Norman D. Frink, MS, passed away at age of 80 on July 24, 2021 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. He was raised in Perrydale, Ore, where he met his wife of 59 years, JoAnn Dart. Norman served for four years as a radar man in the US Navy and was honorably discharged in 1962. He married JoAnn on August 11, 1962. While not a nationally well-known audiologist, he was a pioneer when it came to private practice and made significant contributions to the growth of audiology in Oregon.
Norman attended the Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University) following his stint in the Navy, and originally planned to be a dentist. However, he couldn’t get over how he would be causing pain to people while at the same time helping them. A friend who was already in the audiology program at OCE suggested he consider entering it as well, and the rest is history; he completed his masters degree in audiology in 1968. Norman took an initial position at Glenrose Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada before becoming the audiologist for the State of Oregon Health Division. He spent the better part of the 1970s traveling the state and testing children in schools. In 1982, he left that position to found Salem Audiology Clinic—one of the first private-practice audiology clinics in Oregon. Salem Audiology Clinic, now run by his children, has grown to become one of the largest in the state, with three locations and 23 employees. Over the next three decades, he was very active in the audiology community, helping to grow his practice and to help found the Oregon Academy of Audiology.
Norman retired from Salem Audiology Clinic in 2006, and spent much of his free time traveling throughout the United States and Europe with his wife, JoAnn. Norman was known for his love of books, and was frequently seen browsing in various new and used bookstores along the Oregon coast, where he spent a lot of his free time at a second home in Pacific City. He became very active in the Salem Kiwanis club, heading up their children’s book distribution program, which by 2013 had helped to distribute more than 42,800 books to about 8,573 kids at 95 local schools and head start programs. In 2015, Norman was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He remained active, however, until his passing in July.
Everything Norman did in his life he did in the spirit of service—for his family, his country, and his community. In July of 2020, Salem Audiology Clinic started the Norman and Joann Frink Hearing Foundation to help those in their community who cannot afford hearing aids. Donations of cash or used hearing aids can be made to www.FrinkFoundation.org.
Hearing Review thanks Norman’s son, audiologist Christopher Scot Frink, AuD, for the above tribute.