New York 2

Norma Spriggs

September 19, 1925 ~ September 27, 2021 (age 96)



Rhinebeck - Norma Jean Spriggs, 96, of Rhinebeck, NY and previous long-time resident of Manhattan, passed away peacefully at the Baptist Home on Monday, September 27, 2021.

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on September 19, 1925, she was the daughter of the late Frederick and Stella (Wilson) Spriggs. Norma had a brother and an older sister.  Norma lived through the depression and had a poor childhood.  Her mother raised her on her own.  Norma did well in school and excelled at math. 

The saving grace for Norma was her glamorous older sister, who had gone to NYC and become a successful model.  Norma was able to escape her dreary life in Chattanooga and join her sister in New York City when she was 19.

Norma’s first job in NYC was as a salesgirl at the fabled Saks Fifth Avenue, where she met her lifelong friend Elizabeth.  Elizabeth’s daughter, Patricia Levi, also became a very dear friend of Norma’s, and Patricia, her husband Kevin, and children Justin and Nora, became Norma’s surrogate family.   Norma made friends easily while in NYC.  As with Patricia and her family, she also held Bruce Conroy and Polly DeMille very dear to her heart.

Norma put her math skills to work when she took a job working for a stockbroker on Wall Street.  She must have been one of the first women to do this.  Wall Street was then awash in post War money and prosperity.  She had other jobs after that in which she helped manage other people’s businesses.    Her next job was as an executive/personal assistant to photographers’ agents.

She loved to tell the story about being a personal assistant to Princess Lee Radziwill, Jackie Kennedy’s sister.  The Princess had a place in NYC and when she came to New York for visits, she would call Norma and have Norma get her place ready for her visit- fresh sheets, flowers and champagne.  Norma always managed to please her highness.

Norma worked in Manhattan until she was 88.  In the latter part of her working life, she would take Amtrak on Monday morning from Rhinecliff coming back on Friday.  She loved her home in Rhinebeck and the friends she made here.  She had good neighbors and friends in Karen and Scott Fisher.  She continued to make friends throughout her life such as Ann Hertel, Diana Williams, Christine Prentice and Adeline Malone.  She loved to be around people, go to the theater, movies, concerts and dance recitals and eat at nice restaurants.

The love of Norma’s life was Jean Fraser, who was a gifted artist. Norma found joy and happiness with Jean.  Jean died in 1992 and Norma missed her terribly.  Norma spoke often about Jean and proudly showed off her paintings.

Her last days were spent at the Terraces where she got the loving attention of the Terraces staff- particularly Phebe. 

Norma is survived by many loving friends.

There are no calling hours.

A memorial service will be held at the Church of the Messiah in Rhinebeck on Sunday October 17th at 2pm.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Dapson-Chestney Funeral Home, Rhinebeck, NY.

Memorial donations in honor of Norma can be made to the Dutchess County SPCA, 636 Violet Ave, Hyde Park, NY 12538.

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Memorial Service
October 17, 2021

2:00 PM
Church of the Messiah
6436 Montgomery St.
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

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