Norman Foss, 80 of Cherry Hill, NJ, a professional grocery shopper, farmers market extraordinaire, racing lover, sports enthusiast, and vegetarian (who occasionally ate tuna, but only if it wasn’t “too mayo-y”) peacefully concluded his journey with AML leukemia Sunday, May 8, 2022 surrounded by his two daughters, son in law, sister, and niece. He was a loving father (& father-in-law), brother, grandfather and uncle to so many.
Norm, as he was known to most — and which his family screamed like they did on “Cheers” every time he walked in any room — was so loving and kind to all of his nurses and doctors throughout his 3.5 year journey with AML leukemia. He especially loved his nurses and doctors at the University of Pennsylvania PCAM 4th Floor blood cancer unit, who have supported and cheered him on since Day 1.
His UPenn hematology oncologist, Dr. Shannon McCurdy, was one of the biggest blessings to enter Norman’s life nearly 4 years ago. Dr. McCurdy, along with her team (Joanna, Ali, Lindsey, Carlin, et al.) took the absolute best care of Norman along the way. After never going to a doctor for over 75 years, he listened to every single word Dr. McCurdy had to say. She guided him and our family in a way we’ve never seen a doctor do before. Our family feels forever grateful for her and her team’s compassionate care. They truly saved his life, no matter how it ended.
Norm was a talkative man of many hobbies. He loved all sports, and was always down to watch a game or attend one in person. He spent years coaching and playing basketball, baseball, volleyball, and badminton. He also had a lifelong love of auto racing, and spent years working in the industry as the Marketing Director and Promoter of Bridgeport Speedway in Bridgeport, NJ.
But more than anything else, Norm loved his family. And even more than that — he loved TIME with his family. Time was Norm’s love language, and he spoke it often. Whether it was talking to his daughters while they aimlessly wandered a grocery store, or sitting for hours at a family dinner, Norm just wanted to be together. And as our family expanded over the years and Norm was blessed with two beautiful grandchildren, Sebastian and Oliver, his love for his family only got bigger and deeper. If you got even remotely close to our Dad, you weren’t getting away without seeing a picture (or 12) of Sebby and Ollie, or even his grand dog, Hudson.
Norm also was blessed to come from a big, extended family. He had four wonderful sisters, many nieces and nephews and beyond. He was proud to tell people that his former wife, Dr. Roberta Foss-Morgan, was his best friend. They were so proud of how well they’d maintained their friendship and bond, despite a divorce over 30 years ago.
Over the years, he’d developed a few second families with some of the groups he’d spent lots of time with. Norm absolutely loved the people who came to his weekly badminton league that he ran for over 34 years for the Township of Cherry Hill. He also developed close friendships with all of the people in the Central Jersey Volleyball Officials’ Association, where he refereed for the last several years. And he even had close relationships with many of his racing friends from the decades he spent in that industry as well.
Norm lived his life on his terms. And he walked his journey with leukemia over the last several years in the same fashion. He was given 11 months to live and said, “I’ll take it from here.” Over 3.5 relatively pain-free years later, he concluded his journey with that awful disease and STILL did it on his terms.
We are all so sad because we miss Norm already. But we are also so proud of him. He fought one of the hardest, most brutal diseases in a way that only Norm could. And we are just so grateful that we were able to get exactly what Norm would’ve wanted: time.
We love you Dad.
Relatives and friends are invited to Norman’s graveside services Friday, May 13, 2022 beginning 11:00 am at King David Mem. Park, Bensalem, PA. Shiva will follow at the home of Cara and Steve Suchy. Contributions in Norman's honor may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society www.lls.org or the National Hemophelia Foundation www.hemophila.org in honor of his grandson, Ollie.