Missing My Best Friend: Norm Nielsen Passed Away Today

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Norm Nielsen and the Poster Collection
In twenty-five years, Norm amassed one of the most extraordinary vintage magic poster collections in the world. (Photo credit: Zakary Belamy)

The last time I posted in this blog, was about Norm’s recent admittance in a memory care facility.

Due to the quarantine procedures from the Wuhan Coronavirus, I have not seen Norm in exactly two and half weeks.

I’m sorry to report to all my friends and fellow magicians that Norm passed away, suddenly, today April 21, 2020 at 7:30 am. 🙁

Fortunately, he was at an excellent memory care facility, surrounded by a compassionate staff. Alas! He would not be with any members of his family.

A Brief Biography of Norm Nielsen

Norm Nielsen was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin on February 17, 1934 at 8:35 am. His parents were: Albert and Meta Nielsen.

He became hooked on magic at age 10 when his father took him to see a barber who loved to perform magic. Herman was his name.

Norm would hang out with Herman, who had a penchant of going to bars and drinking on the weekends. He would sometimes get free drinks by performing for the patrons. He never revealed to Norm the secrets of his magic, yet through observation, Norm started learning quite a bit. Eventually, Norm would go to his first magic convention where he met his idol, Neil Foster, who learned from and was a teacher at the Chavez School of Magic in California.

Norm decorating a cake
Norm was supposed to become a baker. He left home to become a magician, instead.

Norm’s father was a baker. During his teenage years he worked with his dad at the bakery, making bread and decorating cakes for their many customers.

Imagine the disappointment of his father when Norm announced that he was moving to California to learn magic and become a magician! Like Neil, Norm learned his craft at Chavez and helped teach there for a little while.

Eventually, he moved back to Kenosha, where he opened Nielsen Magic in 1956. At that time Norm was your regular 50 miler magician, who performed in the area, owned his little magic shop, and would build magic tricks to sell others. In the early sixties, he met Johnny Thompson, and through their collaboration, they came up with clever effects: Bottle through Table, Flower to Silk, and because they were both dove workers, they created the Nielsen Vanishing Dove Cage. One of his biggest clients was Magic, Inc., in Chicago, owned and operated by Jay and Frances Marshall.

Norm Nielsen in the early days performing Zombie.
This photo was taken in the early days when the violin was a giant “Zombie Ball”.

Initially, Norm performed a manipulation and dove act, which including the Zombie Ball effect. Throughout the years in his effort to be different, his Ball became his famous and signature Floating Violin that we know of. The first attempts at the Floating Violin were made in 1966.

His big break was a few years later when Jay Marshall, arranged an audition with Mark Leddy – the booker for the Ed Sullivan Show. After his appearance in that show, the entire world opened to him. He had one of the most successful careers as a performing magician for the next three decades. He worked all over Europe, Asia, Latin American and South Africa. For nearly seven years, he worked at the Crazy Horse Saloon in Paris. He also appeared in probably fifty different television programs around the world.

Norm Nielsen, Magician Extraordinaire

Norm Nielsen and his Floating Violin
Norm and his signature Floating Violin. (Photo credit: Anne White)

Norm has probably won every single award given in the magic world: He had all the major awards from the Academy of Magical Arts: Stage Magician of the Year, Magician of the Year and a Performing Fellowship; the Jack Gwynne Award, SAM Hall of Fame, Milbourne Christopher Awards, Chavez, and the list goes on and on.

During all this time in the 1970’s he briefly sold his business to another builder and magic shop operator. Because it wasn’t well managed, so he bought it back in the mid-1980s when he settled back in the Unites States.

In 1990, he started becoming a magic collector of vintage posters. At that time he still had an active performing career, but opted to take care of his business and the posters.

By now he had three careers: Performing magic; buying, selling and trading vintage magic posters; and manufacturing magic.

Meeting Lupe Nielsen

Norm and Lupe Nielsen
Norm and Lupe Nielsen (Photo credit: Kari Hendler)

I met Norm in 1989 for the first time, and eventually came into his life in 1995. My background in magic, props, working in magic shops, and love for magic history, were all handy with the relationship I would have with Norm for the next twenty-five years. We practically had everything in common, except for our age difference.

I am not the marrying type, yet, three years later, we did tie the knot. Lol!

The last twenty-five years were rich and active for us. I joined him in his business and helped him in every aspect of it. My main talent was to keep track of the details. His talent was his vision and passion for the magic and the posters. We both performed – he specializing in his exquisite and legendary Musical Magic Act – I did my close-up and parlor magic. We complimented each other in the building of magic, and supported each other in the acquisition and collection of posters, to the point where we acquired one of the largest vintage magic poster collections in the world.

He would retire his act in 2008, but would actively continue in the business.

Alzheimer’s and His Final Day

Unfortunately, fate would take place and in late 2015 he would be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Even during his Alzheimer’s days, he was the most gentle and wonderful human being to have around. Up until recently, we used to be in the house together, and would go out with friends, and be actively social. His sense of humor was always present, and he always did his best to make you smile and laugh.

Earlier today, at 8:10 am, I got a call from the memory care facility where he resided. He started coughing at 6:45 am, and was unresponsive a few minutes later. While the staff was administering CPR, they called 911. The paramedics arrived at 7:05 am and did everything to revive him. Unfortunately, Norm did not make it. He passed away at approximately 7:30 am.

Due to the quarantine, I never had a chance to visit or say good-bye. I did get reports here and there from the staff at his facility, who were wonderful people. I spoke to him two days ago, and told him that we would be moving him to another home where I was allowed to visit (the move would have been this morning, by the way). I tried calling him yesterday, but he was asleep, after an active day of the various activities they had at the home.

He is now gone… Forever…

What Is Next, You Might Ask?

I have already made arrangements for Norm’s body to be autopsied and then cremated. I felt the need for an autopsy, to give me closure as to the reason of his sudden death. He was full of life yesterday, and just suddenly, he died this morning.

Once the ashes are received, I will make a nice final resting place for them. I will attempt to use all my woodworking skills to see if I can make an urn worthy of Norm.

When this pandemic is over and people can gather, we will plan a Celebration of Life Memorial for Norm Nielsen here in Las Vegas.

His wishes were to be interred in the magic cemetery in Colon, Michigan. Eventually, we plan to have another Memorial for his interment at that location.

Time for Gratitude and Mourning

Norm lived a great life, fully independent, and accomplished everything he put his mind into. He did live in his own terms and left as such. In a way I am happy that except for the dementia, he did not convalesce in a bed for long. He was here one day, and then suddenly was gone! His passing was quick and in the way all of us would like to leave this world.

I guess the next step for me will be to learn to live without my best friend. After twenty-five years, I honestly don’t know what I am going to do, or where I stand in the bigger scheme of things. I do have handicaps of my own, which I have to confront and those are for me to bear. Nielsen Magic, though, will continue business as usual. That is probably the biggest inheritance that Norm has given me.

The good thing is that God has given me infinite curiosity and many interests, and I will eventually find my little place in the world. I also have deep Faith and know that things always happen for a reason and I will never be alone.

THANK YOU ALL – our friends and customers – for all your support through the years. It is because of you that Norm and I have had a reason for being.

Norm Nielsen Poster
This is Norm’s last poster, painted and designed by Igor Edelman.

Norm Nielsen is survived by his wife, Lupe Nielsen, and his two daughters, Jenna and Alexandra Nielsen.

– Lupe Nielsen
(April 21, 2020)

144 thoughts on “Missing My Best Friend: Norm Nielsen Passed Away Today”

    1. Dear Lupe
      So sorry to hear this bad news.
      The departure is never acceptable but we have to do it for the love we had for him.
      Please accept my deepest condolences for your big loss.
      I am close to you and i hope you will continue all his enormous work to keep him still alive.
      A big high
      Luigi

    2. Lupe, So very sorry to hear this. Sending deepest sympathy to you and hope for the consolation that I know will come with time and reflection. Norm touched millions of people with his flawless magic the team you two formed was an inspiration to all. John McLaughlin

    3. It is with deep sadness that you and I have lossed loved ones. I “truly” know and understand “your pain” as the love we share and receive from our loved ones “can and will never be replaced!” I remember quite well “seeing Norm with his wonderful “🎻” performance at one of the “Annual SAM Annual Conventions!” His unique style and presentation “really touched my ❤!” Howard Thurston once said in his magic book, “You can fool their eyes and mind but you cannot fool their 💕!” Indeed, Norm touched the “hearts” of his audiences! I will “always” be thankful for his autographed photo with him and his violin. Most importantly, the conversation we had after his performance. Yes-his violin would return to the stage and take a bow with him after his performance with it. A visual amd very touching moment to end his act. Now, we take a “bow” to Norm as he “musically” floats to the next stage in the “great beyond!” Please share my message with your family and others in the magic community. Stay safe-stay well-stay with G-d! Warmest Magical Wishes, Benjilini

    4. I’m very sorry to hear of Norm’s passing. He was the first magician I ever saw. I couldn’t believe magic could be like that.

  1. Lupe, I feel so deeply for you loss and for the loss of all of us in Norm. Cherish your memories. In them he will always live.

  2. Thank you, Lupe, for so beautifully writing about Norm and about your life together. We are very sorry for your loss.

  3. So very sorry to hear this. I know what you have gone through but this inability to see loved ones and they, their families is such a regrettable disservice. Thank you for all you have done and prayers for answers to your present and future. He was a champ from day one I saw him on Ed Sullivan.

  4. I am so sorry, Lupe. I cherish the times I got to see Norm perform his Musical Magic Act (the first time was in Paris when I was 14 years old.) May his memory be a blessing.

  5. Lupe, I wish I had the words to soften your pain, but I’m not sure they exist. I can’t imagine the sorrow of not being able to be with him, and my heart goes out to you. What a legend Norm is and what a beautiful writing you offered for those who admired and knew Norm. Prayers of comfort and peace being sent your way. God bless.

  6. Lupe:
    I am so very sorry for your loss – and for all of our loss…
    Norm was legendary. A gentleman, and very talented artist. No one could compliment such a man so well as you have. You truly walk in those same amazing shoes, but with a woman’s beautiful touch.
    No amount of words can convey the heart break i am feeling, and can not imagine what you are going through now.
    If there is anything i can do, I am a phone call away. You are surrounded with a World of admirers and friends who would do anything for you, including me.

    Hugs, always.
    Steve Daly
    “Tiny”

  7. Hi Lupe,
    Very sorry to hear this news. The Magic World has suffered another great loss. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Lupe, I can only inagine how hard this must be for you. While Norm’s death was sudden he had a full life and many friends and much admiration. He seemed a truly happy person even when Alzheimers hit he did still have its humor. It seems fitting that he is gone without years in memory care facilities.
    You have been by Norms side through good and bad just like it should be. I admire you.
    My heartfelt condolences to you and the family.

  9. We are deeply saddened by your loss Lupe. We knew the day would eventually come, but it gives us great sadness that Norm has left us. You both have been an inspiration to the magic community. Our hearts are with you. Lots of love.

  10. So, so sorry to hear this.
    I spoke with Norm for a brief time when he was last at a British Ring Convention. He was so gracious and kind in the way he spoke to me (a total stranger) .
    My condolences to you and your family and I will keep you in my prayers.

    Dave

  11. Lupe,
    I am deeply saddened by the news of Norm’s passing. He had a profound impact on the world of magic as a performer, manufacturer, and collector. The two of you were a perfect match. I have fond memories of seeing his act live at a few magic conventions through the years, and the entire world of magic is fortunate that his performances have been presented a few times on various TV magic specials over the years.

    To quote Shakespeare from _Hamlet_:
    “I shall not look upon his like again.”

    —– Sonny

  12. Hi,
    I’m very sorry for your loss. I lost my magical love 10 years ago. I believe I’ve met you, probably at a magic convention, many years ago. I do know I’ve met Norm. We bought some of his bottles. I still have Nick’s magic, not sure why. I thought you wrote a beautiful letter of love for Norm, he would be pleased. I don’t really know you but, if you need a friend (or stranger) to talk to I’m right here.

  13. Lupe, Sonya and I are so sorry for your loss. We love you guys, and our hearts ache knowing what you’re going through. The world lost a wonderful man and magician.

  14. Susan and I will never forget the kindness you and Norm showed us and especially the love you all showed Mike for so many years. The world will be a lesser place with Norm gone. Our prayers are with you.

  15. So sorry to hear about this! I’ll never forget how kind Norm was to me and my father (Bob French). I was just a teen when I met Norm. So glad I got the opportunity to see his act live at “Its Magic” in Los Angeles. God bless you Lupe. My heart goes out to you.

  16. Norm was a great and gentle man.
    He was very good to me over the years and I have many memories of his kindness to me.

    I will always remember spending afternoons queltly admiring his poster collection and his stories at his home.

    Thank you for the memories Mr. Norm.

    Keith West

  17. Lupe. I am so sorry to hear this news. You wrote a very nice tribute to Norm. He was a superb performer and a very nice man. I will always remember his highly skilled act. We met at an Abbott’s Get Together some time ago and he was always willing to visit. I along with you and all of the magic community have lost one of the best. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with you

  18. So sorry for your loss, I’m at Norman 1977 and was always fascinated by this girl he had. And he was always so accommodating and friendly to all Magician‘s. My deepest sympathy Lupe,
    Steve Schlanger

  19. Dear Lupe, Margie and I are sending our deepest condolences in this terribly sad time.

    We are so sorry for your unimaginable loss.

    Thinking of you,
    Larry

  20. Lupe, My sincere condolences to you and the family. He was such a talent and a gentleman who had a big impact on magic and magicians. Thank you for sharing him with the magic world. I first met him around 1994. I was visiting Jackie Flosso at his store and in walked Norm Nielsen. What a thrill. Norm and Jackie started talking and after a short time Norm asked me questions and included me their conversations. We spoke of the old time magicians and their acts. After awhile, I brought up the name of Cantu and how I had a tape of Cantu performing in a Laurel and Hardy movie. He said he never saw it. Well, I wound up sending him a copy along with a clip of Blackstone, Sr. He was away in Germany at the time, but when he returned, he sent me a very nice thank you letter and he even sent me a Vanishing Ketchup bottle. The letter is one that I will cherish always along with the memory of meeting him. I also had the privilege of booking him for the S.A.M. Parent Assembly Salute to Magic Show . What a thrill for myself and many of my compeers to finally see his incredible act in person.
    The Magic world lost a giant.

  21. Lupe

    I am saddened for news. I’ve known Norm since the late 80’s and always enjoyed his performances.

    I am sorry for your loss and the loss to the community.

    Please stay in touch and let us know if there is anything we can do

  22. Lupe, I’ve only met you and Norm a few times on trips to Las Vegas, when I was with Simone or Joanie. I enjoyed those times and Norm was always a lovely presence during those shared meals. I lost my mother last year, and she’d been living with Alzheimers’ for almost three years. I can’t imagine losing someone who’s been your partner for so long, but your cherished memories will ultimately get you through it all. Sending you thoughts of love and light.

  23. God Bless You Lupe, I pray for you and Norm’s Daughters for strength and peace with Norm’s passing.

  24. What a wonderful tribute, Lupe. I am so sad for you and your family. My most heartfelt sympathies to you, I know how hard this must have been, and especially with all the craziness caused by the pandemic, it probably made things extra-complicated. It was really nice to see you recently at SAM.
    Much love,
    Alain

  25. Lupe —

    I am saddened to learn of Norm’s passing. I admired his work, not only as a magician, but also as a collector and builder. He was a fine performer, a wonderful craftsman and a true expert.

    He was friendly and had a wonderful sense of humor.

    His passing leaves a huge vacuum in the world of magic.

    My heart goes out to you.

  26. Lupe, I lost my mentor and dear friend, Bill Chaudet (Castle member #8) to Alzheimer’s Disease. I feel your pain more than you can know. Norm was such a very special man, and I loved knowing and working with him. With my love and condolences,

  27. Hi Lupe, this would be the very tough time for you. Beside tears in my eyes, I really don’t know what to say at the moment. Wish you know there are friends around the whole world behind your back.
    Hugs to you and pls try to take some rest.
    Will miss Norm forever!
    Regards,
    Albert Tam

  28. To the Nielsen family I would to say I’m very sorry for your loss. I never had the pleasure to meet Mr. Nielsen but I admired his work. A class act again my deepest sympathy.

  29. My condolences to you and your family. Norm was a giant in the world of magic and a very nice man.

  30. Sorry for the lost. I will always remember the show we were on together.
    He was a great gentleman.
    RIP my friend
    Bob Coluzzi

  31. Guada que bello escrito, su historia y la tuya con él. Siento mucho tu pérdida y le pido a Dios te de fortaleza. Pero siento, deep inside, que vas a estar bien. Eres una persona fuerte, valiente, creFativa, generosa y con una personalidad excepcional, como poca gente que conozco. Dios quiso que Norm fuese parte de tu vida, y aunque ya no esté físicamente, lo estará por siempre en tu corazón. Ese fue, y es, amor del bueno, genuino, auténtico.
    Que En Paz Descanse 🌹

  32. Lupe,
    Many condolences will pour in for Norm today. And each one is well-deserved.

    But I want to thank you. Thank you for the YEARS of service to Norm. While many of us went on our daily lives, YOU were there for him.

    YOU helped him, comforted him and were there in his time of need.

    And while you MIGHT have felt helpless during his final days in the facility, YOU were ALWAYS there.

    Always.

    Love to you. Thanks for all you have done. Peace to you.

  33. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Norm. I was fortunate enough to have met him a few times at various magic conventions over the years. I hope you can soon find closure, Lupe. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  34. Lupe, We are mourning with you for our Friend Norm. We are so grateful to have met both of you. He was always so kind and gracious to us. We are here for you if you need us. Love and Hugs.

    Randy and Julie Glau

  35. Dear Lupe,

    You don’t know me though we met at Magic Live! Norman brought so much joy and wonder to the world of both magicians and the general public. His poster collection was an inspiration. And everything he made was always of the highest quality.

    Thank you for being an important part of his life and the magic community.
    My wishes are with you during this difficult time.

    Gary Meyer
    Oakland, California

  36. Lupe, So sorry to hear this sad news. My deepest condolences and my sincerest support for you in this difficult time. Sending love & caring thoughts.

  37. My sincerest condolences. Norm was a wonderful magician, builder and collector. And even more so as a human being. He will be missed.

  38. So sorry for your loss. The last few years had to be so hard. I watched my father go through the same thing. Your an amazing strong woman and life of course goes on. He will always be in yourheart. God bless.

  39. Lupe, So sorry to hear this sad news. My deepest condolences and my sincerest support for you in this difficult time. Sending love & caring thoughts.

  40. Dear Lupe,
    I am so sorry to hear about Norm’s passing and because of this horrible virus you couldn’t be with him. Please
    accept my deepest condolences.
    May he Rest In Peace, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Jean Kinnicutt

  41. Dear Lupe,
    Suzanne and I are so sorry to hear of your loss. We have admired Norm’s tremendous talent for years, and always appreciated both of your kindness in helping us with our act, and even taking the time to show us your wonderful collection. We put Norm’s Okito style Flip-over Vanish in our show this year. It met a wonderful reception. Spontaneous applause every show.
    In addition to tremendous talent and creativity, Norm was always a kind and gentle man. We will keep you and Norm and his daughters in our prayers.
    Sincere Sympathy,
    Al & Suzanne

  42. Lupe, That was a beautiful tribute. I’ve never met you or Norm personally but I am more than familiar with Norm’s body of work. I have seen so many social media posts that spoke so highly of you both. My condolences to you and your family.

  43. So sorry to hear of Norm’s passing. You both have been a huge blessing to magic and he will certainly be missed by all. Prayers for you and your family during this difficult time.

  44. It is so beautiful a great tribute to such an amazing person. I am so sorry to learn that Norm is no longer with us. I am sending you all my love and blessing and I will pray for you, my friend. Your faith will guide you to the right path. GOD bless you.

  45. So sorry to hear of his passing; he will be missed.
    He was one of the few vendors I could purchase “female magician memorabilia” from.
    I have a few pieces of his magic as well.. his props were flawless.
    Very sad….
    R.I.P.

  46. Dear Lupe, I’m so shocked and deeply sad to hear that your dear Norm died earlier today. It’s almost unreal knowing that he was due to be moving to the care home where you could visit him. This is heartbreaking for you, Jenna and Alex and particularly poignant and difficult for you at this extremely challenging time. I know that Paul will be messaging you personally, but please accept sincerest, heartfelt condolences from all the Stone family. Norm was truly a legend in the world of magic; a gentleman with a keen sense of fun and humour. It’s been both an honour and a pleasure to have known him and call him a friend. Thinking of you, Jenna and Alex. Sending love and hugs, keeping you all in our hearts, together with Norm and many precious memories 💔🙏🏻❤️✨💖

  47. Lupe,
    Thank you for all your wonderful care and caregiving. It meant everything for
    Norm that you were THERE for him.

  48. Guada. No existirán palabras para dar un pésame. Acabo de leer lo que escribiste en el blog y es sencillamente hermoso. Eres un ser humano extraordinario y estoy segura Norm te cuidara como un ángel guardián desde arriba. Dios los Bendiga a ambos. Paz a su alma y mucha resignación para ti , colmada de paz. Cuenta conmigo para lo que necesites.

  49. Lupe. I am so sorry for your lost!! I met you & Norm at Pam’s house, where she had a dinner party in Jan. I am so glad, I got to meet both of you, I am Fielding West’s girlfriend, from Ga. My Mother, also died April 5th and also was coughing and I tried everything, to bring her back, she went peacefully!! I know the pain you are feeling!! Norm, is now in God’s Loving Arms!! RIP Norm!!!

  50. Lupe, so sorry for your loss. Norm was a wonderful man and great magician. The magic community will greatly miss him. I proudly display two of his magic posters in my office. I am glad to hear his legacy will continue!

  51. Lupe,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, and our loss in the Magic community. I never got to meet Norm, but I enjoyed his magic over the years. In the last few years, I’ve become good friends with Bob and Nikki Kenney that live near me. Bob has shared a number of stories with me regarding Norm and Johnny. I wish I could have met him and enjoyed his magic in person. I too share the passion of building, as well as performing and I hope you may find solace in that, but I’m sure that the primary hope is in your faith. And it is my hope that if it is your faith, you will see him again. God Bless You, Lupe.

  52. Dear Lupe-
    I don’t know what it is like to lose my best friend. But I do know what it’s like to lose someone whom I thought the world of. Norm was not just a wonderful man and performer, he was just a good guy overall. I’m better because I knew him. May God comfort you during this difficult time. Do you want soon get over this but you will get through this. Take comfort in that. Peace.

  53. Forgive me. I meant:
    You won’t soon get over this but you will get through this. Take comfort in that.

  54. My deepest sympathy to you and the family. I know Norm is in good hands.
    Now, the 3 greatest students of the Chavez school are now all together:
    Channing Polloch
    Don Alan
    Norm Nielson

  55. Thank you Lupe for the beautiful tribute to Norm. He was admired and loved by thousands from amateurs to professionals to laymen and to all who ever met this kind, gentle, talented soul. May God grant you comfort during this difficult time and grant you continued vision and success as you carry on without your friend and love. The entire magic world mourns with you and feel so very blessed to have known Norm Nielsen.

  56. Long ago as a kid in the 1970’s I would sit in awe of Norm Nielsen on the occasion when he was on TV with his stunningly beautiful floating violin routine which would end when the violin vanished only to return from stage left traveling on its own to center stage to take an actual bow along with Norm to the hysterical delight of the audience. I LOVED HIS ACT. What a treasure to the world of magic and to the world itself to have Norm Nielsen. He was a true artist. So sad to see him go. He now too has vanished only to float like his violin to take a bow center stage in heaven, I am sure, with eternal glorious violin music. My condolences to you and your family. Truly, my heart goes out. – Sidney Friedman

  57. I wish you so much strength and i wanna thank you for being so good to Norm over the years. So glad that you both came to see my show here in Vegas just a couple of months ago. ❤️

  58. Thank you Lupe for your kindness and generosity in connecting magicians. We don’t know each other personally. But spoke a few times. That itself suffice to be a GREAT role model.
    It must have come from Norm. May his spirit continues to thrive in his work, products and all his descendentsfor generations to come.
    Thank you Lupe for all these beautiful journey you shared in your magic life to magicians around the world.

  59. Bobby Drake & Arlene here…
    Prayers and Love to you and yours Lupe. Not enough adjectives to express your loss. May God be with you through this time in your life.
    🙏💕🙏

  60. It is with deep regret and sadness to hear about the sudden death of Norm. My sincere condolences go to his family and Lupe. Tony Curtis

  61. So sorry to hear about Norm’s passing. These are beautiful words for a beautiful soul.

    Thinking of you

    Love and prayers.

    John

    Rest in peace Norm.

  62. Dear Lupe,
    Thank you so much for sharing Norm’s legacy with us. My deepest sympathy to you and the family. It goes without saying that Norm was one of our magic greats. I never met a kinder, friendlier individual. He was so lucky to have a wonderful mate like you, Lupe. Your care for him throughout this journey is an example of true love. God bless you, and comfort you, and may he Rest In Peace.

  63. Lupe My deepest sympathies to you, family and friends. Norm was one of the greatest and will be missed by all who knew him. Norm always took the time to share and listen. He always has great advice and made you a friend, he enlightened you to he rhythm of magic and how it flowed like music. May he rest in peace. Be Safe

  64. My deepest sympathy to you and the entire Nielsen family. We have lost a magical treasure, but memories will
    Live on. Darryl Rose, London, UK ❤️

  65. My condolences Lupe. What a wonderful piece! So brave and heartwarming that you were able to write this now, shortly after Norm’s passing.
    My heart goes out to you. As a Dutch singer/songwriter once said: people are only really gone when they’re forgotten. I will never forget Norm ❤️

  66. Sending deepest condolences to you all Lupe.
    Norm & yourself were so very kind to Oliver Tabor & Myself when we met at the Desert Magic Seminar back in 1997 and between yourselves (via Betty Davenport) arranged a special experience for my 21st birthday.
    Norm was (IS!) such a legend in the art of magic and his amazing presence will be felt for years to come.
    Sending love from Blighty!
    Paul Henri 😢❤️❤️❤️

  67. Dear Lupe,

    My condolences.

    I believe I saw Norm with his floating violin for the first time at FISM in Paris 1973 and will never forget it. He was a giant in magic.

    Rest in peace Norm.

  68. Lupe, family of Norm Nielsen. Norm was an inspiration for me. His card manipulations i watched many times. Even today I learn from him. Thanks to youtube.

    Lupe I wish you all the strenghts for the comming months. A legend is gone. He did his last trick.
    R.i.p Norm.

  69. Dear Lupe,
    I am devastated by this sad, very sad news,
    I think a lot about you and I hope my thoughts will help you to overcome this terrible moment.
    I’ll always remember the good times we had together with Gilles and Valerie at Vong’s restaurant…
    all my love from France.

  70. Dear Lupe,
    I am so sad to hear of Norm’s passing. I can best describe him as a real class act and a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. He was an immaculate performer, a superb craftsman and a kind and gentle soul. I remember so well seeing him perform so many times in so many paces including the Crazy Horse. I feel so fortunate that I was able to acquire a number of props that Norm so carefully built and detailed in the Okito tradition. I feel even more blessed by the friendship of both you and Norm for so many years. One of my fondest memories was the day I spent with you and Norm at your home. Lupe, you were a rock for Norm for so many years and probably the best thing that ever happened to him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and know that you have an entire community there for you.
    With admiration and love,
    Marc DeSouza

  71. Lupe,

    I am so sorry for your sudden loss. You should be comforted by the years you both had together, your Faith, and by the care you gave him in recent years. You are blessed by all of these.

    You and Norm are in my prayers and thoughts.

    Mike Hrab, Syracuse, NY

  72. Lupe, I’ve just learned that your classy Kenosha conjurer has slipped the surly bonds of earth to join the orchestra of angels and perform violin music in perpetuity. I’ve been following you and Norm closely ever since we were classmates at one of Jeff McBride’s workshops.

  73. You are in our thoughts and prayers at this time. There is a beautiful peaceful place where memories live forever. We have some great memories of Norm.
    The Magic World lost one of it’s greatest.

    Ron & Kathie Fable

  74. Dear Lupe:

    Sorry for your loss.Continued blessings ,Norm was a scholarly example Chavez graduate!

  75. Lupe , I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great man. Be well during these trying times

  76. Lupe, my prayers go out to you and your family in this difficult time. My father struggled with Alzheimer’s for the last 10 years of his life and let me tell you it was no picnic. Please know that Norm was an inspiration for a lot of magicians interested in manipulation. His execution was flawless and elegant. Something to aspire to!
    He may be gone but he will never be forgotten.

  77. Dear Lupe,
    My deepest sympathy to you, and it was a blessing that Norm found you so many years ago. He had phoned me a few weeks ago, and sounded great, our conversations were usually short, and he always ended by saying ” come out, and if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know”. As you know, I first met Norm just after he returned from Chavez. We spent lots of time together all thought the 60’s…he was indeed, the Gentleman’s Gentleman, and his talent was simply amazing. We spent many times together in Kenosha at his favorite supper clubs. Bless you.
    Bill Hunter

  78. Dear Lupe,

    Norm will live on forever in your heart and soul.

    He was a good man and you are a good woman.

    May the Lord bless you with peace, courage, and strength.

  79. Dear Lupe,
    So sorry to hear of Norm’s passing. Myself and three friends spent an amazing afternoon with you both at your home and it remains, not only one of the highlights of.my magic life, but also of my personal life: meeting two warm, generous and sweet people was a privilege.
    I know you will go on to, as you say, find your place in the world again and I wish you every warm wish I can in that pursuit. My thoughts are with you…
    Love and strength,
    Adam

  80. Lupe, I’m so sorry to hear the news that your best friend had passed away. I can’t imagine your sadness and I will pray to our Lord Jesus, give you strength and peace during this difficult time. Thinking about you and it is anything I can do, please let me know.

  81. Dear Lupe, I treasure the brief time I was able to meet you and converse with Norm a few years ago at Magic Live. You were gracious in not only sharing Norm with his adoring magic fans but also in the way you carried the load of setting up and working the booth, the epitome of sacrificial serving.
    Norm will long be remembered and missed by the Magic community and your significance as his partner in all aspects of life and work will always be appreciated.
    God bless you and hold you close in this time of loss and sadness.

  82. My deepest condolences Lupe. God speed to Norm to his next journey. May you find healing and peace sooner than soon. ~Maria Gutierrez

    Say not in grief ‘he is no more’ but in thankfulness that he was.” – Hebrew Proverb

  83. The whole french magic community is sad.
    Deepest condolences to you very dear Lupe.
    As we all say… Another legend is gone.
    Norm will be missed for sure by all who knew him.
    So many souvenirs with you both in Paris or in Vegas…

    Nos pensées vont vers toi et t’embrassons fort.
    Tes amis… Gilles et Valérie

  84. Sorry for your loss.
    Neil is lives on in our memories and effects that he created.
    Magical love to you all

  85. So sorry Lupe. Meeting Norm was was
    one of the great thrills of my life. I cherish the products I purchased from him; it’s so we’ll made.
    I lost my wife of 44 years some time ago. I thought my life was over. Shortly after, I met and married the perfect woman, and my life has taken a wonderful and unexpected direction. Look forward to the future because you never know what’s around the corner. Love ya.

  86. So terribly saddened by this, and my heart goes out to you for your loss, my friend. You are right—a great man who led a grand life. I’m sorry you were apart, but so grateful for the wonderful partnership you shared. Much love to you.

    Jamy

  87. Dear Lupe –

    Meleah and I always think of you and Norm with much gratitude for the beauty you have brought into our home with the lovely posters. Know that each day you are, and will be, in our hearts.

  88. Thank you Lupe. Never forget how much you and Norm are loved. Every one I know in Magic loves you guys. God bless you and Norm.

  89. I am so sorry to hear that Norm has died. The magic community has lost a great man!
    My deepest condolences Lupe!

  90. Dear Lupe,

    My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for your loss; if I can be of any help, please reach out any time. Norm will be missed by the entire world of magic; we are so grateful for the light of his life that you brightened and shared with us.

  91. I’m so sorry to hear of Norm’s passing. I first met him in 1976 in Chicago, I was on a show with him organised by Jay Marshall for Frances. As a youngish performer visiting the USA for the first time he was very kind and helpful. All good wishes to you and Norm’s family.

  92. Lupe,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you now. I was remembering when I first met Norm at the Abbott’s magic get together in Michigan, August 1990. I found Norm to be a very kind and knowledgeable man concerning the art of magic. Recently, both Cathy and I were so happy to reconnect with both you and Norm in Las Vegas, as well as in our home in Arizona. There will be a great void in the world of magic with his passing.
    We are here for you whenever you are ready.
    Tom Morello and Cathy Gallant

  93. Lupe, I am so very sorry for your loss. We share your grief at this very sad and difficult time. I’m glad you will be continuing your contribution to our strange and magical world. Thanks for making it a little brighter for us.

  94. Very sorry for your loss. All best wishes and prayers for you during this difficult time in your life and in world history. If there is anything I can do to help in any way, I will do it. You and Norm were always been such lovely hosts when Geeta and I visited your home. May he rest in peace and may you find some rest along with your grief and mourning.

  95. Hi Lupe ! Every show I do remembers me at Norm, because I have one of his rubber doves in my act. One day, in 1978, he came to our home in Paris and we had a nice dinner, where he told me many things about the Crazy Horse. Never, but never I thought that one day me too I will work for Alain Bernardin. This happened later on in 1984…. One day in 1988 I had one of my fights with Bernardin, and he fired me for one month. Who came in instead of me ? Norm ! Norm and I, we where the only acts Bernardin fired, and several years came back to the Crazy Horse. In the meantime I have got fired four times, two times by Alain bernardin and two times by the new management. Norm please be so kind and have fun with Bernardin and tell him, we miss him so much as we miss you. Otto and Christa Wessely

  96. Lupe, I am so sorry and my deepest sympathy. I will always remember Norm with his cheerful and happy smile. Norm will be missed. God Bless You.

  97. My condolences to you for your loss, Lupe. There is no doubt that one of the best things that ever happened to Norm was when the two of you teamed up decades ago. I never forgot his birthday because it was twenty years to the day that my brother Cedric was born. I had seen and talked briefly with him a couple times before your union. Seeing him perform live, even late in his career, was better than any edited clip. Years later, after his dementia kicked in and we occasionally met at the Darwin Club, it was a great ego boost to me when he responded with a warm smile of recognition. Just like you, his class and warmth always shined through. He will always be remembered.

  98. I’m so sorry for your loss of your Best Friend. I meet you and Norm back when Elliot started the Las Vegas Magic Luncheon group. You two were always so nice and friendly to me. I was trying to learn slight of hand coin Magic to use as Santa. I will never forget you two. I later met you guys at the wood working group Wood It Is. I pray that you will find peace!

  99. I am so sorry Lupe, so sorry to hear this bad news!!
    Norm was a very nice man and he was a great reference when I started in magic!!
    Please accept my deepest condolences, my thoughts are with you. ❤️

    Hans from Belgium

  100. Greetings, Lupe. What a sad day is this that our friend, Norm, has passed on. I can remember well our induction into the S.A.M. Magic Hall of Fame together. I am so glad that you were also able to bring him to your booth at the SAM Convention in Las Vegas. It was a real treat to see him again. I have a photo that I took at MAGIC Live! a couple of years ago that I shall send to you. You are on my mind a lot ever since you constructed that beautiful chair for Mac King. Truly a labor of love. Keep the Faith. Brad

  101. So sorry for your loss. A great loss for you and for the magic community. Stay strong and safe. It was wonderful to see both of you at the S.A.M. convention and to visit for a few minutes.

  102. Lupe, I am so sorry to hear of Norm’s passing. I hope and pray that your memories of the good times will continue to sustain you throughout your life. Norm is one of the nicest individuals I have ever met and you are right up there with him.

  103. Sorry ABOUT THE PASSING OF A GREAT MAGICIAN, Norm Nielsen. his multi talents included sleight of hand (ala Foster and Chavez), inventor, performer, and gentleman.
    I have one question that I hope someone on here can answer.

    Did Norm manipulate parakeets like the thimbles in some of his shows?

  104. Sorry to hear about the passing of Norm Nielsen – a great magician, entertainer, sleight of hand artist (ala Foster & Chavez), inventor & a true gentleman.

    One question I have is: Did Norm manipulate live parakeets (like thimbles) in his early shows like “THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW”?? If not, does anybody on here know who did?

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Ron.

      Norm had a cigarette and dove act in the early 60s. He actually used to dye the birds in pastel colors. Lol! However in the late 60s, his act evolved into the manipulation with more emphasis on the Miser’s Dream and his Floating Violin. Jack Kodell was the magician that performed with parakeets. I am not sure if he was on the Sullivan Show (I would have to check…) Unfortunately, Jack’s act was copied by Johnny Hart years later. Those are the two magicians of the era that were known for their parakeet magic. Hope this information helps.

  105. Dear Lupe, I’ve just read the sad news and feel to write you a short message. You won’t remember me. We had short contact at your webshop and via mails few years ago. You managed to send me an autograph and a wonderful photo and I knew this was exceptional. It’s hanging at the wall of my office and many visitors ask about it. Norm Nielsen’s magic was great, inspiring and full of poetry. May God bless you, take care! Peter

  106. What a sweet man so sorry to see him go. You were lucky to have so many wonderful years with him. I’m sure Norm knew even in the end how much you loved him. Be strong and carry-on for Norm you know that’s what he wanted you to do. Peace and love sent your way.

  107. Dear Lupe, Jenna & Alexandra,

    I was shocked when I saw the post. I’m so immensely sorry for your loss. I never met Norm, I only saw him in a few videos – but I knew he was a very kind and gentle soul. So glad you had so many fabulous years together. Hang on to those and mind yourself.

    Brendan. xx

  108. Just learned about this. Lupe, I met you and Norm about 15 years ago at your house, and you were among the most gracious of hosts that I have ever encountered. I am very sorry for your loss, and I want you to know that there are many many people who are hurting for you right now. We all wish you the best and know that you will carry Norm’s legacy into the future proudly!

  109. Dear Lupe,
    Alexandra and I extend our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to you upon learning of Norms passing. Not only was he a great companion, a great compadre, a master craftsman, a link to another day, and super knowledgeable magician he was a lovely friend. And his act was always one of the best and always one of my favorites. Norm was kind and was a gentleman; simply a special person.
    Our feelings of loss go out to you at this time of greif. You are both in our thoughts and you are both in our hearts.
    Love,
    Richard and Alexandra

  110. UPON SEEING NORM’S PERFORMANCE IN THE 1982 TV SPECIAL “MAGIC WITH THE STARS” – I KNEW HE WAS A GREAT MAGICIAN. I MET NORM AT THE 1988 SAM CONVENTION IN ST. LOUIS – HE WAS SO KIND AND FRIENDLY TOWARDS ME. AT THE 2003 SAM CONVENTION IN LAS VEGAS, I MET YOU & NORM IN THE DEALER’S ROOM. OVER THE YEARS I PURCHASED NUMEROUS POSTER REPRODUCTIONS & PROPS EVENTUALLY BUYING AN OKITO-NIELSEN CHECKER CABINET – MY MOST PRIZED ITEM. YOU’LL PROBABLY RECOGNIZE MY NAME – I LOST MY WIFE & BEST FRIEND IN 2005 & NOW I FEEL AS IF I’VE LOST YET ANOTHER FRIEND. MICHAEL KETCHAM

  111. Kenosha will miss Norm. I’m a Kenosha native, Norm will be missed by all decent humans world wide.

  112. Lupe,

    So sorry to hear about the passing of Norm. My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to you. He was not only your husband of many years, but your best friend too.
    It has been about 17 years ago back in 2003 that I first met you and Norm in person at your home in Vegas when you and Norm helped me get started in collecting Magic Posters and learning about them. I was so thrilled and in awe at you and Norm taking me through his vast collection of posters and teaching me about them. I remember seeing Norm years before performing his famous floating violin illusion on TV several times and watching his classy card productions.
    I will always remember Norm as such a giving and gracious person. He taught me a lot about what to look for when purchasing and collecting Magic Posters. I also have Norm to thank and be so grateful to for him sponsoring me into becoming a Magician member at the Magic Castle back in October of 2003. You and Norm’s friendship has and will always be special to me. I have fond memories of conversations with you and Norm throughout the years. Norm will be missed dearly. Please stay in touch!
    Take Care,
    CURTIS WONG

  113. Dear Lupe
    I knew Norm was sick but I was surprised at how quickly things happened. I only have good memories with Norm who was one of the rare magicians to be loved by everyone. I have worked with him several times in Paris and we have always found ourselves with great pleasure. I have the memory of our visit to your home in Vegas, where Norm had shown us Pollock’s violin.
    I do not measure and I can not even imagine the grief that this departure must have been for you. I want to assure you of all my sympathy. Lupe, I salute the woman, the wife and the artist in you, because I know your talents for working with wood. I know you are strong and in the coming months you will need this strength. I am wholeheartedly with you. Now is the time to take care of you and I know your friends will help.

  114. Godspeed to Norm and bravo for a life well-lived. My sympathy to you Lupe.
    Sincerely,
    Bernie Shine

  115. So sorry to hear the passing of one of the biggest influences in my magical life . First saw Norm on the best of magic in the UK and was hooked. He was one of the last great character magicians of my time which sadly won’t be seen again . R.I.P Norm Nielsen .

  116. I’m sorry to hear the sad news of Norm’s passing, Lupe. You two were made ( by God) for each other. I will never forget the afternoon I spent with the two of you in your home (March 2015) when you both showed me such kindness. Norm was also very humble with a warm smile like no other. My sincere condolences from Connecticut.

  117. At such a time as this, we, as human beings, mourn the loss of someone special. I suppose the mourning process is a mixture of a little selfishness in wanting them to stay and gratitude that we were blessed to have been able to spend time with someone who so deeply touched our lives.

    Norm touched my life in a way that directed my journey into a much more magical life than I would have experienced had I not seen his magic. It is obvious I am only one of countless thousands of magicians who are magicians today because of Norm’s influence at an early age.

    After many years of performing professionally I finally had the opportunity to personally thank Norm for so deeply impacting my life and my magic. He was so humble, so kind, and so generous. Norm was a magical person inside and out, on stage and off.

    His death may have happened quickly, but his life was long and its impact was immeasurable. Let us not get so caught up in the selfishness of our wanting him back. Instead, let us remember with great fondness and greater gratitude the wonderful life and times of Norm Nielsen. Norm’s final disappearing trick officially transforms him into a legend that will live on in magic history.

    Lupe, Norm’s love for you was deep and he was quick to tell others just how deep. You were that missing piece in his life and when you found one another the Norm Nielsen puzzle was complete. You inspired him, loved him, and cared for him. No one could have done more or better. Norm’s life story would not be complete, and certainly not as special had you not played such an important role in it. You were a big part of the magic of Norm Nielsen and I know that magic will live on because you live on.

    Thank you! You are loved and appreciated.

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