Friends and family of Norman Siefert will celebrate his life this Saturday, Sept. 22 at 3 p.m. at the Cottage Park Yacht Club, a place that was like a second home to him.
When people thought of Seifert the idea of “fun” and “water” and “sailor” and “helpful” were words that came to mind – he was never without a boat.
Family friend Mary Biggio recalled how her children and Siefert children were in the sailing program at Cottage Park Yacht Club.
“He was just the most helpful guy down there,” she said. “He was always willing to help steer new members in the right direction to buy a boat or fix a boat.”
Siefert passed away at the age of 98 on Aug. 13 at a hospice house in Lincoln.
He was born on a snowy day on Feb. 7, 1920, at the Old Winthrop Hospital to Fredrick and Irene, who arrived there by sleigh from their home in Beachmont.
Siefert is a former commodore of the Cottage Park Yacht Club and a longtime community volunteer who played an active role in creating the public landing. In the 1960s Siefert became involved with the landing when the town was dealing with the gases caused by dying clams, it was so bad it peeled the paint off of some houses, Biggio said. The town ended up dredging the harbor.
In 2012 the town of Winthrop named the new ferry terminal building at the landing after him. It is the marine gateway to town.
“He was a long-time supporter of Winthrop Harbor,” said former Town Council President Peter Gill
“He was the founder of the Make-A-Wish Regatta,” Biggio said. “He was just a fixture at the yacht club for years. He was a handy guy, he could do anything.”
He was an avid sailor and raced for years in a Hustler. He also had a 25-foot Ranger, a small sail boat.
“The four of us (wives and husbands) took it to Nantucket and lived on it for seven days,” Biggio chuckled. “Oooooh!, but we had more fun and laughs. He was witty. He was just a really, really nice guy.”
Norman Siebert was a longtime Winthrop resident.
He attended Revere High School, was employed by GE in Lynn and later was foreman of the Model Shop at GTE Sylvania’s Applied Research Lab in Waltham.
A World War II Navy Veteran and fixture along the Winthrop waterfront, he was an avid fisherman, champion sailor and advocate of clean water. He worked tirelessly to return the waters of Boston Harbor to the cleanliness he enjoyed in his youth as a Sea Scout. He was also instrumental in the completion of his dream that the town would have its own multi use boating facility for all to use. For his efforts the Ferry Terminal Building at the Winthrop Town Landing bears his name.
He was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for “rendering meritorious service” from the Secretary of the United States Air Force for his rescue of an Air National Guard Pilot whose jet, flying in heavy fog, crashed into the waters behind his home on Court Road.
A Lifetime member and Past Commodore of the Cottage Park Yacht he was also a past Chairman of the “Regatta to benefit the Make A Wish Foundation of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.” This regatta has continued for 24 years.
Norman is survived by his wife, Barbara, sons: Peter and wife Deborah, Jonathan and wife Jean, and David and wife Deborah, and grandchildren: Alec, Jackson, William and Jessica. He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert, and son, Jeffrey.
A celebration of his long, well lived life will be held at 3 p.m., Sept. 22
at the Cottage Park Yacht Club, 76 Orlando Ave. Winthrop 02152. Memorial charitable donations can be made to “Make a Wish of Massachusetts and Rhode Island”.