Deceased March 30, 2017
Norman Doelling, 86, died on March 30, 2017, at his home in Newton, Mass. Entering Amherst in 1948, Norm was one of a handful of Amherst students who took advantage of the Amherst-MIT “3-2 Plan,” emerging in 1953 with degrees from both institutions. With a master’s from MIT in 1955, Norm remained an ardent supporter of both his alma maters throughout his life. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Jean Macmillan Doelling (they had met again, 25 years after they had dated at Amherst and Smith), and three sons: Peter, Kurt ’78 and Eric. He also had four stepchildren.
Norm worked for Bolt, Beranek and Newman and then Digital Equipment Corp. and founded Doelling Associates, enabling alliances between Japanese and American companies. A skier while in college, he took to the water after college, rowing his Alden scull in the Head of the Charles regatta and spending the last 20 years of his MIT career with the Sea Grant Program. And then there was sailing, as he competed several times in the Newport to Bermuda race. Sailing became a passion for Norm and Jeannie, as they explored the New England coast in their 38-foot sloop. During winter months, it seemed that their wonderful, rambling home (Jeannie’s ancestral home) was often literally in the shadow of their dry-docked boat, waiting for the coming of another season of sailing adventures.
What a lively mind Norm had! Organizing the speaker program for the MIT Club of Boston, Norm not only invited the speakers but became educated in their accomplishments before introducing them. He was always interested in new things, from the latest astonishing developments in biology and low-temperature physics to the current activities of my grandchildren as well as his own. He will be missed.
Robert H. Romer ’52