SunBird Personalities

Norm and Nancy Ott

Norm and Nancy Ott

Bob Neuman

After interviewing numerous residents, I continue to realize how interesting, friendly and unique they are. Add in Norm and Nancy Ott.

Visiting friends led to renting in SunBird, then purchasing a home in 2000. Some years they returned at Christmas to be with their son, two daughters and now nine grandchildren.

Norm and Nancy became acquainted at school and lived only three blocks apart in Royal Oak, MI. However, several years passed before they married. “I chased him until he caught me,” Nancy recalls.

By then Norm had completed Wayne State University with a BS degree in Chemical Engineering. “I was pretty good in science and was influenced by a chemistry teacher I liked.”

When Nancy finished high school in 1955, she asked her Scottish mother what college she could attend. The reply was there was no money for that. Undeterred, she completed several commercial courses and became a proficient secretary and at one point a dental assistant. Soon after she became business manager of the building that held numerous dentists. She retired at the birth of their first grandchild.

Norm’s work brought adventures. Some time was spent on projects in Houston, TX. Norm comments, “That was my first experience in a foreign country.” Nancy mentioned the stifling humidity.

Between 1974 and ‘78 they lived in beautiful Sao Paula, Brazil, where the scenery and culture appealed to them. When asked if they learned the Portuguese language, Norm replied, “We picked up a few words, but our son, now a school psychologist, speaks it fluently.”

And they have traveled to South America, Norway Finland, Germany and Alaska.

Their interests are many and varied. Both golf several times a week, and Norm is secretary for the Men’s Golf Club. He also writes their articles.

He and Nancy are members of the SunBird Singers, which seems to improve with each production and under the capable direction of Joyce and Owen Bae. In addition, both are active in SunBird Community Church and sing in the choir.

Nancy is a walker while Norm prefers the bicycle. As for community service, he and some others volunteer each season to pick citrus for those unable to do so. Nancy uses her expertise in knitting to create warm hats and other items which are donated to hospitals. She also does quilting. She looks forward to a San Francisco visit with her sister and brother soon.

Norm played high school baseball, summers ball, and later softball until age 74. A highlight in his life occurred when his family financed his way to the Fantasy Camp to work out with the Detroit Tigers. “I told them if they could use a slightly worn infielder, I’m their man.”

Their family is very dear to them. All are successful in diverse endeavors and doing well. The satisfaction shows in the faces of Norm and Nancy who can honestly say life is good.