obit haughness

Norman Haughness, 1927–2020

Norman Haughness passed away unexpectedly at his home in Tehachapi on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. He was 93.

Norman was born on June 9, 1927 to Norwegian parents, Peter Mauritz Haughness and Agnes Haughness in Chicago. He attended undergraduate and graduate universities in Illinois, and obtained a Ph.D. in philosophy. Norman spent two years (1944-46) in the U.S. Army Reserve Corps as an aviation cadet. He worked as a writer and editor for the L.A. Unified School District, retiring and moving to Tehachapi in 1989. He and his wife, Carol, lived in a trailer on the property while Norm designed, drew plans, and built his custom home on Highline Drive. For a while they were apple orchardists, but later they concentrated on other pursuits. Carol was a nurse in Tehachapi and Norm continued his writing.

Norman was a renaissance man who loved cars, rode motorcycles (up until the age of 90), and wrote books and conference papers on a variety of philosophical and political topics — most notably his work titled “The Grandest Illusion,” a refutation of free will as an operant principle in human decision making.

Norman published many opinion pieces in The Bakersfield Californian, providing a much-needed liberal counterpoint for Kern County. His writing extended to many stage plays, screenplays and novels. He loved riding with his motorcycle buddies, whom he met most Wednesdays at Burger King. He often went for long solo rides to commemorate his birthdays. Norm suffered the death of his wife, Carol, in March of 2019, and more recently the passing of his step-daughter Wilma Davis.

Norm is survived by his sister, Jan Zahler; his nieces, Kathy and Diane Zahler; nephew, Peter Zahler; his two step-daughters, Karen Gissler (and husband, Åke) Krista Griggs (and husband, Don), and dear family friends, the Rustan family.

There are no plans for a public service for Mr. Haughness. Arrangements will be made by family at a later date. Wood Family Funeral Service, Inc. has handled the arrangements.

For condolences, please log on to the funeral home website at:

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