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Longtime voice of NSU Demons dies
Dec 18, 2012 | 179 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NATCHITOCHES – Norm Fletcher, a Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame member for his broadcasting career who also was elected three times as Natchitoches Parish sheriff, died at the age of 82 Friday afternoon in the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center.

Fletcher, a Natchitoches native, was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2010 as he received the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

He was elected as sheriff for the first time in 1979, and for several years spoke at the FBI Academy in Washington, D.C. on topics including efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement operations. Fletcher spoke at the National Sheriff’s Association Convention in 1981, and was keynote speaker at the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association Convention in 1984 and the Louisiana Police Jury Association Convention in 1986.

An Air Force veteran, Fletcher was president of the Natchitoches Parish Chamber of Commerce, state chairman of the Louisiana Cultural Resources Commission in the 1960s, and was the volunteer City/Parish Civil Defense Director for 18 years before running successfully for sheriff.

Fletcher was instrumental in the John Wayne 1958 movie “The Horse Soldiers” being filmed in and around Natchitoches. He played the father of the groom in the popular 1989 motion picture “Steel Magnolias,” also filmed in and around Natchitoches.

Fletcher served in five decades as the "Voice of the Hall of Fame," lending his baritone delivery as the narrator for ceremonies and videotape. His stirring style ushered each inductee into the elite ranks of Hall of Fame membership, but it is only a part of his remarkable contribution to state sports history.

He was a prominent sportscaster in north Louisiana beginning in the late 1940s and continuing into the 1990s, and still was a contributor until entering the hospital in October. Fletcher was "Voice of the Demons" calling Northwestern State sports beginning at the age of 18 in 1949 until running successfully for sheriff, and he reassumed the NSU broadcasting role for two years in the early 1990s.

He hosted two weekly morning radio shows in Natchitoches and contributed to NSU sports coverage, while enjoying the work of two of his protégés, LSU Sports Network announcer Jim Hawthorne and Cox Sports Television lead announcer Lyn Rollins, whose broadcast careers began under Fletcher’s guidance in Natchitoches.

From 1949-79, he broadcast high school sports, doing every Natchitoches High Natchitoches Central football and basketball game, except for time spent in the U.S. Air Force. He was Editor-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Radio Service Far East Network in the 1950s as chief news and sports announcer. He broadcast major sports events throughout the Far East, including football, baseball and boxing.

Fletcher and Ferguson are the only two play-by-play broadcasters to be honored.

A memorial service in Natchitoches will be held later. Fletcher donated his body to medical science.
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