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Obituary: Norm Tessman
June 5, 1937 - February 8, 2016

Mr. Tessman

Mr. Tessman

Norm Tessman of Alexandria, Virginia, passed away peacefully Feb. 8, 2016.

Prior to living in Virginia, he lived and worked in Arizona for over three decades. Born Norman Temple Fleming in Los Angeles on June 5, 1937, as a child he moved to and grew up on a farm in St. Ansgar, Iowa, with his mother who re-married Art Tessman. While in the Air Force, Norm was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and then at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, where his son, Barry Alan Tessman, was born. Upon leaving the military, Norm completed undergrad and graduate work at the University of Florida and then the University of Arizona. He was a paleontologist, archeologist, teacher and senior curator for 25 years at Sharlot Hall Museum, in Prescott. A gifted writer of many articles, grants, books and screenplays, Norm was also an avid kayaker, runner, mountain biker, hiker and voracious reader.

Norm is preceded in death by his beloved son, National Geographic photographer, Barry; his father, Richard Fleming; his mother, Mary Temple Fleming Tessman; and stepfather Art Tessman.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Wells of Alexandria; Barry's mother; Gerry Tessman of Wofford Heights, California; daughter Madeleine Wells and son-in-law Daniel Goldburt of Washington D.C.; sister-in-law Diane Nadel of New York City; daughter-in-law Joy Tessman of Kernville, California; three beautiful grandchildren, Ellie Rose and Alana River of Kernville, California, and Ezra David of Washington D.C.; and many loving cousins throughout California and Canada.

Norm had a wonderful sense of humor; he was a fascinating and kind man with a fierce appreciation of and zest for life and adventure. Contributions may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association/LBDA or to God's Love We Deliver. An online guestbook is available to sign at

Information provided by survivors.

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