Norma Lunholm Djerassi
1917 - 2006
Norma Lundholm Djerassi was a loyal friend of the Program. She is the mother of Dale Djerassi, a founding Trustee of the Program, and his sister, Pamela Djerassi Bush, in whose memory the Program was founded in 1979, by their father and Norma’s former husband, Dr. Carl Djerassi. Born in Saugus, Massachusetts, Norma graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received her MA from Boston College.
Throughout her life, she was a world traveler, published poet and writer and voracious reader, political activist, and a touchstone of energy and inspiration for her family and her worldwide network of friends. Norma's first published work, “Glimpses of China from a Galloping Horse” (1974), was the result of travel to China with her husband at the invitation of the Chinese government.
Her memoir, “Heart Notes” (2000), captured her personal history as a collection of letters, written by her to family members, friends, and important people in her life who were no longer living.
Norma Djerassi died on December 8, 2006, at her home in Portola Valley. She is survived by her son, Dale Djerassi, an independent filmmaker based in Woodside, and her grandson, Alexander Maxwell Djerassi. Upon her death, Dale Djerassi remarked, “I am amazed at the outpouring of feelings and sentiments and the profound impact my mother had on so many lives.”