Norman Lee Pfeltz died peacefully on Thursday, November 2 at the age of 76. After suffering a cardiac arrest in late August, he fought a long battle in Union Memorial’s ICU. Family and friends visited often cheering him up with pictures of loved ones, his favorite music and treasures from around his home in Baltimore City when the Lord called him home last week.
Norman had many careers over his life which began in earnest with his enlistment in the Airforce during the early days of Vietnam. There he served state-side in Strategic Air Command attaining the rank of A2C. Following his discharge Norman joined the Baltimore City Police Department in the mid-60s where he remained until 1975. While with The City he worked in the Intelligence Unit investigating organized crime activity in Baltimore. It was there too that he served during the riots of the late 1960s. Later, in 1975, he was recruited and joined the B&O Railroad police as a detective. During his tenure at B&O he worked with the FBI to bust a multi-million dollar theft ring which resulted in a commendation from the Head of the FBI in Baltimore.
But Norman was also a pioneer and entrepreneur with a sweeping array of small businesses. As a young newlywed and father he started a fish store and sold vacuums door to door. He was the first manager of the now famous Gino's. He and his wife, Lyse, were the first to deliver homemade pizzas that they’d personally deliver to your home from theirs. And later he founded one of the first lost pet locating services of its kind by becoming the original "Pet Detective" and starting Pet Tracers Detective Agency - equipped with a hotline and staff (his kids) to help search for your lost winged or four- legged loved ones in Baltimore. At the pinnacle of his entrepreneurship he became one of the first to open a string of video stores in Baltimore fondly named the stores Captain Videos - a tribute to one of his favorite childhood TV shows and fitting for shops located in the little coastal communities around Middle River.
In the mid-70’s Norman moved his young family from the city to the quiet idyllic suburb town of Bowley’s Quarters. It was there that he could embrace his true love – the Chesapeake Bay – with its ample opportunities to fish, crab, swim and boat. Extended family and friends could often be found at his home by The Bay having some steamed crabs and a beer by the water.
As his oldest children grew and moved away to start families of their own, he, his wife Lyse and their youngest some Tommie sold their waterfront home and the chain of video stores to embrace another dream… traveling the Eastern Seaboard from The Keys to Canada. After a year or so on the road they settled in sleepy little St. Augustine, Florida. There were many fine years of running a condominium and cruising in his convertible on the beaches of St Augustine - not to mention the occasional stop at a tiki bar or two along the way. There too their home was a gathering place for many a family or friend. However Baltimore was always and forever in Norman's heart and so they returned home to Baltimore.
Some knew Norman as Airmen Pfeltz, Officer Pfeltz or Detective Pfeltz while others called him “The Medicine Man”, a nickname he picked up later in life while working to deliver pharmaceuticals to shut-ins, and some as “No Fish Norman”, a name he earned as a result of his many fishless outings, we just knew him simply as Dad…
Though his health started failing nearly three years ago he never missed a day of work and bragged that he had about a year of vacation. He was a man who dared to try. When others took the obvious path Dad took the path less traveled. Although his disease eventually stopped him from fully participating in his family's lives, his heart was always with them.
Norman was charming, enjoyed life, generous to a fault, innovative and ever encouraging. He was proud of his children and adored his grandchildren. His best childhood friend, Mike, who was always there for him will always be a welcome member of our family.
Preceded in death by his wife Lyse and brother Lewis. Mourned by his children Christopher, Mark, Lorraine and Tommie and their spouses Denise, Anders, Katie and his nine grandchildren Aaron, Kathrin, Brandon, Julia, Christopher, Cameron, Joshua, Olivia and Brynn and by his best lifelong friend Mike ( Mr. Lee).
Dad, Grandpop, friend, your memory will live on through the many who loved you.
Viewing will be held at Marzullo Funeral Chapel on Thursday, November 9th from 6- 8 pm and funeral services on Friday, November 10th at 10am.