Norma Long 81 of Waco Texas passed away Wednesday August 25, 2010, at a Temple Hospital.
Norma was born in Mansfield Ohio on December 3, 1928 to Lucille and Harvey Frisch. She graduated from Madison High School in Mansfield in 1946. She met Earl Long in 1948 when they both worked at Kobackers Department store in Mansfield Ohio. Earl was the manager of the mens department and Norma worked as a secretary in the office.
Norma was married to Earl on February 18, 1950 in Mansfield Ohio. That was the beginning of 54 years of a loving and adventurous relationship. Norma and Earl were never the ones to set idle and let life pass them by. They lived a very active and full life. They were never afraid to face a challenge. In 1960 they did not think twice about leaving their life long friends and family and moving their three sons 1200 miles away to a totally foreign place to insure a better climate for theirs sons to live in. When they moved to Waco it did not take them long before they were making new friends and starting their lives over. It was not uncommon for the family to spend hours on weekends traveling around the back roads of Texas exploring this great big new place they now called home. They rapidly made new friends here and continued to make friends all their lives.
They raised three sons, Greg, Doug and David and had three daughters in law that they loved just as much as their sons, Connie, Denise and Reecie. There greatest pride and joy was their six grandchildren, Kristi, Katie, Mandi, Brian, Mitchell and Allie.
Looking into this group gathered here it is so wonderful to see so many of Norma’s friends here.
Last night at the visitation the things I heard the most were what a good friend she was and what an incredibly positive attitude she had.
Thank you everyone for joining us here today to celebrate the life of our mother Norma Long. My brothers and I truly appreciate you being here with us.
Remembering Norma you can’t forget her love to travel, this was just part of her adventurous spirit. She loved taking trips to see new places and most of all loved traveling back to Ohio and visiting her sister Shirley who is here with us today and her family and the many friends she had there.
In 1963 Mom and dad bought a pop up trailer and a rather large station wagon and took us boys on a 2 week camping trip to California and back. Looking back it kind of reminds me of the National Lampoon movie Vacation. The things we did and saw on that trip Norma and we boys still talked about. She did have a fear of Bats, and when camping in Yosemite Park there were bats flying around one night. I told her not to worry that those weren’t bats they were western brownies. Of course she didn’t believe that. We laughed about that for years.
She was a very good cook and her house was always open to anyone. When us boys were growing up it was not uncommon for one or more of our friends to sit down at the dinner table with us every night. I am not sure if they came for the good food or watch Norma try to get Doug to eat. Have you ever seen anyone search for fat in their mashed potatos, well Doug would and it was quite comical watching Norma convincing Doug that there is not fat in mashed potatos.
Norma lived and believed that hard work never hurt anyone. I truly have never known anyone that wanted to and could work as hard as she could.
She even loved to mow grass. I remember when she and Earl owned several rent houses and apartments around town. Norma had her little trailer with her lawn mower and she would go to each one and mow each yard. Not because she didn’t want to pay someone to do it, she loved doing it. She mowed her yard at her house until it just got to be more than she could handle. I remember talking to her many times lately and I could tell that it really bothered her that she could not work in her yard all the time like she wanted to. She loved being in and working in her yard.
I also remember when one of their apartment houses caught on fire many years ago. I went down there one day looking for her and there she was on the roof with the carpenter nailing up new rafters and roof decking. He didn’t have a helper that day, so she just jumped up there and became his helper. This was not uncommon for her.
Mom was mentally the strongest and most positive person I have ever known. She truly believed that the mind had power over everything else. She has faced health issues that would get most anyone down. Her ability to mentally challenge anything that came her way was at the least, remarkable. Norma’s Positive attitude was what guided her through life and inspired her family and everyone around her.
She “LOVED” life, she loved living life and she loved living it to its fullest. And she did live it to its fullest until the last day.
She always has been the inspiration and the rock to everyone in our family and always will be.
When we boys were younger Norma was never shy to bring down the hand of discipline when we deserved it. I think she invented the saying, “spare the rod, and spoil the child”. I remember when we were growing up her hand of discipline was a nice limber, long, wide leather belt. Of course being the oldest, I learned quicker than Doug and David the best way to take the belt. I would just stand there, grit my teeth and take what I knew I had coming, Doug, well Doug never got into trouble, but David, the youngest, that was fun to watch. Norma would get her belt and David would become the little spider monkey, she would grab his arm and he would be turning summer salts and jumping and going every which way. What “I” knew, is if she took a swipe at you with the belt and missed the first time things would suddenly become worst. Doug and I would hear the belt hit the wall on that first swipe and we knew it was not going be a pleasant outcome for David after that. It made for some entertaining times.
On the other hand she was very tolerant if our mischief involved good clean fun. I remember one night when we were all quite young, Earl was traveling during the week and Norma was in a bowling league. Well this night all three of us were in the front yard along with a couple neighbor kids playing. We had found some rebar that had been bent into 90 degree pieces for corner pieces of foundations. Well we got this wild idea to see who could make one hang on the power lines overhead. One was thrown and it contacted two power lines at the same time and caused a total neighborhood black out. Somehow Norma heard about the blackout and within 15 minutes called the house. She did not ask if we were alright or if everything was OK at home. Her exact words were, “what did you boys do?” She knew her boys very well.
Norma loved the outdoors. She loved the lake and loved to fish. Just this past summer she decided she wanted to start enjoying the lake and fishing again and at 81 went and bought a new pontoon boat. She loved being on the lake and she did enjoy that boat this past year.
Norma loved people and she always remembered people and what their names were. She had an incredible memory. She could remember a name or a date from many years ago. If we ever wanted to know who or when we could always call Norma and she would know.
On Norma’s refrigerator there are two magnets, one reads (FRIENDS ARE THE BEST COLLECTABLES) and the other reads (TRUE FRIENDS ARE THE RAREST OF ALL GIFTS). This she truly believed. This is how she lived her life. Her family ALWAYS came first but her friends were a close second.
If you ever needed a sympathetic ear, Norma always had one.
She was always the first one to want to help someone. I don’t care what the need was or what the task was you could always count on help from Norma. She never thought about any inconvenience to herself, she just always jumped in and helped.
Even recently I was stuck in DFW airport not knowing if I could get a flight out to get home because of bad weather and I was talking to her on the phone letting her know where I was and she said “I will just jump into the car and come get you” 81 and wanting to drive 140 miles a the drop of a hat. She didn’t even think twice about it. I did talk her out of it.
But the many times and many people she has reached out to and helped in one way or the other is countless. If I ever got down I knew that I could call her and get encouragement for whatever the situation.
With Norma you never had to worry about what she thought about anything, if it was on her mind, like it or not she was going to tell you exactly what she thought.
Mom loved animals. As Doug said the other day, she always chased away stray cats and dogs with a bowl of milk in one hand and a bowl of food in the other. Her animals always brought joy to her.
She enjoyed taking her grandchildren and her nieces to Fossil Rim Park and feeding the animals.
She loved her grandchildren and always stayed on top of what was going on in their lives. Whenever she was with them she always had an extra gleam in her eyes.
Norma understood the importance and strength of family and made it a point that the family was always together during the holidays. There never was a holiday season that we weren’t all together. She was the main stay in maintaining a strong family. Norma and my wife Connie became best friends, Connie told me she cannot remember a day in the past several years that she did not talk to Norma at least once during the day. I know Norma enjoyed the daily calls she got from Doug each day. David has always made frequent trips from Odessa to spend time at home and I know she looked forward to those visits.
A couple years ago Norma developed a special companionship with Tommy Shivers. The family has taken Tommy in as part of the family and we all appreciate the special relationship he and Norma had together. They loved to go dancing and even went dancing just a couple weeks ago. Tommy brought a renewed spark to Norma’s life these last couple years and we all know he brought happiness to her and she brought happiness to him as well.
There are so many stories and so many positive things I could stand up here and tell about Norma I could go on for hours. But I am going to let it go at this and
Once again, thank you all so much for being here with us on this special day, it truly means a lot to us and I know Norma is looking in and smiling at all of you with that big smile of hers.
By Greg Long
We want to hear from you! Call or email to tell us about your indoor air quality problems. We’ll help you find the right solution.