Norman Wain passed away on Oct. 10, 2020, at 92. Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., his parents Pearl and Benjamin Weinstock (of blessed memory) ran a small grocery store, which they lived above with their children, Harris (OBM), Norman and Charlotte.
Norman is nicknamed fondly by his children as “Mr. Superlative” because every day was the “best day ever,” every meal was the best he ever tasted, every visit with his family was the best one yet. Through good times and bad he always saw the silver lining.
Norman attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn, and earned a degree in speech at Brooklyn College. He served in the army during the Korean conflict, stationed in Japan with The Armed Forces Radio, broadcasting the latest hits and news to American servicemen. After returning home he began what was to become a lifelong career in the radio business. He rose from disc jockey, to salesman, to station owner and eventually ran a large national media company with his partners. Norman was well known in Cleveland from his days as “Big Chief Norman Wain,” a DJ in the downtown social clubs, and as an announcer at WDOK radio.
Norman’s first local radio station, WIXY 1260, took Cleveland by storm. An AM Top-40 radio station, WIXY was known for outrageous promotional stunts, Appreciation Day concerts, Thanksgiving Day parades and bringing the hottest bands to Cleveland (The Beatles, The Supremes, The Monkees, The Rolling Stones and hundreds more).
In Norman’s youth, his father literally passed around the hat to collect money to help newly arrived immigrants from Russia, which ignited in Norman a life-long, tireless commitment to helping those less fortunate. He was an active and devoted community member, serving on committees and boards of The Jewish Federation of Cleveland, The Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, Hebrew Free Loan Association, Greater Cleveland Food Bank and many others. He built a radio station at Hebrew University in Israel and was a supporter of the Israel Tennis Centers. His iconic voice led him to be the favorite to emcee charity events, which he did without hesitation. He loved to act in community theater and enjoyed tennis, golf and bicycling well into his 80s.
With all of his success, Norman was at heart a family man. He loved Shabbat dinners with his children, visits to grandchildren at college and large family gatherings at home. He and his wife, Nina, (of blessed memory) traveled the world together but his motto was always “east, west, home is best.” He and Nina loved to entertain friends and family at themed parties in their home. They had a long happy marriage until Nina passed away in 2009.
He is survived by his children, Beth (Bob) Brandon, Amy Wain Garnitz, Cathy (Jonathan) Stamler and David Wain; grandchildren, Leslie, Sarah (Mike Bowen), and Allison Brandon, Samantha and Alex Stamler, Anna (Kamal Aghayev) and Ben Garnitz, Henry and Solly Wain; his sister, Charlotte Frey Cove; nieces, Debbie (Mark) Nulman and Robyn (Barry) Kove; and nephews, Barry (Felicia) Frey and Michael Weinstock; and his second wife, Barbara.
Private graveside services were held for immediate family.
Those who wish may contribute to Bellefaire JCB (bellefairejcb.org), The Park Synagogue-Wain Pavilion Fund, 27500 Shaker Blvd., Pepper Pike, OH 44124, or charity of choice.