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Date of Passing: Feb 15, 2010

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JAMES NORMAN HOUCK Norm passed away on February 15, 2010, at the age of 76, following a brief illness. Norm Houck graduated from the University of Manitoba as a Geological Engineer. He worked as the geologist and assistant mine manager of New Manitoba Mining and Smelting at Cat Lake, Manitoba. After the mine closed, Norm got a Bachelor of Pedagogy degree from the University of Manitoba. He later obtained a Bachelor of Education degree. He taught at Charleswood Collegiate (five years), John Taylor Collegiate (one Year), and Westwood Collegiate (25 years). He taught Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science. Norm Houck skipped or played third on teams that won seven Manitoba (Mens Seniors Masters) and three Canadian (Seniors) Curling Championships. He skipped teams that won two Car Bonspiels, the Tournament of Champions played in Maple Leaf Gardens, and the Major events and Grand Aggregate in the Manitoba Bonspiel. He is a Honorary Life Member of the Elmwood Curling Club. For his work on school and junior curling, he was made a Honorary Life Member of the Manitoba Curling Association. In 1990 he was inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall Of Fame. In 1963 Norm built a cottage on Luella Island in the Lake of the Woods. Norm and his Mom, Dad and friends enjoyed many years of enjoyment relaxing and fishing at the summer home. The scenic 12 mile boat ride to the cottage was part of the memories that we all remember. Boat trips down to the United States to get American beer and to see Ft. St. Charles were a special treat for visitors. Norm retired in 1989 at age 55 so as to enjoy golfing, curling, downhill skiing and his cottage full time. On September 20, 2007, Norm moved from Winnipeg to Hamiota, MB. He is survived by his brother Frank and his sister Margaret, along with nephews and nieces and their families. A special thanks to the relatives in Hamiota and hospital staff in Hamiota who provided wonderful care to Norm in his final days. A graveside service will be held at a later date.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 20, 2010

Condolences & Memories (5 entries)

  • I was a student in Mr. Houck's math classes at Westwood in 1971 and 72. I can truthfully say the passion and mischievous energy that he brought to class every day was the primary factor for me deciding to focus on math in university and my professional career. As others have said, Mr. Houck was the finest teacher I ever experienced from grade 1 to university and beyond. One final thing, I got the chance to curl with Mr. Houck on several occasions including some bonspiels and he was a damn good curler too!! - Posted by: Laurie Fox (Student) on: Sep 11, 2020

  • The "Incredible Houck" will live on in the hearts of every student he taught. I've thought about him often over the years. class of '81 - Posted by: Cheryl Barry (Student) on: Dec 06, 2014

  • I was a student in Mr. Houck's computer science class at Westwood Collegiate in 1980 and 81. He was a true inspiration in the very early days of home computing, a great teacher, perhaps the best I ever had in all my years of schooling. I was 17 then and 50 now, the time spent in his class still remains one of the fondest memories of my youth. - Posted by: Doug Fisher (Student) on: May 15, 2013

  • I was one of Norm's students from Charleswood Collegiate who went on to receive a degree in Engineering from the U.of M. and later a post graduate degree. Norm was one of the influences in selection of my career and his advice was that strong skills in math and science were a good match for engineering. Norm curled occassionally with the students and we managed to beat him on one ocassion although he was likely letting us win. Norm also golfed at Charleswood golf course. It was noted that Norm's curling skill was acknowledged during Olympic Curling TV coverage. - Posted by: Don Henderson (Acquaintance) on: May 18, 2010

  • I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Norm Houck on TSN last night. As a student at Westwood Collegiate from 1984-1987, I had the good fortune of knowing "Mr. Houck". He was instrumental in developing my interest and abilities in both Computer Science and Curling. Two skills that I continue to use to this day. He was always one of my favourite teachers. His kindness and guidance will be missed. - Posted by: Scott Roger (Acquaintance) on: Mar 10, 2010

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