Norma M. Bartol, 93, a longtime resident of Greenwich passed away peacefully on May 11, 2022.
Born in Brooklyn, New York on September 18, 1928, she was married to the late John Hone Bartol and her first husband the late Alexander David Walker, Jr. She was the daughter of the late Joseph Baird and Norma Werner Magnus of Greenwich and New York City. She attended Greenwich Academy, Rosemary Junior School, Miss Hewitt’s in New York City, and Columbia University.
Norma and then husband David Walker came to Fishers Island in the early 60’s renting a house next to Hay Harbor in August for two years which they loved. Years later she and her second husband John Bartol came back to Fishers living on their boat Gambit VI at the Yacht Club. For years Gambit VI was the committee boat for the Round Island Race each Labor Day. A few years later John and Norma built a house on Pile Road. Fishers was family for Norma – a special gathering place with her children and seven grandchildren who she adored and would watch over at a moment’s notice.
Norma and Johnny were members of the Fishers Island Club, Hay Harbor Club, and Fishers Island Yacht Club. Norma was an avid tennis player and was head of the Tennis Committee at the Big Club for several years. She especially enjoyed the generations of tennis players that showed up for the Saturday Round Robin. As a history buff, she spent much time at the Ferguson Museum conversing with Pierce Rafferty about history, Fishers, and anything else that came up. These conversations helped her come up with interesting themes relating Fishers Island to Greenwich for her weekly articles in Greenwich Time – a pursuit that was a big part of her life.
Norma began her writing career in the late 40’s as an early “ski bum” in Stowe, Vermont where she wrote the social column for Stowe Reporter and the Mt. Mansfield Club newsletter. Returning to Greenwich she wrote a column for Greenwich Time entitled The Social Whirl. She also wrote extensively for Greenwich Review which later became Greenwich Magazine. In 2002, she returned to Greenwich Time to write a weekly column named, Back Country Greenwich. Her columns mostly focused on Greenwich history, preservation, and politics but with all her articles over 20 years, she wrote about many subjects that interested her including Fishers Island. To name a few articles; “The beginning of the Fishers Island golf course”, “Artist Charlie Ferguson’s connection to Greenwich”, and “Ferguson Museum protects endangered birds”.
Skiing was also her love. In the early days she and her first husband, the late David Walker, skied extensively at Stowe, Vermont taking the Snow Train from New York City to Waterbury, Vermont. Later she skied at Mad River Glen where she especially enjoyed the camaraderie of the Amateur Ski Club of New York which has a lodge at the base of the mountain.
Norma had a long affiliation with politics, serving as President of the Young Republicans of Connecticut and working on campaigns for Greenwich resident and U.S. Senator Prescott Bush. She also worked for Lowell Weicker’s campaign for First Selectman in Greenwich. She worked in real estate with Duff Associates for 20 years. She was a long-time board member of the Greenwich Riding & Trails Association where she served as President and rode for years at Round Hill Stables. She was active with the Greenwich Historical Society and was President of the Northwest Greenwich Association. Most notably she was honored with the Greenwich Preservation Trust’s 2019 Preservation Leadership Award in recognition of her decades of advocacy and tireless support for the preservation of Greenwich history.
She is survived by her four children; Alex Walker (Alyson) of Delray Beach, FL; Hilary Hotchkiss (Win) of New Canaan, CT; Lucia Walker of Fulham, England; and Douglass Walker of Brookline, MA; seven grandchildren – David Walker (Maggie), Brooks Walker, Win Hotchkiss, and Leslie Hotchkiss Hayes (Sam), Henry, Thomas, and Amelia Walker and two great-grandchildren. In addition, two stepsons, Peter Bartol (Rose) of Charlottesville, VA; and John Bartol Jr. (Cindy) of Alexandria, VA, and four step-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Monday, June 6, 11:00 am at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 954 Lake Avenue, Greenwich, CT.