We Regret to report the Passing of Norm Hall

Norm Hall
Norm Hall, shown here in one of his happy places, at the controls of a crane. Photo courtesy of the Illinois Arborist Association.

Norman S. Hall, quintessential arborist trainer and co-inventor of the Port-A-Wrap friction device, passed away suddenly at home November 9, 2023.

Hall, age 70, was born in Glenview, Illinois, to Laurence and Annie Hall, April 16, 1953, and was a resident of Wauconda, Ill., for 39 years.

A graduate of Hershey High School in Arlington Heights, Ill., he began his arborist career working alongside his father, Larry. Norm was a member of the Illinois Arborist Association and the International Society of Arboriculture. Serving as the lead instructor for the IAA, Norm trained more than 800 Illinois arborists. Training was Norm’s passion – and saving lives really mattered to him.

He was a co-inventor along with Scot Prophett of the Port-A-Wrap friction device used throughout the tree care industry. Norm has volunteered countless hours at tree climbing competitions in several states and internationally. He was a very sought-after organizer/judge for those competitions and organized the Illinois Tree Climbing Championship (TCC) for approximately 20 years.

Norm certainly was a legend in the tree care industry, garnering numerous awards. Besides volunteering for arborist related events, Norm was a member of the Wauconda. Ill., Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) for approximately 15 years, and volunteered at the annual Saluting Branches annual event honoring veteran’s at the Abraham Lincoln Veteran’s Cemetery in Elwood, Ill. His volunteerism efforts were huge.

A past contributor to TCI Magazine, Norm’s most recent two articles for TCI were “Cranes: Using a ‘V’ Rig with Double-Whip Tackle to Hoist Fallen Trees,” in the March 2018 issue, and “Using Caving and Mountaineering Rescue Techniques to Transport Wood,” in the December 2018 issue. He also contributed to a rigging article in the July 2021 issue, “Tips and Best Practices for Using Lowering Devices,” with a section on “Port-A-Wrap Best Practices.”

Norm was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Craig. He was the beloved husband of Kathleen Hall (Taylor/Nielsen). Other survivors include daughter Michelle (Fernando) Calzada, Lake Mills, Wisconsin, and son Nic (Christy) Hall of Wauconda, Ill.; sister, DiAnne Oborski of Woodstock, Ill.; stepchildren Michelle (Kyle) Miller of Cropsey, Ill., and Shawn (Carol) Nielsen of Wauconda; seven grandchildren: Bianca, Marc-Antoney, RJ, Kylie, Ivan, Addison and John; a great grandson, Mateo; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Norm and Kathy loved to travel, their last trip was a fabulous Alaskan cruise in July 2023. St. Marten was one of Norm’s favorite places. He loved to photograph all wildlife on the shores of Bangs Lake and during their winters spent in Ft. Myers, Florida. Attending the Florida Everblades hockey games was a lot of fun. Fishing was also a fun pastime for Norm, in Ela, Minnesota, Florida and Bangs Lake in Wauconda. Trips to “Chase Creek” in Glen Haven, Wisconsin, with family and work buddies provided lots of fun and relaxation. Fourth of July Fireworks parties at their home were enjoyed by many friends and family over the years.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Tree Fund in honor of Norman S. Hall. Donations will go to a training fund. To donate , visit www.treefund.org or mail to The Tree Fund, 1755 Park St., Suite 200, Naperville, Illinois 60563.

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