Norma Jean (Steinfeldt) Norton, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend was reunited with her loving husband, Donald, on January 22, 2018.
Growing up in the gray stucco house on Reid Street was an adventure for Norma and her siblings. Although she was born a “city girl,” Norma and the Steinfeldt children spent much of their time working and playing outdoors. Apple, plum, peach and pear trees bloomed and a massive garden occupied a sunny spot in the family’s backyard. The narrow alley that ran behind their home was a favorite gathering spot for neighborhood kids who were always willing to start a game of “kick the can” or stickball. In spite of all the opportunities for mischief, Norma rarely got into trouble… her five older brothers ensured that she was always looked after!
Norma attended St. Joseph’s Elementary School and graduated from Nicolet High School with the class of 1951. Her friendly personality and ever-present sense of humor made her a perfect fit for a career helping others. After high school, she was hired by the Green BayPublic Service Corporation as a telephone switchboard operator. Physically connecting and disconnecting calls along with answering caller questions made for a hectic work day! Norma once laughingly recalled when she and her coworkers answered their phones with the phrase, “Bumble bees” instead of “Number, please!” and no one noticed the difference.
Norma was proud of her work and for establishing a career for herself at such a young age. Taking the trolley each day, she commuted to and from work in Green Bay. Norma excelled at her job, she dutifully saved her money from each paycheck and then did the unthinkable… she bought her own car! Having a car gave Norma the opportunity to travel — it started her life-long love of exploring new places and visiting friends. One car soon followed another and with the same adventurous spirit she showed as a child, the girl from Reid Street continued her travels all over the U.S. Often joined by her friends, Norma traveled to distant and not-so-distant places. Her prized, cream-colored Samsonite suitcases were constantly with her and soon became layered with stickers from each of the many exotic cities she visited.
Her life as a single-career girl didn’t last long, however, as she was soon swept off of her feet by Donald Norton. Whether it was his kind smile or gentle sense of humor, Norma had no reservations about leaving the city to join him on his farm. The couple was married on July 20, 1963 and soon started their own family. She and Donald would eventually raise nine children–four sons and five daughters– on their dairy farm.
Raising a family and running a farm was no simple matter, but Norma was the perfect woman for the job. She frequently ran the bunk to get the cows fed. She was renowned for her culinary and baking skills. Norma used her talents to prepare massive meals that could both feed an army and rival those created in restaurants.
Norma’s greatest gift to her family was her dedication as a mother and wife. She loved caring for her children and seeing them create their own lives. Once their children had grown and moved away from the farm, she and Donald found their greatest joy in spending time with their 8 grandchildren.
Norma’s talents expanded far beyond caring for her family. She served for many years on the De Pere Unified School District board, as a 4-H knitting leader and volunteered at Syble Hopp school. An accomplished seamstress, she designed beautiful clothing not only for her children, but for countless 4-H drama activities. When she wasn’t sewing, Norma used knitting needles, crochet hooks and yarn to create afghans, sweaters, baby bonnets and endless pairs of mittens for family members and friends. Never a perso