April 10, 1963
Quartermaster First Class
UNITED STATES NAVY
Normal Gilbert Lanouette was born on October 17, 1929, in Newark, N.J. His boyhood days were spent in Rahway, N.J., and he learned to swim in the Rahway River.
Norman enjoyed swimming and boating and had participated in the saving of a man twice his age while swimming. He was 11 years of age at the time. He attended Rahway High School prior to entering the naval service in December 1946.
After completing his basic training at the U.S. Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, Md., he was assigned to the battleship, U.S.S. Missouri (BB 61). He next served in the submarine rescue ship, U.S.S. Petrel (ASR 14). After a period of shore duty in Norfolk, Va., he had duty with various underwater demolition teams.
Norman had also attended the Navy's Quartermaster School, and served in the high-speed transports, U.S.S. William S. Cobb (APD 106), and the U.S.S. Burdo (APD 133), prior to serving with the underwater demolition teams again.
His first submarine duty came in November 1958, when he was assigned to the U.S.S. Cusk (SS 348). He became qualified as a submariner while serving in Cusk, and was awarded his silver dolphins. In February 1961, Norman was selected as a crewmember of the nuclear-powered submarine U.S.S. Thresher (SSN 593).
Norman often acted as a master of ceremonies at the crew's social functions. He loved music, and played piano, drums, and bass fiddle. He also sang and enjoyed entertaining others with his musical talents. Above all else, however, he was a family man.
His wife's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nick Frank, own a motel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and they entertained the entire crew of Thresher on two occasions when the ship visited there in 1961 and 1962. As a token of appreciation, they were presented a large picture of the ship autographed by the commanding officer and each member of the crew.
During his naval service, Norman was awarded the Navy's Good Conduct Medal with bronze star, World War II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation Medal with European Clasp and the National Defense Service Medal.
He is survived by his widow, the former Barbara Frank of Fort Lauderdale;
two children, Scott Michael and Lori Ann; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry
J. Lanouette of Rahway, N.J.; and his 85-year old grandmother, Mrs. Barbara
Makransky, also of Rahway.