Sisters Zellie, Norma and Gloria, circa 1943. Photo: Angelo Pozza

Josephine Norma Grayson (nee Josephina Norma Pozza) of Denver, Colorado, passed away in her sleep Thursday evening, May 13, 2016, after a prolonged illness. She was 79 years old.

Norma, as she was commonly known, was born May 7, 1937 in Sharon, Connecticut to Angelo and Clorinda Pozza of Lusiana and Santa Caterina, Italy respectively. She was the youngest of three daughters who grew up in Dover Plains, NY where her parents had settled.

Norma lived in New York, San Francisco, CA., Berkeley, CA., and Denver, CO. during the course of her life. She enjoyed vintage Italian songs, classic rock, and country music. She was an avid reader and art enthusiast, particularly the graphic art of David Lance Goines, the designer of Chez Panisse (Berkeley, CA) prints and book covers. She also loved the work of Georgia O’Keefe and surrealist Jean Miro.

In her senior year at Dover High School, Norma was crowned prom queen. She married Joseph Christy, a pianist and musician, in 1961 at the age of 24. They lived in Greenwich Village before moving to San Francisco, CA. — drawn to the Beat Generation of poets and artists in the city at the time.

In 1966 she met Howard Earl Grayson at a dinner party. She and Joe divorced shortly thereafter. Howard and Norma had two daughters, Lisa (June 26, 1967) and Ninochka ‘Nina’ (Oct. 27, 1968). Howard and Norma separated in 1975 and she raised her daughters as a single parent. She will always be remembered as a loving and devoted mother to her children.

She retired from Dorr-Oliver in 2001 after 25 years of service. Thereafter, she worked part-time as a companion and caretaker for the elderly. She often took holidays with her sisters including trips to the Caribbean and Alaska.

Norma was adored by friends and family throughout her life and will be deeply missed.

She is survived by her sisters, Zellie (Pozza) Boscardin and Gloria (Pozza) Beebe, daughters Lisa (Grayson) Ramos. Ninochka Grayson, nieces Lisa Beebe, Gina Beebe Nichol, and Linda Boscardin, by nephews Charlie ‘Chaz’ Beebe, Silvano Boscardin, David Boscardin, and Steven Boscardin, in addition to the Pozza and Girardi-Latini families of Italy. She was preceded in death by her parents, Angelo and Clorinda Pozza, brother-in-laws, Marco Boscardin and Charles Beebe, and nephew Dino Boscardin.

Sul mare luccica, l’astro d’argento

Placida è l’onda, prospero il vento

-Santa Lucia, Teodoro Cottrau, 1835

Berkeleyside is always honored to publish, at no charge, obituaries of members of the Berkeley community. Please email text and photo(s) to editors@berkeleyside.com.

Guest contributor

Freelance writers with story pitches can email editors@berkeleyside.com.