December 11, 1954 - January 25, 2023
Norman H. Holt II, “Stormin Norman”, 68, of Ewing passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, surrounded by his entire family who have loved and supported him through his lifetime.
Predeceased by his parents, Norman H. Holt and Mary B. Cifelli Holt, grandmother, Ann Schipske “Gramps”, sister Mary Holt Johnson, brother-in-law, Jack Johnson, and niece, Ashley Johnson; he is survived by brothers, Billy and Claire Holt, Harry and Debbie Holt; sisters, Anne L. Holt Pasqua, Nancy and Steve Iacono, Tracy and Russ Barbiero, Julie and Dominick Mangine, and Heidi and Hany Serag; nieces and nephews, Nicholas and Michael Pasqua, Jacquelyn and Stephen Iacono, John Henry and Albert Johnson, Giavanna Barbiero, Gabriella and Dominick Mangine, Marianna and Gabriel Serag, William Potts and Jessica Kassar; very special friends, Jessie Phillips, Janet Saville, and John Piccone; as well as other relatives and friends too numerous to list.
A lifelong Ewing resident, Norman was a Master Floral Designer in the Mercer area for over 50 years. Norman started as an apprentice at 10 years old with his brothers at their father’s Floral Shop, Martha Ray’s Florist. Norman learned all of the intricacies and artistry of the florist business from his father, Norman. Norman took that talent and made a lifelong career as a floral designer. Norman took great pride in his talent and was known for creating the most elaborate, stunning, and creative arrangements that he would personalize with his own special flair. He would provide an impressive floral experience to create tributes, celebrate milestones and spread love. Norman was also quite the entrepreneur over the years, first opening his own flower shop and gift store as an extension of his father’s shop, Martha Ray’s. Later on, also opening his other shop, “My Gardenia” both serving friends, family and the Ewing community. Norman’s other successful enterprise was his very popular clothing boutique in Ewing, “His/Hers”. He and his business partner, Larry DiPaola created an option for top fashion and personally chose clothing and jewelry from their many trips to New York’s clothing district. His store was the “go-to” choice for the most exclusive types of clothing, he was way ahead of his time. Most recently, Norman worked at Encore Florist of Hamilton. Previously associated with Maria’s Flowers of Ewing, providing upscale arrangements for weddings. Norman also worked with Geri D’s Florist, Princeton Florist, and many others over the years.
Norman was a friend to whom you would measure all other friendships. His attributes are too numerous to list entirely but at the top of the list would certainly be (in no particular order):
His sense of humor. Those closest to Norman and who appreciated his creative floral prowess knew that it didn’t stop with flowers. Norman’s stories could entertain for hours, sprinkled with outrageous details and comedic twists and turns that left your sides aching with laughter and momentary pause of “really?!” And never caring to know the real details – they never mattered. He wanted to entertain you, he wanted to not just make you smile but to make you feel laughter and to feel happy. He worked so incredibly hard to do this, which worked. No one who knew Norman will forget the laughter.
Norman showed up for his friends – and showed out. No one who crossed Norman’s path was a stranger, he embraced everyone, and you would soon become family when he would greet you with “Hey, Cuz!” His disarming personality provided a comfort level that drew people to him. He had an innate ability to pull people in and make them feel special, feel seen.
Norman’s generosity was immeasurable. Whatever you could want or need he never ignored the opportunity to try and make it happen for you. Money was never an object – He was the epitome of performing random acts of kindness. Surprising even strangers with unexpected handouts and family and friends with trinkets or sometimes very large items that he thought they would need and appreciate. He was always thinking of others, always. But it was his generous spirit that those closest to him will miss. His ability to gather close to you for comfort when even you didn’t know you needed it, was magic. Showing up at the most random times and most of all during someone’s most dramatic, traumatic times when they would feel sad, or lost or lonely, or hurt. Norman was the response team; he ran in when others ran out. And you were so glad he did. That bear hug would protect you, that snarl would chase away all troubles, that warmth would reassure you that you weren’t alone and could go on. And he stayed long enough so that you could go on.
Norman had one big love in his life, his family. Two brothers and six sisters and numerous nieces, nephews, and spouses, each one having their own individual loving connection with him. His love and loyalty to all of them was palpable. He was proud to be their brother. He knew the life and love they shared as a result of two very strong parents was unbreakable, no matter what. There were countless stories about his father “The Bear” that Norman told with great admiration and respect. It was his love for his amazing mother and her selfless sacrifices that also helped to shape him. Her example of hard work and family first character that kept that family together, full of love, devotion, protection, and care. It was clear that he carried their message in all that he was and all that he did.
There is going to be a very large void in the lives that Norman touched. A personality that large cannot be replaced or forgotten. A heart that dear will live on in the lives of those who loved him most because he never came to anyone without leaving a touch of his love behind. He will be sincerely missed.
A gathering for family and friends will be held Saturday, January 28, 2023 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Buklad-Merlino Yardville Memorial Home, 30 Yardville-Allentown Road, Yardville, with a prayer service beginning at 3:00 p.m.
Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family.
Send a flower arrangement to the family →
Please sign our guestbook
Leave a tribute or memory in the comments area, below.