Norman A. Buktenica – InForum

Norman Buktenica died June 10, 2022 at his winter home in Palm Desert, Calif., with Jonne’ by his side.

Norm was born in Chicago, IL on May 27, 1930 to August and Theresa Buktenica, who both immigrated from Croatia as children. He was the youngest of three boys, Ray who died in 2018 and Jack.

He attended Chicago Vocational High School thinking he would become a tool and die designer/maker. A gifted athlete in both football and baseball, he was recruited by several Big 10 universities. He decided the school for him was Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN. At Wabash, his considerable talent was noticed by the Boston Red Soxs, but he decided that was not what he wanted to do. He was inducted into the Wabash College Hall of Fame for his outstanding football prowess. He applied to Roosevelt University in Chicago to get his master’s degree in psychology. The army enlisted him in 1953. He was stationed in Okinawa. After his release, he returned to Chicago at Roosevelt University to earn his master’s degree. He also received a full scholarship to the University of Chicago, where he earned his doctorate in psychology. He is co-author of the Berry-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration which is used worldwide. American Psychology Association, Fellow, American Board of Professional Psychology, Diplomate, American Academy of School Psychology, Fellow.

He marries Dena Jaffe, a teacher, who will become his wife and mother of his two daughters, Julie and Laurie. His second wife, Marsha Kierscht, a psychologist, is the mother of two stepchildren, Cynthia and Matt. His third wife Alea Norman, State Department, who preceded him in death, was the mother of five of his stepchildren, Jack, Kelly, Dave, Julie and Patrick Norman, and lastly Jonne’ Lerner, a psychologist clinician he met in California. , mother of Cynthia. His nephews are Gus and Mark and his niece Jody. The grandchildren are Ethan and Alex, Scott, Matthew, Joshua, Christian (deceased) and Jacob, Rodney, Tyler, Nick, Robert, Morgan, Zachery & Hannah, Melissa, Andrea & Colin, Kennedy, Emma and Sophie. He also has six great-grandchildren.

Chicago, IL

Staff Psychologist Cook County Hospital, Children’s Clinic

Director of the Prototype Project to Establish Multidisciplinary Teams for the Hawaii Department of Public Education

Staff Psychologist, Chicago Board of Health

Assistant Assessment Officer, Peace Corps Training Program

Consulting Services Co-Director for the development and staffing of comprehensive mental health services at a new Illinois State Health Center

Director of Doctoral Education for the American Psychological Association program that combined clinical, counseling, community, and school psychology

Professional Backup for Suicide Prevention Programs on Crisis Calls

Moorhead State University, Moorhead, MN

Professor, Department of Education, Deputy Chair, Director of Special Education Programs.

George Peabody College, Nashville, Tennessee

Professor of Psychology and Special Education

Director, Transactional-Ecological Psychology Training Program

Director, Children’s Curriculum

Volunteer at Hospice in Detroit Lakes, MN and Rancho Mirage, CA

Taught at the Braille Institute in Rancho Mirage, CA

Norm was a very talented sculptor who has sculptures in the science building at Moorhead State University and at the Embassy of Mauritania, Africa and many other places. Norm was also a skilled carpenter who built his home in Spirit Lake on weekends and holidays. His skill in woodworking was remarkable, he created countless pieces. Also, he was a gifted metalworker and created many works of art on display, as well as his homes and friends.

Norm was the nicest, kindest gentleman. Besides all his considerable talents and accomplishments, he was self-effacing. His sense of humor and his smile could light up a room. Everyone who knew him felt comfortable in his presence. He did not judge or criticize, he had the ability to understand others immediately.

A visitation will be held at 1:00 p.m. with a memorial service at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at the Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo.

In lieu of flowers, donations were preferred over Wabash College scholarships and financial aid.

Donations can also be mailed to 301 W Wabash Ave. Crawfordsville, IN 47933, or by calling 1 (877) 743-4545

Arrangements in the care of Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo. To sign the guestbook online and view the service, please visit

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