A man remembered for his love of his family and hot rods

GEOFFERY David Norman was a humble Tweed Heads man who loved his family and his hot rods.

Mr Norman was farewelled by dozens of family and friends - and hot rods - at Melaleuca Station on Thursday.

His daughter Cheryl said he died suddenly in his home on September 26, 2013.

Geoff developed a love of cars at an early age and would work tirelessly on putting his own unuiqe stamp on every car he owned.

Family will always remember Geoffery as a keen fisherman, a talented builder of unique hot rods and a perfectionist in everything he did.

"But by far his greatest achievement and love was his family," sister-in-law Barbara Saw said.

Geoff's 21st birthday in 1967.
Geoff's 21st birthday in 1967. Contributed

Mr Norman was born in 1946 at Bowral Hospital in the southern highland of NSW.

He was the first child for Nancy and Mervyn, his sister Helen followed four years later. As a child he developed chronic asthma which prompted the family to pack their belongings, dog and all, into the family Austin and head for the warmer climate of sunny Queensland.

"So here they settled in Dixon St, Coolangatta in shared accommodation, with Geoff's grandparents and uncles living upstairs," Ms Saw said.

"Their house was a Coolangatta landmark and has only recently been demolished for development."

At 14, Mr Norman's father died leaving him as the head man of the house in 1960.

He left Tweed Heads High School and went to work at the Tweed Heads Boat shed.

Around this time Geoff became a creative kite maker and would spend hours with his sister Helen and friends flying kites at Goodwin Park.

"Geoff developed a love for cars at an early age and would work tirelessly on putting his own unique stamp on every car he owned," Ms Saw said.

Married for 45years and Lorraine still was the love of his life 2013.
Married for 45years and Lorraine still was the love of his life 2013. Contributed

A few years later Mr Norman met his Lorraine at Butty's Diner in Coolangatta.

The lovebirds married in 1968.

They purchased the family home in Tweed Heads in 1970, where they raised their family and spent all their married life.

First daughter Cheryl was born in 1971, followed by Lynda in 1974.

Mr Norman made a career move into Central engineering in the mid-70s, where he achieved his boiler maker certificate.

"In the early days of his work with Central Geoff, was seriously injured in a work accident," Ms Saw said.

"With his single minded determination he recovered and went on to work for Central for 20-plus years."

Mr Norman then moved on to be a skillful and respected crane driver.

From there Mr Norman finished his working life in his own business as a contract carrier for numerous companies.

The two daughters soon grew up and Cheryl married Brendon in 1990 and Lynda married Daniel in 2004.

Geoff Norman lived a happy life on the Tweed.
Geoff Norman lived a happy life on the Tweed.

In 1994 he suffered a heart attack which required him to have open heart surgery.

"Once again his determination and the love of his family helped him through," Ms Saw said.

With time on his hands following retirement, Mr Norman spent the next five years as a volunteer bus driver for Centaur Public School.

He drove disabled children to Murwillumbah so as they could participate in horse riding activities.

"He was recognised by the school community for his valuable contribution to public education," Ms Saw said.

His family said Mr Norman was a man of many talents and achievements.

"His love for Lorraine was unquestionable and his love for his two beautiful daughters was unconditional," Ms Saw said.

Topics:  obituaries

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