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Norm Radford
(1932-2017)

Norman Archie "Norm" Radford was born in Spokane, Washington, on August 10, 1932, the only son of Lillie Louise Bowman and Archie S. Radford, a petroleum company employee. Norm was raised and graduated from high school in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. He discovered at a young age his love of geology, archeology and mineralogy, and he began collecting minerals. He attended the Colorado School of Mines and the University of Idaho, receiving (from the latter) his Bachelor of Science degree in geological engineering in 1955.

After graduation, Norm began his career as an exploration geologist, finding a uranium deposit in Washington state that would eventually be mined by a subsidiary of the Phelps Dodge Mining Company and would be known as the Sherwood mine. His career was interrupted by the draft in November 1955 during the Korean War. He served as a geodetic surveyor in the Army Corps of Engineers, stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco. He married Janet Moser (1934-1966) in February 1956; their son, Gordon, was born in the Army military hospital.

Following his discharge from the Army, he went to work for the city of Coeur d'Alene and the Idaho State Highway Department in various engineering capacities. (His second son, Lawrence, was born in Coeur d'Alene.) Norm's mining career restarted in 1961 at the Black Pine mine in Phillipsburg, Montana (the type locality for phillipsburgite). But the mine quickly ran out of ore, so he went to work for the Montana Highway Department in Helena as an engineering geologist. His daughter, Louanne, was born in Helena.

In 1965, Norm was hired as a geologist at the Bunker Hill mine, where he worked for more than 16 years. He continued to collect minerals, including beautiful pyromorphite specimens from Bunker Hill, as well as other mines and districts.

After the Bunker Hill and Crescent mines closed in 1982, Norm stayed on for several months with collecting crews mining world-class pyromorphite specimens, then hired on as a consultant for the Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (now Coeur). That same year, Norm (and his second wife, Carla June, born June 6, 1934), with partners George "Ben" Sheppard (1921-2012) and Ben's wife Louise, opened the Silver Capital Arts and Wallace Wine Cellar in a beautiful Victorian building—the historic White and Bender Building (1890), pictured on their specimen labels. Located at 524 Bank Street in Wallace, Idaho, the store featured Norm's impressive mineral collection, and was renamed the Silver Capital Arts Mining and Mineral Museum." By 1994 they had opened stores in Coeur d'Alene and Kellogg as well, selling primarily jewelry.

From 1985 onward, Norm continued to do consulting work for the mining industry, including consulting for Gold Finders Exploration; he also served as a board member of the General Moly Corporation from 2002 to 2008.

Norm was coaching geologists in the logging of core from the Crescent mine when he suffered a stroke in 2010. But he remained active in the community, through participation and leadership in Lions, Toastmasters and numerous other organizations. In 2011, he was recognized for his community service in the Silver Valley as a recipient of the Justin L. Rice award. From 1971-1978, he was a member of the Idaho State Board of Registration for Professional Geologists, serving as chairman for three years. He helped write the licensing exam; and was also one of the first to take the exam; his professional geologist stamp was No. 5. He was active in the Society of Mining Engineers, chairing both the Coeur d'Alene and Columbia sections. He wrote articles for the Society of Mining Engineers (AIME) magazine and also the Mineralogical Record: "The Bunker Hill mine, Kellogg, Shoshone County, Idaho" (November-December 1981) and "Pyromorphite from the Coeur d'Alene District, Idaho" (September-October 1982).

Norm loved the outdoors: hunting, fly-fishing, skiing and making wine. His love for mineralogy never waned. He continued to trade minerals on the internet from his Osburn, Idaho, residence after health issues precluded leaving home, and passed away on December 13, 2017, at the age of 85. Carla was given the shop in Wallace, and much of his mineral collection went to his son, Lawrence (who is now Senior Vice President of the Hecla Mining Company).
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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The Mineralogical Record - Norm Radford
The Mineralogical Record - Norm Radford 52 x 71 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Norm Radford 51 x 62 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Norm Radford 51 x 69 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Norm Radford 51 x 68 mm: front and back, indicating that the specimen is from the collection of Arthur Cooper (1901-1987) of Kellogg, senior assayer for the Bunker Hill mine.
The Mineralogical Record - Norm Radford 51 x 68 mm: front and back, indicating that the specimen is from the collection of Arthur Cooper of Kellogg, senior assayer for the Bunker Hill mine (died 1987)
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