Online Obituaries for the Troy, Royal Oak, Clawson & Shelby Township MI Area
Norma Jean Van Ness passed away on 12/1/13 at the age of 70. She is survived by her children Leslie Engle (Tim), Thomas Van Ness and David Van Ness (Michelle). She is also survived by six grandchildren Andrew Engle (Molly), Douglas Engle (Katy), Jeanie Engle, Alexa Van Ness, Jack Van Ness Emma Van Ness and two great granddaughters, Clara Jane and Lily.
Norma was born on 2/2/1943 to Weldon and Jennie Huthmacher in Wyandotte, MI. Norma’s fondest childhood memories were the summers that she spent with her grandmother Hilda and grandfather Edwin in Canton, OH.
Norma married Thomas Van Ness in 1961 and was a mother of three by the age of 22. Norma loved to laugh and have fun with her children. She was not at all bashful or reserved. She was the loudest to clap and cheer for her kids whether they were playing a role in the Jr. High school performance of “A Christmas Carol”, racing a car in the Pine Wood Derby or hitting a bases clearing triple in little league.
Norma was a hard worker and maintained a job while running a household and raising her children. She was excited at starting a new career working as a production worker in the sheet metal industry after her children were grown only to become a second mother to many of her coworkers. She was proud of the 17 years she worked in this position before retiring and began a part time job at Beaumont Hospital in housekeeping. This was not enough work for Norma although, so she began taking on several house cleaning jobs as well.
Norma was passionate about her grandchildren who brought her tremendous joy. As with her children, Norma was always the loudest supporter at the dance recitals, football games and band concerts that her grandchildren performed in.
Norma was proud of the home she had bought on her own. She had the special ability to make something beautiful out of nothing such as building a backyard fence out of old pallets. Norma was also skilled at the numerous uses of duct tape. Norma enjoyed working in her yard and planting flowers and plants.
Norma was a dedicated friend, loving grandmother and protective mother but most of all, she was a determined fighter who persevered whatever the struggle. She made the most out of life. Her spunk and laughter caused all her knew her to deeply love her.
Visitation will be Wednesday 10AM-12PM and 4PM-8PM. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 12:00 PM.
Thanks to all the Gramer staff for the beautiful job you did for our family. We are so happy we chose you as the funeral home. You were all so nice and comforting during our time of grief.
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