I am sad to say that my mom passed away last week, while Mark and I were out of town. I have been thinking for 5 years that I want to compose a wonderful obituary for her, but now that the time is here, all I can come up with is something very traditional. I know at least one sister is putting together something more personal, and I will post that later, along with any others that people want to add. Although she has been in an assisted living facility for 2 years now, my days and weeks were scheduled around our visits to and outings with her, 5 or 6 days a week. Mark and I are both surprised at how empty our afternoons feel without seeing her.
Marlene Ann Augustine McDermott Norman, 80, passed away on November 27, 2018, in Boynton Beach, Florida. Marlene was a 55 year resident of South Florida. She is survived by her 4 children: Valerie (Mark) Keating, Lena (Al) Berchielli, Kirk (Lisa Lindeman) Norman and Danielle (Trent Fujise) Norman; 12 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren; her sisters, Patricia Hildreth and June MacDonald; her ex-husband, George Shu, as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws. She was preceded in death by her husband of 33 years, Kenneth Ross Norman, her parents, Ruby and Frank McDermott, and her brother, Stephen Paul McDermott.
Marlene was a loving, kind woman who wanted to help everyone she met. Born June 22, 1938 in Levenshulme, Manchester, England, to Irish parents, she considered herself fortunate to have been surrounded by her extended family during the war years. Later, she and most of her family emigrated to Canada. In 1962, Marlene graduated with a B. A. in English from Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts, where she was a cheerleader, volleyball player, basketball player, student council member and elected to the Homecoming Court. Eventually, she completed her Master’s degree in Education Counseling at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. She worked for several years as a teacher, but ultimately put her teaching career on hold to raise her 4 children. Ken’s job brought Marlene and family to many exotic places throughout the Caribbean, and Marlene always worked to ensure that the family took advantage of these opportunities to grow closer together. Even when she was stricken with Alzheimer’s, Marlene never lost her appreciation of a good joke, her uninhibited laughter, or her strong faith in Jesus Christ. She will be missed, but the love and kindness that she demonstrated during her lifetime will stay in the memory of those who knew her. A memorial service will be held on January 27,2018. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Alzheimer’s Community Care, 800 Northpoint Pkwy suite 101-b, West Palm Beach, FL 33407.