Published in The Concord Journal from Jan. 1
Hillyer G. Norment
Hillyer G. Norment, 92, of Hingham, formerly of Concord, accomplished research
scientist and genealogist, died Dec. 20, 2020, of pneumonia at South Shore Hospital
in Weymouth, surrounded by his children and grandchildren.
Those privileged to know Mr. Norment best remember his versatile brilliance and
steadfast love. "He was the closest person I have ever met to being a true
Renaissance man", son Phil said. "His breadth and depth of knowledge across an
amazing diversity of disciplines was astonishing." "No matter where we were or what
we were doing," son Eric said, "we always knew we were loved, and he would be
there to take an interest and help and comfort us, if possible. Thats what I'll miss most."
Born in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 13, 1928, Mr. Norment was the son of the late
Hillyer G. and Mary T. (Quisenberry) Norment. He graduated from Washington, D.C.'s
Calvin Coolidge High School in 1945, received a bachelor of science in Chemistry
and a Doctorate in Physical Chemistry from the University of Maryland in 1951 and
Mr. Norment's dissertation on X-ray analysis of crystals led to work for the Naval
Research Laboratory with two scientists who ultimately won the Nobel Prize in
Chemistry for related work. During his scientific career, Mr. Norment worked for
employers in Washington, D.C., PA, NC, and MA, and eventually became
self-employed. His early career focused on X-ray diffraction and crystallography, later
transitioning to complex mathematical modeling of nuclear fallout patterns, cloud
physics, and other atmospheric effects on structures. Mr. Norment's scientific work
remains highly regarded by his peers. "Of satisfaction, there's nothing close to that
obtained from successful scientific work", Mr. Norment once wrote.
Mr. Norment married Reva Lucille Shepherd in 1953, and together they had three
sons. When Reva died in 1969, Mr. Norment suddenly found himself a single father.
Gentle, supportive, self-effacing, he excelled at parenting three boisterous boys. "Dad
gave us great freedom to find our own way without overtly pushing things important to
him onto us", son Jeff recalled. Mr. Norment's household was enriched in the early
1970s when his beloved mother Mary came to live with him and his sons in Concord,
where she lived until her death in 1984.
After his father died in 1973, Mr. Norment took over his family's genealogical
research, which became a passion thereafter. Mr. Norment published meticulous
genealogy books on the Hillyer family (2004), and the Norment and Quisenberry
families (2015), copies of which he gifted to the Family History Library in Salt Lake
City, the University of Virginia Library, the New England Historic Genealogical Society
in Boston, and to every member of his extended family. "He contributed so much
professionally and gave our family the gift of his intellect through genealogy research",
niece Mary Robinson said. In 1973.
Mr. Norment married Jean Eleanor Porter, the love of his life. Mr. Norment shared his
Concord home of 51 years with Jean until her passing in 2012. They loved to travel,
read - especially in front of the fire during winter - and be with family and friends. Mr.
Norment's later years were devoted to family, reading, crossword puzzles, and the
Boston Red Sox. "He was as comfortable talking baseball as the mathematics of
theoretical physics", son Eric recalled.
He is survived by his brother Albert P. (Ruth) of Fort Mill, SC; sons Eric S. (Ann) of
East Bridgewater, Jeffrey L. (Mary) of Glenburn, ME, and Philip E. (Maureen) of East
Falmouth; grandchildren Timothy H. (Lauren) of Beverly, Peter J. of Foxboro, Laura M.
of Chicago, IL, Daniel H. of Amherst, Lukas H. and Rachel C., of Glenburn, ME,
Benjamin P. [Cyndal) of Charlotte, NC, Christopher H. of Auburndale;
great-granddaughter Elizabeth L. of Beverly; and numerous nieces and nephews,
grandnieces and grandnephews.
Mr. Norment was preceded in death by his beloved sisters Gavin Jean Norment
DeVault, and Mary Hillyer Norment Soscia.
Family members and friends will gather at a later date for a funeral service and
remembrance in the Farrar Chapel of the Dee Funeral Home, Concord, MA.
Burial will follow at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the charity of your
choice, or to the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston
Arrangements are under the care of Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of
To share a remembrance or to offer a condolence in his online guestbook, please visit