Norval Edward Norman, known to most simply as Ed, passed away on Wednesday, November 27, 2019; he was 81 years old.
Ed had recently been moved into the memory care facility at Buffalo Creek Assisted Living Center in Waxahachie, Texas, due to the rapid progression of dementia. While the disease robbed him of his memory, it never took his love for his family, his love for his adopted cats, or his love for his creator.
Ed was born on October 7, 1938, In Rule, Texas, to parents Norval Justin Norman and Mondue Carnes Norman. Ed graduated from Odessa High School in 1957 and then attended Oklahoma State University on a football scholarship, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Petroleum and Mechanical Engineering.
Ed honorably served his country as a Marine in the United States Marine Corp reserves, something he proudly displayed on many hats as well as on the license plates of his vehicles.
Ed worked in the petroleum, mining, and tunnel boring industries for over 50 years, visiting over 45 countries on every continent except for Antarctica. During this time, he met Alice Kay Alderson, a flight attendant with Texas International Airlines, and the two of them were married. Ed and Kay later had one child, Keith Hayden Norman. Ed chose Keith’s middle name, Hayden, in honor of his high school and football coach, Hayden Fry; Coach Fry was a mentor to Ed at both Odessa High School as well as at Oklahoma State University.
In 1979, Ed became Managing Director of Smith International’s rock drilling bit operation in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ed, Kay, and Keith, along with three cats (Fuzzy, Tootsie, and Smokey) and a dog (Muffet), moved to South Africa and resided in a suburb of Johannesburg for approximately two years.
Ed strengthened ties with the Southern Baptist Church and frequently invited the missionary families to stay in his home for a few days when they were traveling to and from their assigned mission locations; Ed even allowed some of the missionaries’ children to stay in his home to attend school.
Ed’s dedication to help his fellow man did not stop there. Ed and Kay saw a need for an American curriculum based school for the children of American and other international students and founded the American International School in Johannesburg, actually obtaining accreditation through a public school district in Georgia.
During the years Ed and his family resided in South Africa, the government operated under state mandated segregation called apartheid; this meant strict separation of white, black, and brown children into separate schools. The American International School was a place where children of all races and skin colors could attend school together. Most people do not know of this accomplishment which Ed later described as his single most important accomplishment in his lifetime. Ed was invited and returned to the school 25 years later as a guest speaker at the school’s golden jubilee. The school continues to thrive, even to this day.
Ed had many passions in his life. Ed loved his family, his friends, the Marine Corps, Texas, college football, old cars, Oklahoma State University, public speaking, musical instruments, all of his cats, and collecting junk from yard sales. With his passing, the “free stuff” section on Craigslist will certainly be full again. Ed was always one of the first to volunteer with any community projects. Ed never met a stranger.
Throughout his entire life, Ed loved music and enjoyed performing for others. Ed taught himself to play — and to play well — the banjo, the guitar, and the wash tub bass. Without a doubt, his favorite instrument was the banjo; his old CB radio call sign was the “Banjo Picker.” In college, Ed sang and performed as part of a trio called “The Esoterics,” which primarily performed music by the Kingston Trio.
In his later life at Buchanan West Baptist Church, Ed performed as a member of the “Glory Bound” band; when he lived in Greenville, Texas, Ed also performed in the “Crossroads Gospel Band.” For his entire life, Ed made it a point to be an active part of any church where he attended. In fact, Ed was a participant in starting multiple churches during his lifetime.
In 1997, Ed lost his first wife, Kay, to breast cancer. Ed later remarried to Linda Phillips, a school teacher and school librarian. Ed and Linda spent over 20 years together as husband and wife, living in Greenville, Italy, and Tow, Texas.
Ed is survived by his wife, Linda Norman of Italy, Texas; son, Keith Norman and daughter in law Wendy Norman of Montgomery, Texas; stepson, Lance Logan and wife Rachel Logan of Plano, Texas; grandson, Austin Norman of Montgomery, Texas, and grandsons, Cal, Seth, and Luke Logan of Plano, Texas. Finally, Ed is survived by his last living sibling, Paul Norman of Tow, Texas.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Alice Kay Norman; brothers, Jerry Norman and Larry Norman, and by his sisters, Nelda Norman and Margie Weaver.
The memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, December 15, 2019, at Buchanan West Baptist Church located at 850 Lillian Dean Street, Buchanan Dam, Texas 78609. Guests are invited to a reception at the same church immediately following the memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given to Buchanan West Baptist Church.
To view an obituary or sign the guest book, please visit www.bozemitchellmckibbin.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Boze-Mitchell-McKibbin Funeral Home, 511 W. Main St., Waxahachie, Texas 75165. (972)937-2211