From The Chicago Tribune
Norman Ralph Gulbrandsen peacefully passed from this world to the next on August 2, 2010, having lived a rich and remarkable life. Surrounded by his loving children and his wife Joy. He was 91 years old.
Norman was born on Oct 3, 1918 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the youngest child of Ole and Halvorine Olea Halvorsen Gulbrandsen. Norman's love for music was unprecedented. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1943 with a Bachelor Degree in Music. He earned a Master Degree at Northwestern University, and the University of Southern California between 1945 and 1949. In 1961 Norman returned to Northwestern University where he earned additional Degrees in Musicology and Vocal Performance. He excelled in his academic pursuits and received multiple Honor Awards including Phi Delta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Mu Alpha. Norman was world renowned for his ability to teach music and voice. He taught at the University of Montana, Brigham Young University, Lake Forest College, Northwestern University, and De Paul University. Norman was extremely beloved by his students, and had a remarkable ability to hear in each voice he encountered the potential for greatness. The majority of his students achieved high success during their vocal careers, many performing Operas throughout Europe and America.
Many stayed in contact with Professor Gulbrandsen throughout his lifetime. Norman especially loved conducting Oratorios of Verdi, Mozart, Rossini, and Handel. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, some of Norman's choicest life experiences included the opportunity to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the age of eighteen. He was one of the youngest members ever to be accepted into the renowned Choir. He was a Director of multiple University, Church, and Community Choirs over a span of fifty years.
Norman was a passionate tennis player, and played golf well. Norman was an avid reader of classic literature. Norman and Joy enjoyed the time they spent planting trees on their beautiful Lake Forest property, and traveling the world together. Norman married Lois Ione Stirling in 1943. They were married for 25 years. Together they had six beautiful children, all still living; Stephen R. Gulbrandsen (June), N. Douglas Gulbrandsen, James S. Gulbrandsen (Margaret), Robert K. Gulbrandsen (Kathleen), Richard M. Gulbrandsen (Karen), and Gina M. Rosa (Martin). Norman married Joy Katharine Scott in 1969. Joy was a loving and faithful companion to Norman and was by his side at his death. Norman helped raise Joy's two sons, Glenn McClure, and Kevin McClure as his own, and was always proud of his eight children. Kevin helped care for Norman and Joy during the past several years. Norman had a close relationship with his daughter-in-laws Debbie Zuchowski, and Mary Hollerich.
Norman had thirty-three grandchildren, and twenty-two great-grandchildren. A private family Memorial will be held in Lake Forest, Illionis. A Music Festival honoring Norman's life will be announced at a later date.