Captain Norman Edward Gage
Norman Edward Gage, 86, formerly of Camp Hill, Pa. and longtime resident of Ridgefield, Conn., died peacefully Sunday, September 17 at Maplewood in Bethel, Conn. He was born April 22, 1931, in New Cumberland, Pa., a son of the late Arthur Norman, of Williamsport and Mary (Klepper) Gage, of Montoursville. Norman graduated from Camp Hill High School in 1949 and attended Pennsylvania State College where he studied agriculture and dairy husbandry.
During the Korean War, Norman enlisted and proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Aviator. He flew for years from Naval aircraft carriers. After completing his tour of duty, he continued to serve in the Navy Reserves. In 1956, he moved to New York City and began flying as a co-pilot for American Airlines and was soon promoted to the Captain’s seat. Shortly afterwards, he met his beloved wife, Victoria Zilli and they married in 1958. The couple moved to Long Island to start a family, then relocated to Ridgefield, Conn., in 1967, where they resided for 48 years. Norman retired from American Airlines in 1991; on his final flight with American Airlines, Captain Gage took his family, flying from Dallas to Honolulu and then on to Sydney, Australia.
Norman was an innate naturalist and true conservationist, teacher and historian. He was curious and interested in all aspects of the world around him and instilled this value in others. He always had a story to share or fact to add to a conversation. He was devoted to his immediate and extended family and made an effort to attend every reunion, wedding, and family event. He was an avid reader and also enjoyed gardening, fishing, hiking, skiing and traveling with his family.
Norman volunteered extensively in the community with the Boy Scouts and Boys Club of Ridgefield. He belonged to and served on numerous committees at the Ridgefield Community Center, the Ridgefield Men’s Club, the Woodcock Nature Center and the Twin Ridge Homeowners’ Association as well as Fairfield College Preparatory School and Immaculate High School. Although a contributing member of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, he actively supported his wife’s St. Mary’s Catholic Church where he served on several Capital Campaign committees to complete building and renovation projects. He was active in the American Airlines Pilots’ Union and the Grey Eagles (Senior and Retired American Airlines Pilots). Although he never declared a political party, Norman was always engaged in local town politics.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Victoria Gage; and a sister, Elsie Gage.
He is survived by his son, Lawrence Gage and spouse, Maria, of Naples, Fla.; and three daughters, Jacquie Gage, of Northport, Maine, Mary Gage-Los and husband, Michael, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Rebecca Johnston and husband, William, of Newtown, Conn.; along with 10 grandchildren: Jeremiah, Rachel, Victoria, Sija, Sarah, Anna, Peter, Ilianna, Rebecca, and Hope. He is also survived by his sister, Amy Skallerup; brother, Richard Gage; as well as countless nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, September 27 at 2:30 p.m. in the garden at Maplewood at Stony Hill, 46 Stony Hill Road, Bethel, Conn. A reception will follow. A memorial service will be planned in the future for family members and friends in Pennsylvania.
The family wishes to thank Maplewood, Hospice and especially Visiting Angels for the care and kindness they provided for him.
There will be no calling hours, interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to either Regional Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Connecticut, 30 Milestone Road, Danbury, CT 06810 or any Caribbean Hurricane relief organization.
Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury, is in charge of arrangements.