R.I.P. Norm

Norm Janisse, 1985

Special Chairman’s Award for Excellence/ Voice of the Field/Mentor/Friend

The nature of our Retirees Society is that unless one of us chooses to leave the Society for other interests, we will eventually be saying “Good Bye” as we do at this time to Norm Janisse. He passed away Dec. 14, 2014.

While this position cannot do so for everyone, I feel the need to say “Farewell” to Norm since he is the one who hired me, and more than a few others, into Johnson Service Company. He was the Voice of the Field Offices to the factory and engineering departments for all the years that he ran Field Engineering in Milwaukee. I suspect that most of those presently in our Society, that spent any time in a Field Office or a technical role, had occasion to work with Norm. He and Sharlene Wardinski (who we bid farewell about 2 year ago) where high on the list of “Go To” names when the Field was in a product bind and needed help. He and his team knew we worked for that Field organization and would do whatever it took to make things right for the Branch Office and the JCI customer they served. It is that dedication that got Norm one of the early Chairman’s Awards in 1985.

ASHRAE Fellow  1979

ASHRAE Fellow 1979

The Engineer and Mentor in Norm was not limited to Johnson Controls. He was very active in ASHRAE as well, both locally and nationally. In the Energy Crisis of the 1970’s there were numerous times he was quoted in the press, on topics of how better control could save energy, as our company evolved into the energy conservation leader that we are today. There were still a couple individuals at this year’s Chicago ASHRAE meeting that knew Norm, had worked with him, and were saddened by his passing.

Norm was also one of the first directors of our Warren S. Johnson Society of Retirees 25 years ago. He and his wife Carolyn were regular attendees at our luncheons and reunions. Those of us in Milwaukee were lucky to enjoy his love of people and a good social setting, for many recent years.

So every time I turned a corner I’d find out “Norm’s already been here!” Now it’s time to raise a glass of Scotch (which vice I also inherited from Norm) in his memory, and recall your favorite Norm story. I’m sure many of you have one or more. I’ll miss him.

Gene Strehlow PE
Mgr. Field Engineering, ASHRAE Life Member, WSJ Society of Retirees President