Norman E. Champagne

  • Born: September 15, 1941
  • Died: July 27, 2020
  • Location: Manchester, New Hampshire

Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory

1799 Elm St
Manchester, NH 03104

Tel. (603) 625-6951

Tribute & Message From The Family

Norman E. Champagne, 78, of Manchester, died peacefully at home on July 27, 2020, after a courageous battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was born on September 15, 1941, the son of the late Laurier and Lillian (Demers) Champagne. Norman graduated from Bishop Bradley High School and St. Anselm College. After college, he began his career in the insurance industry including working for the New Hampshire Insurance Department. While working full-time, he attended Suffolk University Law School at night and graduated in 1973. He was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar that same year.
He began his legal career in his west side home with his beloved wife, Jocelyne, by his side. He soon joined with his colleague and friend, Richard Moquin, to open one of the first west side law firms. Soon after, his calling for public service led him to the New Hampshire Senate at the age of 36 where he proudly represented his west side constituency. His Senate career culminated with his service as Senate Minority Leader.
He gained a reputation for fair advocacy and respectful debate beyond partisan politics. A life-long democrat, he was somewhat surprised when then Governor John Sununu called to ask him to serve on the Manchester District Court. He took the bench in 1983 along-side Judge Armand Capistran and was proud to point out that two Franco-American judges presided over the busiest court in the State of New Hampshire.
Although the court later changed its name to the Ninth Circuit, District Division, it remained the Manchester District Court to him. He was fiercely loyal to the team of dedicated employees at the court, and it was his professional home for 28 years until he reached mandatory retirement in 2011. After retirement, he continued to serve at the court in whatever capacity he could.
Norman enjoyed being a judge and devoted his free time to numerous causes important to him. He was a founding judge of the New Hampshire Court Appointed Special Advocates. He also served on the Police Standards and Training Council and was a bail commissioner. He judged amateur boxing matches at the request of his dear friend, Robert "Bobby" Stephen. He was a member of the Board of Directors of NH-JAG (Jobs for America's Graduates) and the Bobby Stephen's Fund for Education. He appreciated his heritage enjoying time spent at the Joliet Club and as both a member and past president of the Richelieu Club. He was a proud member of the Knights of Columbus, Notre Dame Council #5163, and served as the New Hampshire State Advocate.
His greatest joy was his family. He and his wife were rarely separated in their 57 year marriage and especially enjoyed spending time at Hampton Beach. They raised three daughters to whom he was devoted until his last days. Despite his public image as a serious judge, he had a sharp wit. His happiest moments were when he was able to cradle a crying infant to sleep in his arms. His legacy will always be his loving devotion as husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and brother.
Norman leaves behind his wife of 57 years, Jocelyne D. (Desrochers) Champagne of Manchester; three daughters, Michelle Champagne-Field and husband Robert Field of Manchester, Susan Champagne and husband John Bisson of Manchester, and Joceline Champagne and husband Theodore Petro of Manchester; seven grandchildren, Abaigeal and Elizabeth Field, Matthew, Jocelyne and Emily Bisson, and Jonah and Catherine Petro; one sister, Pauline Dionne of Bedford; and many nieces and nephews.
Regrettably, due to the current pandemic, funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Norman's name may be made to Court Appointed Special Advocates of NH, an organization dedicated to providing a voice for abused and neglected children. Donations may be made to CASA of NH, PO Box 1327, Manchester, NH 03105 or on-line at

Condolence & Memory Journal

I didn't know what to say. So I'll say to a man who was larger than life. Who was funny and put me in my place. To his family, I'm sorry for your loss.


Posted by Scott Reuter - Merrimack, NH - Friend   September 30, 2020

Norm, a friend and colleague You will be missed! Larry Warhall

Posted by Lawrence Warhall - Londonderry, NH - Friend   August 06, 2020

Joyce & Family,

So sad to hear about Norm's passing. I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sue Bedard

Posted by Suzanne Bedard - Manchester, NH - Family Friend   August 06, 2020

Joyce: May God bless you and your family at this time of grave loss of your beloved husband.

Posted by Edmond Duchesse - Concord, NH - Friend   August 04, 2020

One of the most infectious laughs and smiles! He will certainly be missed. I enjoyed seeing him each time we met at Birch Hill. Many prayers to you and your family.

Posted by Kim - Acquaintance   August 04, 2020

Michelle, I am so sorry for your loss, I remember you dad fondly, you and your family are in my prayers

Posted by Reana Constanzer (Gates) - Telford, PA - Friend   August 02, 2020

Joyce, I was saddened to read of the passing of your beloved Norm. I know you will have many treasured memories of your family's good times to comfort you. My sympathy to you, your daughters, and their families.

Posted by Elaine Poirier - Manchester, NH - Friend   August 02, 2020

Hey Norm. You made a real difference in life. Be it at the Insurance Department. The State Senate or the bench. Thank You. You left a great family Micky, Sue, Jody and Joyce and grandchildren who will perhaps raise their personal bar in life because they follow your accomplishments. It was a pleasure knowing you.

Posted by Jim Normand - Manchester, NH - Friend   August 02, 2020

Our sympathy goes out to the Champagne family. I remember Norm from working on his vehicles at Kelly St. Garage. He was a hard worker who got his law degree the hard way. I always admired him for that.

Posted by Gerry / Jeanie Boisvert - Bedford, NH - Friend   August 02, 2020

Joyce. So sorry to hear about Norm, my sincere condolences. He helped me a lot when I started my business and purchased the real estate as my lawyer and then he told me he could not represent me anymore because he was going to be a judge. I missed him down the road he was a great man!

Posted by RICHARD T ROY - Hooksett, NH - Friend   August 02, 2020

Deepest sympathy on the passing of Norm Champagne.

Posted by Eugene Holley - Dousman, WI - Friend   August 02, 2020

Our deepest sympathy to the Champagne family, our thoughts and prayers are with you Joyce during this difficult time, R.I.P. my friend .

Posted by Rejean Drouin / Sylvia Mahoney - Friend   August 01, 2020

My heart goes out to you and your family during this very difficult time. I will never forget the years I worked for Norm during his early days as a lawyer at his law firm. I learned a lot from him and his wit and sense of humor made for a very interesting job. May you find comfort in your memories of him. I'm sure he will be missed.

Posted by Sue Laplante - Coworker   August 01, 2020

Joyce, Michelle, Susan and Joceline, I'm saddened to hear of Norms passing. Recently, in a conversation with Leo Bernier, we were sharing memories of our experiences campaigning for Norm for state senate. We remember being critiqued for placement of signs, where and in what direction to face them. Norm would want updates on how many we had put up during our visits to Kearsage st. We will cherish these memories for years to come. Please know, you are all in my thoughts.

Posted by Jerome Duval - MANCHESTER, NH - Family Friend   August 01, 2020

Our deepest sympathy to you and all the Champagne family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Posted by Jane & Terry Palys - Manchester, NH - Friend   August 01, 2020

Posted by lucien trudeau - Classmate   August 01, 2020

Joyce, I am so sorry to hear of Norm's passing. You and your family are in my prayers as your go through this very sad time.

Posted by Carmen Kearney - Manchester, NH - neighbor   July 31, 2020

Joyce...sorry to read of Norm's passing. I always enjoyed our conversations and his sense of humor at the State House. My deepest sympathies.

Posted by Denis Parker - Hooksett, NH - Friend   July 31, 2020

Posted by Sue Laplante - Coworker   July 31, 2020

I remember walking by his original office on Amory Street when it was being converted to his office. He invited me in and gave me a tour. He was very proud of what he had done. I also remember when he was on the church Finance Committee with my Dad. He had a great sense of humor. He will be missed.

Posted by Tom and Laurie Manseau - Friend   July 31, 2020

Dear Joyce and family. Our deepest sympathy to all of you at this sad time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted by Paulette & Donald Auger - MANCHESTER, NH - Acquaintance   July 31, 2020

So very sorry for your loss. He was a great man and I have very fond memories of him. Please know he and tour family are in our prayers

Posted by Christine (Goupil) Gaglia - Buffalo, NY - Neighbor   July 31, 2020


So sorry to hear of Norm's passing. He was such a wonderful man. So caring and so personable. I am so happy to have been able to spend time with him and all of you, his dear family, when we gathered last year when "Aunt" Millie was celebrating her birthday and then the following week at her funeral. She always was very appreciative of having Norm (and Jocelyn) take care of her! I also have fond memories of Lil, Norm's mom, sharing stories of his younger days!!! My sincere sympathies to all of you. I know you will miss him dearly. My heart aches for all of you.

Posted by Denise & Dana Burton - Manchester, NH - Family Friend   July 31, 2020

Dear Joyce,
I'm so sorry for your loss. He had an infectious smile all the time. He reminded me of my Gerry! A happy affectionate man. You will all miss your husband and dad! You are in my thoughts and in my prayers.

Posted by Yvette Rheault - Manchester, NH - Friend   July 31, 2020

Joyce my deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Posted by Pauline Jobin - Apache Junction, AZ - Friend   July 31, 2020

Such a wonderful man. He will be dearly missed. We are so sorry for your loss

Posted by Karla McManus - Family Friend   July 31, 2020

I am so sorry to hear of Norm's passing. It was a pleasure to work with him at Laflamme, Champagne & Moquin. He was funny and quick witted....and very smart and compassionate. I am so sorry, Joyce. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.

Posted by Paula Laflamme-Mahoney - Manchester, NH - Coworker   July 31, 2020

Dear Joyce, Michelle, Sue and Jody -
I'm so very sorry to hear of Norm's passing. I have such fond memories of the times spent in your homes on the West Side and then the North End of Manchester. I remember Norm as a man who loved his family and his church. I will be keeping all of you in thought and prayer as you all enter this new chapter of your lives. God bless all of you.

Posted by Diane & Max Lavoie - New Bern, NC - Family Friend   July 31, 2020

Sorry for your loss.

Posted by Cynthia McMahon - Manchester, NH - Coworker   July 30, 2020

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