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B: 1936-02-07
D: 2020-07-16
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1766 Franklin Boulevard
Cambridge, ON N3C 1N8
Phone: (519) 658-9366
Fax: (519) 658-4481
Norman Lightfoot

Norman Roger Lightfoot

Friday, February 7th, 1936 - Thursday, July 16th, 2020
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February 7, 1936- July 16, 2020
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Norman Lightfoot. He will be lovingly remembered by Sonia Lightfoot, his sons Liam (Jaunita), Eric and his wife Amy, grandchildren Alexander, Madison, Quinlan and Rebekah and great grandson Isaac.
Fondly remembered by many nieces and nephews, colleagues and friends across Canada and the world.
Pre-deceased by his parents Thomas and Kathleen, his sister Enid and brothers Vernon and Rodney.

Norman was born in Dublin, Ireland, and grew up in South Africa, Egypt, Kenya and England before moving to Canada in 1953. From his earliest years Norman was keenly interested in wildlife and around the age 11, while living in Nairobi, Kenya, Norman’s parents would drive to the local National Park where he took his first, fuzzy, black and white “wildlife” photographs using the family box camera. It wasn’t until some years later in Canada that Norman, now in a strange world of ice, snow and colourful landscapes and “new” animals, started his long, slow climb, to becoming recognized as a wildlife photographer specializing in nature photography, and film/video documentaries. Norman’s early film footage (1968) was purchased by KEG productions for a series of TV programs featuring wildlife and wildlife art. As Norman was developing skills as a cinematographer, his interest in wildlife art was also growing and resulted in his first wildlife artist documentary (1978). “Images of the Wild” produced by the National Film Board of Canada, featured Robert Bateman. (Norman went on to produce 12 more artist documentaries).
Norman would return to Kenya and Tanzania many times over the years to lead Safari’s that would focus on Wildlife conservation and photography.
Norman would share his love of nature with his sons and his grandchildren, often taking them on photo walks with lessons on how to take pictures, he’d take camping trips to Algonquin, he’d teach them about butterflies, birds, raccoons and countless other animals.

If you wish, as expressions of sympathy, donations to the R.A.R.E Charitable Research Reserve Cambridge, Ontario or to a charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.
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Kathy Gibney Owens

Posted at 08:37am
Our Uncle Norman was one of a kind. He loved sharing his love of animals and nature with all of us through his photographs and stories of his adventures. He kept us entertained with stories of growing up in different parts of the world and was always looking into our family tree and putting together information for us to look over. I will miss him popping over from time to time and hearing his interesting stories and his quirky sense of humour. Rest In Peace Uncle Norman.

Liam Lightfoot

Posted at 11:42am
My Dad was a great father and loved nature. He taught me from the day i was born all i know about animals , plants in the forest , pond life and most of all how to appreciate it and to see it through his eyes with passion and a deeper understanding that i dont think most have a chance to see or feel. He was ALWAYS there for me when i deserved it or not and i tried to reward him in kind although i didnt always succeed growing up. I am Proud to call him Dad and i miss him every minute. Love you Dad.

Glenn Gibney

Posted at 11:05am
Norman Lightfoot was my uncle and godfather too. When I was a child, he introduced me to Canadian wildlife. He had a great sense of humor and always made me smile. I will miss him. The photo with in front of the window has his predeceased mother (Kathleen in the middle), brothers (Vernon & Rodney) and sister (Enid Ruth).

Sonia Lightfoot

Posted at 05:09pm
Norm had an uncanny knack of knowing where and when to be. He was always at peace with nature. He understood it, whether it was fauna or flora. He could sit or lay for hours to get that one chance shot of a turtle laying eggs or the babies hatching, well into dusk and often covered in mosquitos and black flies. Or maybe a preying mantis devouring a catch, a frog eating a snake, a snake eating a frog. The cycle of life. The children and I knew we were in for the long haul if he became intent on something. We never knew what insect might be cooling in the fridge in order to slow it’s metabolism. He captured the first footage of the birth of a harp seal, out on the ice, as part of a University of Guelph project, plus so many more incredible assignments.

We have all been drawn into his beautiful photos and footage of his beloved Africa. I had the amazing experience of traveling to Africa twice. The first time I accompanied a group to join him for a Photographic Safari he had arranged. He went ahead to shoot footage of Robert Bateman to include in a film on Bob. The second time, I assisted with the sound while he documented the old log method vs. modern bee keeping practices. It was one of my most memorable trips. Safari ants up my pant legs, walking for miles in corn fields to stave off killer bee stings, sitting around a huge camp fire in a remote village as they sang us a song They had created about our time there. I was truly privileged in those experiences.

I was blessed, and I might say tested at times, to be part of his incredible journey. I especially remember attending Rendezvous in Montana while filming Paul Calle. Walking miles in sand and rain while nine months pregnant with the first of two sons, Liam and Eric, to head up to to the Long Point Bird Observatory. We hiked canoed and portaged with our children, when we could, slept in tents on a cliff face, hiked Algonquin Park and rambled across many miles in our old VW camper van. Always that quest for the next amazing shot. So many adventures.

Norm’s final stage of life was a difficult one. A slow ebbing of all he held so dear. Dementia is a ruthless thief but he is now free to travel the world - passport, tickets, and vaccines not required. He can visit all his favourite places and discover anew. It’s difficult but we are happy for him to be free again, just like the many shots he took of butterflies breaking out of a cocoon, pumping their wings, then wafting with the wind. Norm will definitely be seeking new adventures.

Thank you for all the kind words and sharing of memories. He touched many lives. Hugs, Sonia

Amy Lightfoot

Posted at 04:48pm
Norm was such a wonderful caring man. He was not just my father-in-law, he became a dad to me. Countless hours of teaching me, helping us with the kids, taking the kids on nature walks. He always had something he could teach them and talk to them about. I’ll miss his jokes and pokes for fun, that smile that I see in all my kids that lights up a room. I know he’s flying free on many travels around the world free of everything that held him down these last few years! Soar high Norm!

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