My father passed away on March 30, 2015. He had struggled with pancreatic cancer for about nine months. His wife, Jean (my mother), and I sat with him every day during his last weeks, and he was visited frequently by friends and neighbors.
Dad was born Aug. 25, 1928 in New Britain, Connecticut. He was the second of four children born to Eugene P. and Elizabeth (Curry) Borkowski. He grew up in Newington, on Florence Street, and graduated from Newington High School in 1946. He is survived by his younger sister, Elizabeth Waterman of East Granby, and his “little” brother, Donald Borkowski, of Newington. The eldest of the four siblings, their sister Jean, passed away in 1983.
Norman attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he studied chemical engineering. He was a member Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society. After graduating in 1952, he began his life-long employment with the Socony Mobil Oil Company (now Exxon-Mobil), at the facility in Paulsboro, N.J., where he met his future bride, Jean. They married in 1955. My sister, Susan, was born in 1956, and I came along three years later. In 1959 he transferred to the New York headquarters at Lexington and 42nd. They moved to Wilton, Conn., to our home on Drum Hill Road in January 1960. Norman commuted to Grand Central Terminal each day on the trains from Wilton, and was always home in time for family dinner. For years he could be seen after dinner walking Ringo, our beloved collie-shepherd.
Norman traveled the world for Mobil, including visits to Spain, Japan, Turkey, Greece, Italy, England and the Middle East. He sent back cards while he was away, and brought home treasures for each of his girls. Summers were spent at the shore, at Point o’ Woods, and West Dennis, Cape Cod. Dad loved the water, and was a world-class “floater.”
In 1984, Norman retired early from Mobil. He and Jean spent retirement doting on their only grandchild, Jason Orach, now of San Jose, Calif. There were many car trips around New England, while searching for “All the Gold.” Disneyworld was another favorite haunt of theirs.
In 1990, Norman, Jean and Susan traveled to Ireland for the first time. While there, Susan met her future husband, Liam O’Mahony, and settled in Tralee. Dad and Mom visited every year thereafter with Susan and Liam, and Ireland was their second home. Their last visit to Ireland was in 2013, after Susan died suddenly from cancer.
Norman was a gentle, loving, strong, handsome man, and he will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege to know him. He also was the smartest man I ever knew, and even into his 80s it was tough to beat him to an answer while watching Jeopardy. He is survived by his wife and best friend, Jean Eager Borkowski, his daughter, Barbara Snyder of Hartford, his grandson Jason and Jay’s wife, Ally, his son-in-law Liam of Tralee, Ireland, his sister and brother, and by his “adopted” neighbor-clan, the Lofink family. Norman was buried at Hillside Cemetery in Wilton, on April 1, 2015 after Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Church.