Norman C. “Unk” Southergill, past president of the Connecticut Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association and an active member and past president of the New England Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association, died Nov. 30. He was 94, according to his obituary in the Hartford Courant.
Southergill, owner and president of Norm’s Tire Store in Avon, Connecticut for 25 years, was a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Army in the 150th Combat Engineer Battalion. He published a book of his WWII memories, called “A Combat Engineer Remembers.”
Southergill started in the tire business in the 1960s working for Russell Romeyn, owner of retreading store OK Rubber Welders in Hartford, Connecticut and two other OK Tire stores in Avon and Granby, Connecticut. Southergill bought the OK Tire store from Romeyn in Avon in the mid-60s and renamed it Norm’s Tire Store. The two then became partners in Romeyn’s Granby store, which was named R&N Tire, said Noreen Southergill Watson, Norman Southergill’s daughter.
Watson said her father sold the family business in 1986 to Town Fair Tire and retired.
In his community, Southergill was a member of the Collinsville Congregational Church where he had been a deacon and youth group leader. He was also a member of the Avon Gildo Consolini VFW Post #3272 and was one of the founders of the Avon Sea Urchins Dive Club as well as the founder and first president of the Avon Chamber of Commerce.
According to his obituary, Southergill enjoyed traveling, playing golf, keeping up with current events, scuba diving, waterskiing, water volleyball, dancing and singing. Watson said her father and mother enjoyed dancing the polka and square dancing, which the couple did regularly up to ten years ago.
“He always had a twinkle in his eye and was ready to talk about anything,” Watson recalled about her father. “He used to read the paper from end to end and didn’t shy away from politics.”
In addition to his loving wife of 72 years, Lucy, Norman Southergill is survived by his daughter, Noreen Watson, and her husband Charlie, of Barkhamsted; his son, Jerry Southergill and wife, Ellen, of Springfield, Tennessee; his grandchildren, Wendy Moores and husband Steve of Colchester; John Watson and wife Erin of Cheshire; Richard Watson of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Bryan Southergill and wife Grace of Hong Kong; Adam Southergill and wife Catherine of Atkinson, New Hampshire; John Southergill and wife Meredith of S. Deerfield, Massachusetts and Travis Southergill and wife Nikki of Franklin, Tennessee; his great-grandchildren, Ethan and Ryan Moores (Wendy); Ella, Jack and Delaney Watson (John Watson); Danny and Tommy Watson (Richard); Lucy E. and Stella Southergill (Adam); Ainsley and Eleanor Southergill (John Southergill); Isabel, Wyatt and Liam Southergill (Bryan); and Kylan and Jacey Southergill (Travis); as well as his niece, Charlene Southergill.
There are no calling hours, his obituary said. A memorial service will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 28 at the Collinsville Congregational Church, 7 South Street in Collinsville, Connecticut. Burial with military honors will follow in South Windsor Cemetery. Donations in Norm’s memory may be made to the Gildo Consolini VFW Post #3272, P.O. Box 297, Avon, CT 06001, Collinsville Congregational Church, 7 South St., Collinsville, CT 06019 or Highland Lake Watershed Association @hlwa.org. The Vincent Funeral Home of Canton is caring for the arrangements. Please visit Norm’s “Book of Memories” at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.