sorry to hear that Norton has died. I knew him from the East End and from Pitt where we were fraternity brothers. And I remember him and his first wife, Bunny. After he left Pittsburgh I lost touch with him. My daughter met him in New York when he was with the American Craft Council and she was working on Wall Street. Please give condolences to the family.

By Marvin Reidbord - May 31, 2018