Thursday, June 22, 2006

My uncle Norm

My uncle Norm died of a heart attack while driving to Olympia from Whidbey Island late last Thursday (June 15, 2006). He was only 63.

For the past week I haven’t felt like posting anything. It doesn’t seem right to blog when a man that was so deeply loved has passed on. I thought about flying up there for the Celebration of Life service, but after discussing with my dad and Michele I have decided to go up later this summer to spend time with my aunt Janet.

To Janet - I do not know what to say except that I am sorry. I am sorry for your loss and I am sorry for the pain that you feel. You can at least take a little comfort in knowing how Norm's life benefited those around him. He was loved by a great many and will be sorely missed. Once again, I am sorry. I am thinking of you and I love you.

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Norman Jerome Josephson



Norman Jerome Josephson was born to Harry and Nora Bjorndal Josephson in Coupeville, Washington. He was raised on his parents' dairy farm in Freeland, Washington. He graduated from Langley High School in 1962 and received a teaching degree from Seattle Pacific University and a Master's degree in School Administration from Seattle University in 1973.

Norm began his 32-year career in education in the Shoreline School District. He came to Olympia in 1971 to teach sixth grade at Pioneer Elementary. In 1973 he was selected as principal for L.P. Brown Elementary, and in 1983 moved to Washington Middle School, where he served as principal until retiring in 1998. After retiring, Norm continued to work on his garden and blueberry farm. He filled in as acting vice- principal in the Clover Park School District for several months in 1999.

He began work at the Senate in January of 2000, where he was best known in his role as bill reader during legislative sessions. In the past couple of years, he also worked at Ralph's Thriftway, where he enjoyed contacts with many former students and friends.

Norm is survived by his bride of 25 years, Janet; daughters, Roberta (David) Hamilton and Chris (Dave) Fox, of Tumwater, and Terea (Mike) Fowler, of Oregon City, Oregon; five grandchildren, Karleigh, Zachary, Sarah, Tanner, and Camden; parents, Harry and Nora Josephson, of Freeland; brother, Dale (Melissa) Josephson, of Las Vegas, Nevada; sisters, Noreen (Jim) Forck, of Brier, Washington, Roxann (Rich) Cannistra, of Janesville, Wisconsin, and Joan Josephson, of Bellingham, Washington; and the mother of his daughters by a previous marriage, Donna Radtke, of Tumwater.

Norm was a devoted husband, father, grandpa, son, brother, uncle, and friend. His loss to all of us is immense. He was a tireless worker who was known for thinking of and doing things to help others. He was an unselfish giver of his many talents. He never did anything halfway! Norm was an avid gardener and a lifelong learner. His endless projects for landscaping his home and gardens were almost an obsession. He amassed a considerable library in his endless research, and we benefited from the knowledge and skills he shared with anyone willing to listen. Blueberry lovers made annual pilgrimages to Norm and Jan's farm to visit and pick "little orbs of health". We can't imagine our lives without him.

A Celebration of Life Service will be at Pioneer School on Saturday, June 24, 2006, at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the American Heart Association.

6 comments:

Vic said...

Jill. I am so sorry for your loss. Norm sounds like a great man. I wish I had known him. May God comfot you and Janet and the rest of the family in these tough times.

bunnygirl said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, Jill. I lost a favorite uncle a year and a half ago and I know how it hurts.

Hang in there!

Mojo said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Sounds like a wonderful teacher and person was lost at a young age. I'll be sending you good thoughts.

Cagey said...

I'm sorry you lost your uncle. I'm sure that he was a great guy. Hang in there.

DisseminatingData said...

Condolences. Take care.

Suzanne Mager and Marc Pease said...

We just learned tonight (Aug 7) of Narm's death. Suzanne has known Norm since he started working in the Senate, and both of us have gotten to know him better through our conversations in the dairy section at 11pm at Ralph's Thriftway. He was a man of great generosity of spirit and joy. He had enthusiasm for everything--Jan's new laptop w/ wireless Internet access, and boy oh boy was he thrilled about the new patio. We were looking forward to coming by to see it when the weather warmed up this summer. We are still disbelieving that someone so full of love, life, and enthusiasm is not walking on the earth with us still. Although he is with us in spirit still, we know.
Would you please pass our thoughts on to Jan, for us. Although she doesn't know us, or even know of us, our hearts go out to her in this time of unspeakable sorrow.
with much affection, Marc and Suzanne