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It is with great sorrow, love, and respect that we announce the passing of Norma Simone Binder on January 6, 2023.
Norma leaves behind her husband of 46 years, Mitchell J. Binder, her beloved sons, and family: Matthew Paul Binder of Brooklyn, NY; Ethan Louis Binder and Jessica Nguyen Binder of Corrales, NM; David Jeremy Binder and Jessica Maine Binder of Albuquerque, NM; and her grandchildren Lilianna, Samuel, Asher, and Avery. Norma’s siblings and their spouses include Russ and Joni Picus of Nashville, TN; Julie Ruhnke and Fred Wills of Havre De Grace, MD; and Laura McEnrue (deceased). She had many nieces and nephews.
Norma was born February 15, 1953, to Fred and Marianne Picus of New York City and Buenos Aires, respectively. Her childhood was spent in New York, Pennsylvania, Argentina, and England. She completed her undergraduate education at Penn State University in 1974. She also, attended the London School of Economics. Norma held a master’s degrees from Drexel University in Philadelphia and the University of Denver.
She began her career in computer science as a programmer and analyst and was among the first women in this profession. Mid-career, observing that middle-school-aged boys are at times underserved in today’s educational system, she became a math teacher, and then later served as a principal and in various administrative roles in New Mexico, where she and her family settled in 1988 after having lived in Colorado and Pennsylvania. In her retirement, Norma helped to found a charter school, where she was also a longstanding board member. One of the great joys of Norma’s life was running into former students and teachers. She was always overwhelmed by the warmness with which she was greeted.
Norma, of course, tirelessly supported her husband, Mitch, throughout his career as a physician. Together they raised their sons, who have achieved distinction in their chosen fields of literature, medicine, and martial arts.
Norma also loved exploring nature. She found immense pleasure in kayaking, camping, skiing, sailing, hiking, backpacking, and playing with her golden retrievers. Her travels with family and friends took her all over the world, where she enjoyed learning about various cultures and ways of living. Norma was fluent in multiple languages. This enabled her family to navigate their travels with ease, much to the comfort of Mitch, who as she often jokingly said, is “hopeless” in such matters.
Additionally, she supported many charities for children, war victims, the homeless, healthcare, and animal welfare.
Norma’s family and friends miss her deeply and will forever remember the brilliant example she set as a wife, a mother, a friend, an ally, and advisor to the many people she counseled and helped through her life and career.
Norma always loved flowers in the home. If you’d like to celebrate her life, please share a bouquet with someone special to you.
The family will celebrate Norma’s life with a private memorial in the future.
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