Norval LaVene died on February 29, 2012. I had the pleasure of working with him during the 1980s and 1990s and learned a great deal from Norval–about the marketing of master planned communities and life in general. Norval was a gentle, but strong person who struck a wonderful balance on almost everything. See below for a copy his obituary that appeared in the Los Angeles Times. I took the liberty of correcting a few typos (copy editing appears to a victim of reduced newspaper revenues.)
Norval LaVene, a widely known marketing and communications expert, passed away Wednesday, February 29, from natural causes. He was 90. Born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, of American parents, LaVene grew up in San Mateo and graduated with a BA in economics from UCLA, where he was a Kappa Sigma. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1948. In 1953, with Ted Stromberger and Don McKenzie, he co-founded Stromberger, LaVene, McKenzie, a Los Angeles advertising agency. In 1964 he left this company, to develop a resort south of Puerta Vallerta, Mexico, at Mismaloya, site of the movie, “Night of the Iguana.” Upon his return, as a Vice President of the Newhall Land and Farming Company, LaVene played a major role in the development of the new town of Valencia. In 1971 he founded Intercom, a marketing and communications firm, where he worked on a number of large scale developments: Gainey Ranch in Arizona; The Woodlands in Texas; Pebble Beach, Diamond Bar and a number of Irvine Company communities. He was a member of the Urban Land Institute and a past director of the Building Industry Association. A lover of the outdoors, LaVene was dedicated to the environmental aspects of land development. He celebrated his 70th birthday trekking the Himalayas, and was an avid backpacker will into his eighties. He is survived by his wife, Kaye Courter LaVene; his daughters, Meredith and Shelley LaVene; his stepson, Courter Shannon; two granddaughters, four grandsons, and two great-grandsons. No services have been planned. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of choice.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on March 11, 2012