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R.I.P., The Wiz 1947 – 2011

Mike Norman, aka "The Wiz", with his lovely wife Debbie.
Mike Norman, aka “The Wiz”, with his lovely wife Debbie at the 2011 CDG Awards.

Dear Frocktalkers, it is with heavy heart that I tell you of the passing of one of our industry’s best friends. Mike Norman, AKA “the Wiz” has lost his battle with cancer. He passed away on Thursday, November 10, 2011, and we will miss him forever.

I was lucky enough to have known him for many years. He was a very intelligent person, philosophical in nature, and a self-admitted “dirty old man”. He was never gross about it – he was the playful, light-hearted, irreverent whippersnapper to the end – charming, witty, and always thought provoking. My heart is breaking for his family.

Beyond his charismatic personality, he was a gifted artist on our behalf. The Wiz, with his Wizard Screen Printing, helped so many of us meet our deadlines with beautiful results. The Wiz would turn things around on a dime, fix other peoples’ bad work, generally saving the day with a growl and a grin.

I loved him very much as a person, and will miss him immensely. He attended the 2011 CDG awards with his lovely wife Debbie and it was an honor to have them at our table. There will always be an empty seat at the table of my heart for him, and my greatest sympathy goes out to his family and legions of friends. His is a big loss, indeed.

The following is the official obituary for this awesome man. Heaven got a whole lot cooler on November 10. We will miss you, Wiz.

Dr. Michael Edward Norman, 64, of Los Angeles, died November 10, 2011, at his Chatsworth home.

Dr. Norman was born January 3, 1947, in Los Angeles, California to Toby Rothman and Kal Rubin.

He attended University High School and graduated from Rexford High School in Los Angeles, California. He continued his education at CSUN and the Union Institute. After many years of grueling coursework, dedication, and dictation to his lovely wife, he was awarded his PhD in Psychology from the Union Institute. Dr. Norman hung his prized diploma over the toilet in his West Hollywood store. Many customers were shocked to discover that the diploma was indeed real.

Dr. Norman is best known as the charismatic, charming, and at times inappropriate owner of the Wizard in West Hollywood, California. He spent over 35 years building a business based on creating amazing pieces of wearable art for the television, film and music industry.  Dr. Norman carefully attended to the needs of a very demanding and elite clientele. Although he was often not credited for his designs, his work is known worldwide.

He will forever be remembered by his loving wife Debbie, cherished daughters Tiffany and Nicole and their spouses Alex and Tim, and treasured grandchildren Madeline, Kayden, Zachary, Georgia and Tallon. He also leaves behind a devoted sister Karen and Aunts Dorothy and Gloria.

Services are pending, but I will update here if a memorial service is open to the public. I have such a case of the sads. Rest in Peace, Wiz.


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