Born in Silverton, Oregon on May 10, 1923 Norma Fern Ouderkirk was born to George and Maudie (Anderson) Ouderkirk. In 1923 a gallon of gas was 10 cents, Time Magazine first hit newsstands and President Calvin Coolidge was president, it was a very different era and Norma learned the meaning of "family" early on to get through the tough times growing up during the depression. The family was modest, but had enough to get by. At a young age she lost her father and due to this built a stronger relationship with her brother, Kenny. Eventually, her family moved to Portland and Norma began attending Washington High School. When she was 16 Norma...
Born in Silverton, Oregon on May 10, 1923 Norma Fern Ouderkirk was born to George and Maudie (Anderson) Ouderkirk. In 1923 a gallon of gas was 10 cents, Time Magazine first hit newsstands and President Calvin Coolidge was president, it was a very different era and Norma learned the meaning of "family" early on to get through the tough times growing up during the depression. The family was modest, but had enough to get by. At a young age she lost her father and due to this built a stronger relationship with her brother, Kenny. Eventually, her family moved to Portland and Norma began attending Washington High School. When she was 16 Norma went down to the waterfront, she happened to see a handsome sailor named Joseph Heath from Pennsylvania. Norma was shy, but Joe winked at her and they began to date and eventually marrying on October 13, 1940.
The young couple stayed with Norma's mother as Joe was in the Navy for the next 10 years. Norma took on jobs throughout her life at Sunset High School and Nalley's Potato Chips (which her children enjoyed her bringing home the fresh chips home in tins that kept them warm) but her real job in life was always a mother. Norma and Joe were blessed with 5 children Joey, Dan, Tom, Sherry, and Melinda. She would make clothing from hand for Sherry and Melinda's dolls, cook wonderful family dinners and loved her children unconditionally.
Joe and Norma square danced with other couples in their spare time, and enjoyed taking their kids camping to Elk Lake or Hot Springs in Idaho. Friday nights the family always ate dinner together and Norma would make hamburgers and French fries. The children were also blessed to live in one home on SW Division St. in Beaverton that Joe built himself, Norma's kids always came first and she would do anything for them.
In her later years, she and Joe enjoyed going to their home at the coast and staying in Arizona for several months to enjoy the warm climate. Sadly, Joe passed away on April 16, 2001 after 60 years of marriage. It was a devastating time for Norma and she moved closer to her children where she could be surrounded by the love and care of her family.
Norma herself enjoyed refinishing dolls she purchased from the Good Will and would gift them to her family, and for many years attended a bunko group monthly with a group of very nice ladies. For several years Norma suffered from severe asthma and was a breast cancer survivor, and even though she did not feel good with her health problems she stayed positive, loving and resilient.
One of the most important aspects of Norma's life was her companionship with Johnny her Chihuahua. Johnny went where Norma went and if Norma left for a doctor's appointment, Johnny was not happy without her. Johnny was Norma's faithful companion and they shared a special bond which brought Norma much comfort in her later years.
Norma was being cared for by her children, sister-in-law, Sharon (who she considered a daughter), daughter-in-law, Mary and daughter-in- law, Patty all took care of Norma in her later years. Each took care cooking, cleaning and visiting with Norma. It was important that the family care for Norma, as she had always cared for them. Norma passed away in the comfort of her own home surrounded by those she loved on November 7, 2013 in Beaverton at age 90.
Norma will be remembered as a woman who always put family first, was beautiful, classy and stayed positive. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Joesph Heath, parents George and Maudie Ouderkirk, and brother, Kenneth Ouderkirk; son, Joey in 2004 and grandchildren Danny J. in 1968 and Jennifer in 2005. She is greatly missed by her children, Dan, Tom, Sherry and Melinda; grandchildren, Greg, Tim, Melissa, Jeff, Tracy, Darren, Carissa, Annemarie, Jake, Kenny; great grandchildren, Branden, Jordan, Kurt, Nick, Brianna, Erika, Marie, Hailey, Josh, Carson, Kelsey, Sara, Joseph, Jered, Colby, Calee, Mitchell, Kyle, Kolby; 1 great great grandchild, Makenna and many extended family and friends who loved her very much.
A Celebration of Norma's life will be held on Thursday, November 14th 2013 at 11am in Pegg, Paxson and Springer Funeral Chapel, followed by a light reception for friends and family to share memories of Norma's life.
Please visit www.peggpaxsonspringerfuneralhome.com
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