Norman Harbison, age 70, passed away on Tuesday, August 11, 2020. Norman was born to Bert and Persia Harbison on September 21, 1949 in Cullman, Alabama (Roll Tide!). He attended St. Joachim School, Madera High, and graduated from Hollister High in 1967.
In high school, you could not miss his larger than life smile and Blue Pontiac GTO. He played basketball, football and worked at Standard Station. Norman also enjoyed tagging along with his older brother, Mack, and you could regularly find him at Tiffany Ford Dealership taking a joyride in one of the new cars.
At the age of 18, Norman began his career at Mission Bell Winery. Beginning with hand stacking in the Bottling Department, his compassionate demeanor and strong work ethic led to a fulfilling 43 years with the company. Eleven years ago, he accepted a role working for friends Nick and Jerry Pantaleo at Golden Valley Grape Juice and Wine. A special thank you to GVG for treating Norman like family and Victor Contreras for sticking by his side and sharing a golf cart with him all these years.
Norm undoubtedly enjoyed spending time with family and friends. He never met a stranger and was always willing to lend a helping hand. He took pride in sharing his knowledge and wisdom with others and if you were lucky, you experienced a story or two from the past. Some of his favorites to share included playing basketball with the old guys on the Dribblers, spending holiday weekends in sand rails on the dunes, and coaching an undefeated little league baseball team. Norman cherished Saturday lunches with the guys, spending hours watching Gunsmoke and other westerns, and Crown Royal on the rocks. He looked forward to annual events including: Gill’s Horse Sale, Loquaci Pomegranate Squeeze, Ag Booster Clay Shoot, Memorial Day at the Fehlman’s Deer Cabin, and showing off his 1967 Cadillac De Ville at the Morro Bay Car Show. He also could occasionally be found from 4-6 PM at the Vineyard for scheduled Board Meetings with the crew.
Norman was preceded in death by his parents Bert and Persia Harbison, beloved brother, Mack Harbison, and nephew Blake Harbison.
Norman is survived and loved by companion, Dina Petrucci; daughter Jodie Warnock (Kenny), son Nathan Harbison (Mary Ann Miller), and daughter Mika Flores (Mark). Also surviving are grandchildren Hailie and Kolby Warnock, Capri Flores, sister Bev Crouch (Bud), niece Connie Consie, nephews Brian and Brad Crouch and right-hand man Hector Romo.
Norm was one of the good guys and truly a friend to all. He enjoyed nothing more than watching others succeed and found the most happiness in time spent with family and friends. He never missed a chance to celebrate the good things in life and the world was genuinely a better place with him in it. We’ll miss you Stormin’ Norman.
Regrettably, services are private due to the Coronavirus.
Remembrances in Norman’s memory may be made to Madera County Ag Boosters, 800 South Madera Avenue, Madera, California 93637.