Norris Lionel Nathanson (born April 2, 1932 to Jennie and Nate Nathanson) died December 10, 2016, passing away peacefully in Toronto - his beloved wife, Reva and his loving daughters, Lynn and Gail by his bedside.
In his 84 years, he touched many lives in his native Cape Breton as a visionary broadcast executive, radio personality, businessman, and philanthropist. A graduate of the Taft School and Yale College, Norris had a brilliant mind, a curiosity about the world and a passion for great music – and most important an unwavering love for his family and his island of Cape Breton. Norris came from a family of broadcast pioneers, working side by side with his father, Nate and his brother, Marven, to envision radio and television as integral parts of the community, enmeshed in the everyday lives of Cape Bretoners. In fact, CJCB AM had a 92% market share in Cape Breton, bringing people together for news, entertainment and music 24 hours a day. In the 1960’s, Norris launched "Talk Back" on CJCB, one of the earliest call-in shows on radio. While "Talk Back" was a 60-minute morning program, callers kept the dialogue going day and night, calling him at the office and at home for questions, comments and advice. Norris left his thriving broadcast career in the 1990’s to enjoy a much deserved retirement , part year in Florida and part in Sydney and North Side East Bay.
Norris met the love of his life, Reva Brook, the year he was born. And their devotion lasted a lifetime. As a young man, he courted her with single-minded focus. And his fervor was rewarded. They married in 1953 and enjoyed a wonderfully close and productive life together. They travelled extensively, but always looked forward to coming home to their roots – their many dear family and friends on the island.
Norris is survived by wife, Reva; daughters, Lynn and Gail; nephew, Ken; and two granddaughters, Jenny and Jill, who are both pursuing careers as physicians. As a toddler, Jenny called him "Baca", a name he adored, and one that stuck.
Baca, we will love you forever and miss you very much.
Funeral service will be held at Sydney Memorial Chapel on Thursday 2 p.m., with Rabbi David Ellis officiating. Interment in the Hebrew Cemetery.
As a memorial please consider a donation to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)
Words of comfort can be sent to the family at www.sydneymemorialchapel.ca or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org