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Norma Lee Saltzman

February 26, 1929 November 14, 2020
Norma Lee Saltzman
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Obituary for Norma Lee Saltzman

Godspeed to the Great Reward and the joyful reunion with sons Jimmy and Bill, grandsons Corey, Chad and Zachary, daughter-in-law Jenny, and so many others. November 14, 2020 will be a day not soon forgotten.

Born February 26, 1929 in Perkins, OK to Addie West Chapman and Joseph Chapman following twins Mildred and Marvin. She was one of seven with three brothers and a sister following her – Doyle, Dale, Delbert, and Wanda.

She joined Mildred on a trip to Virginia so see Mildred’s spouse. Robert was on furlough from the Navy and this was the chance encounter that connected her to her future husband, Richard. The suave young sailor convinced her quite quickly to marry him.

Discharged from the Navy, this new family made their way home to Montana with three little stairstep children, Jimmy, Janie, and Lynn. A mattress tied to the roof of the car and anything else they could bring. Montana became Mom’s home and a state she loved. She often thanked Dad for bringing her here and loved a drive to look at the scenery. Thereafter Bill and Kaye joined the mix.

A hardworking woman, she gardened, canned, froze food, baked bread, sewed, and re-invented all worthy objects to care for her family of seven. Venison was a staple. Waste not, want not was a motto she lived by. Finances were tight but never a hungry belly in our home. She was a great cook but modest when complimented. She loved bright colors and flowers and their home is reflected in her taste. Her flower garden received many compliments from passers-by including one young man who gave them a re-invented karate trophy with the plate reading “one kick butt yard”. Thank you to that young man for making their day with that honor. And a laugh or two.

After Dad retired from the State Highway Department and joined the private sector in construction, they found themselves living in RV’s while Dad worked in other states. Washington, Hawaii, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah were temporary locations. Always faithful, she went where Dad went.

As a tribute to her strength, she cared for her son Bill’s juvenile diabetes, diagnosed at age two. 1955 offered no state-of-the-art instruments to help guide her. Mother’s instincts, trial and error, and the Grace of God were her tools. She even told the physician that she had to have free will to control his blood sugars as she was the one feeding him, watching activity, etc. As a testimony to her ability, Bill survived that disease to age 61 with the loss of vision in only one eye, functioning kidneys, and still employed at the time of his death.

Mom was Dad’s companion over 69 years, fishing, traveling, playing, and working side by side. His (and our) world will never be the same. Mom expressed her love for Dad and thanked him daily for caring for her. Flirtatious, her sense of humor intact, even though her mind was failing. She commented frequently that “your father is a good man”, something she never forgot. Fulfilling her final wish, he made it possible for her to remain in their home to the end. And thanks to Lynn for being there to assist in her final days as illness had Janie and Kaye isolated from Mom and Dad.

As per Mom’s words, “I am excellent!”. We agree!

Survivors are husband Richard, daughter Janie Cook (Kenneth), son Lynn (Mary), daughter Kaye Picking (Mike), numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, siblings Delbert and Wanda, and multiple nephews and nieces.

Preceded in death by sons Jimmy and Bill, grandsons Corey Saltzman, Chad Cook, and Zachary Picking, daughter-in-law Jenny Saltzman, her parents Addie and Joseph, siblings Marvin, Mildred, Doyle, and Dale.

A private family gathering will be held as she requested no services. Rest in Pease, we love you, till we meet again, Your Loving Family.

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