Legends of Our Industry – Norman Fonseca
By Danny Keating, Director of the Louisiana/Mississippi HVAC Insider
How often do you run into a 73-year-old HVAC service tech who still works a 40+ hour week climbing into hot attics in the summer or crawling under cold wet houses during the winter? Well, let me introduce you to Norman Fonseca. Norman has been in our industry for a little over fifty years and has been a service technician at Help Air Conditioning & Heating in Harahan for the past thirty-four years. Norman typically performs his service calls on the Westbank and in Uptown New Orleans.
I asked Norman what was the secret to his longevity? He replied that he has no medical issues, he has had no injuries, he maintains a good attitude regarding life, and he likes to think that he has a great personality that endears him to his customers.
Sonny Knobloch, owner of Help A/C, had this to say about Mr. Fonseca. “Norman never misses a day of work, he never complains, he even likes to work overtime, and he is well-liked by his customers.” Sonny added, “I keep asking Norman when he is going to retire, but I really hope he never answers me.”
Prior to getting into the HVAC business Norman was a playground official for football, basketball and baseball with the Jefferson Parish Playgrounds. He later became the Athletic Director at the Westwego Playground. While still in high school Norman began work at Avondale Shipyards in the sheet metal department. This allowed him to get hired at Carrollton Refrigeration where he stayed for eleven years before joining Help A/C. While working as a service technician, Norman found time to be elected and serve as a City Councilman of Westwego.
Norman has many interesting stories to tell of his time in our industry. It’s both fun and educational to hear from him how our business has changed over the last fifty years. As for the obvious question for Norman, “When do you plan on retiring?” He had this to say, “I’m going to continue working as long as my health holds up and as long as my darling wife, Maryann’s health continues to be good.”