Norbert S. Artzt

April 16, 1937 ~ May 1, 2022 (age 85)


Norbert S. Artzt, a resident of Pisgah View Retirement Community, died suddenly, and to his many friends shockingly early, despite his 85 years. He departed with his long time partner John Denton at his side on May 1, 2022.

Born in Philadelphia, Norbert was raised in Miami where he graduated from the University of Miami. He then earned his masters from Stanford University and then to Duke University. He began his career teaching English and Humanities at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC, and then at Miami-Dade Community College where he twice served as the Chairman of the English department and enjoyed a distinguished tenure for more than thirty years. After his retirement, Norbert and John relocated to Asheville.

Norbert is survived by his sons, Eric, Benjamin (Jamie) and Joel, nine grandchildren, two great grandchildren, a sister Enid Miller, and niece, Sharon Miller.

Norbert had varied interests: animals, music, cooking, and gardening, each of which engaged his thorough attention. When he and John became a couple, they kept parrots and cats. In Asheville they added dogs, rabbits and pheasants, and In Hendersonville, honey bees, vegetables and fruit trees. In Pisgah the menagerie was drastically reduced to two dogs, the beloved Summer and Skye.

Music was ever present in Norbert’s life. While he sang in earlier times, later he concentrated on the piano, and set out to master as many of the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas as he could. He accomplished many even as John complained, “Nothing Norbert plays has any words.” He was also a devotee of the Great American Songbook.

 Norbert and John were both fine cooks to the delight of their guests, but their greatest passion was for gardening. Their house in Asheville was twice featured in the Asheville Garden Tours. In Pisgah, on a much smaller plot, they managed once again to produce a show-stopper garden.

Norbert was a fine writer who contributed to professional journals and campus magazines, professional gardening newsletters, and other publications. He not only taught composition as an English teacher, he practiced it with often humorous and insightful results ,and he mentored many young writers. He is irreplaceable to the people who loved him most.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

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