Norman C. Deno Obituary

From the Centre Daily Times, Sept. 24, 2017, State College, Penna.

Norman C. Deno

1921 - 2017

Norman C. Deno (February 15, 1921 - September 22, 2017).  Norman C. Deno, 96, formerly of State College, Penna., passed away on September 22, 2017, at the Eagle Valley Personal Care Home in Milesburg, Penna. Born on February 15, 1921, in Chicago, he was a long-time resident of State College and retired as a Professor of Chemistry from Penn State University. Norman is survived by a wife, Janet, whom he married 20 years ago after meeting her while ballroom dancing. With Janet he married into a family he treated as his own, including Janet's three children, Melissa (Steve), Lisa and Steve (Connie); seven grandchildren, T.J., Erica (Justin), Kylie (Brad), Corey, Claudia, Takara and Mallorie; and two great-grandchildren. Norman was previously deceased by his first wife, Ginny, whom he was married to for 52 years. From his marriage to Ginny, Norman is survived by three children, Anne Renee, Scott (Ellen) and Jan; three grandchildren, Diane (Dave), Kimm (Craig) and Nancy; and seven great-grandchildren. Norman was also survived by a brother Don (Chris) of Ruskin, Fla.

During his career, Norman published hundreds of research papers in chemistry and in the field of horticulture, his life-long hobby. A world-renowned expert in seed germination, he authored multiple books on the subject over the years. Even well after his retirement, one of his true passions was experimenting with various germination and planting techniques always testing the conventional wisdom in the field. Anyone who visited his house in State College would have immediately been taken on a tour around his property to view the hundreds of plants in bloom from across the world. In addition to seed germination, he was also passionate about playing bridge, which he proudly did at a competitive level even into his early 90s. His other interests included ballroom dancing and investing in the stock market. He also loved spending time with his grandchildren, telling them jokes and stories from decades before they were even born.

Memorial services will be private and at the convenience of the family. A guest book may be signed or condolences sent to the family at

[NARGS addendum: Norman received the NARGS Award of Merit in 1978 and the Carleton R. Worth Award in 1990. He was the author of 24 articles in the NARGS “Rock Garden Quarterly” on a variety of subjects. For many years his publication, “Seed Germination Theory and Practice,” was sold in the NARGS bookstore.]


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