Edna Marian Norris was born October 8, 1920 to Theodore and Clara Heginger Kemp in Twin Lakes Township, Hancock County, Iowa.
She received her elementary education in a Twin Lake Township one-room rural schoolhouse. She attended and graduated from Belmond High School with the class of 1937. After completing the Executive secretarial course at Hamilton School of Commerce, Mason City, Iowa, she worked a year in the Credit Department at Damon’s Department store in Mason City. She then moved to Belmond to work as a secretary to the Superintendent of Schools and the School Board of the Belmond Schools.
On May 9, 1942, she married Merlynd A. Norris of Rowan, Iowa at Omaha, Nebraska. Edna and her infant son, Ray, lived with her parents in Goodell while Merlynd was deployed overseas during World war II. Upon Merlynd’s discharge from the Army at the end of the war, the family moved to Ottawa, Illinois. In January 1950, they returned to Iowa making Eagle Grove their permanent home.
While raising her family, she was active in her children’s various organizations, including Assistant Den Mother of Cub Scouts and participating in Band Boosters and church activities. She held various offices in her church Circle and ELCW. She was church secretary at Eagle Grove Evangelical Lutheran Church from January 1959 to November 1969. She then worked for McGrath & McGrath Law Firm as a Legal Secretary until her retirement in October 1985.
Merlynd had a large garden so Edna was also very busy with preserving their large bounty from the garden. She and Merlynd were ardent auction and antique flea market fans and showed and sold their wares at many sites around the Midwest. She continued her shows with the help of her children after Merlynd’s death on November 9, 1989 up until a year and a half prior to her death. She was a voracious reader and could speed read through several books a week. She occupied her time in later years playing her piano, working crossword puzzles and putting together puzzle boards. She also enjoyed bird watching from her windows and feeding the many songbirds who visited her bird feeders.
Edna passed away on Thursday, January 16, 2020 at Sturgeon Manor in Dallas Center, at the age of 99 years. Preceding her in death were her husband, Merle, her parents, Theodore and Clara of Goodell, Iowa, and her sister Toni (Florence) Voetmann of Tripoli, Iowa.
She leaves to mourn her passing, her 4 children and their spouses: Ray (Barbara) Norris – LeClaire, Iowa, Brian (Barbara) Norris – Edgerton, Kansas, Bruce (Mary Ellen) Norris – Alta, Iowa, and Kathryn (Todd) Asche – Grimes, Iowa, her 5 grandchildren; Sarah (Josh) Roller – Fillmore, Missouri, Christopher (Debbie)Norris – Moline, Illinois, Jessica Hanshaw – Grimes, Iowa, Seth (Cheri) Norris – Humboldt, Iowa and Lucas (Amy) Asche – Minburn, Iowa, and her 9 Great-grandchildren: Ethan Asche, Abigail Asche, Easton Hanshaw, Benjamin Roller, Vivian Roller, Sadie Norris, Abby Norris, Hunter Norris, and Gage Norris.
Visitation and funeral will be planned for April 2020 at the Eagle Grove Evangelical Lutheran Church.
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