Norma Steele, 94

Norma Steele, a resident of Little Falls, died Monday, April 23, 2012, at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls.

A funeral service will be held Monday, April 30, at 11:00 a.m. at Emblom-Brenny Funeral Service in Little Falls, with the Rev. Mark Hill officiating. Burial will be held at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery north of Little Falls.

Norma was born Oct. 10, 1917, in Marysville, Kan., to the late Marquis and Alice (Cline) Spealman. She grew up in the Marysville area. Norma attended Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. During her time in Kansas, Norma played the piano for a live local radio station. She worked at a government finance office in Denver, Colo., before joining the Coast Guard. She enlisted in the United States Coast Guard July 27, 1944. She was called into active duty Sept. 8, 1944. Norma served during World War II in SPAR (SPAR was the nickname given to the women of the U.S. Coast Guard’s women’s reserve). She received the American Area Ribbon and the World War II Victory Ribbon. Norma entered officers training in 1944. Following her training, she was assigned as a barracks officer in New York City at the St. George Hotel. Norma returned to her civilian job in 1947, when the war ended. Norma was united in marriage to Robert E. Steele April 14, 1954, in Denver. The couple made their home in Wichita Falls, Texas, while Robert completed his military obligation at Sheppard AFB. In 1971, the couple purchased the Big Horn Lake Resort on Lake Ida near Alexandria. In 1981, when they sold the resort, Robert and Norma moved to Greeley, Colo., until 1997, at which time they moved to Little Falls, to be close to family. Robert died June 24, 1998. Norma continued living in Little Falls until her death Monday, April 23, 2012. Norma was very adventurous and enjoyed traveling. She traveled to Europe, the Great Wall of China, the Interior of Mexico many other countries, cruises to the Panama Canal and all 50 states. Most recently, she traveled to Fairbanks, Alaska, in July 2010, to visit her grandson Brett. In September 2010, she traveled on an honorary World War II flight to Washington, D.C. While on her trips, she was always fascinated to visit historical sights. Norma was active with the Women’s Veterans Organization of St. Cloud and also volunteered at St. Gabriel’s Hospital and St. Otto’s Care Center. She was always willing to discuss politics and finances. Norma was an avid reader, card player especially in her card club and socializing with friends and family.

Cherishing her memory are her children, Nancy Dobmeier and Vance Steele of Little Falls; grandchildren, Brett (Jessie) Dobmeier of Fairbanks and Brittany Dobmeier of Minneapolis; extended family, Dr. Chad Hill of Eagan, the Rev. Mark (JoAnn) Hill of Soldotna, Alaska and Nancy Hill and husband, Jack Phelps of Soldotna.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Marquis and Alice (Cline) Spealman; husband, Robert Steele, June 24, 1998; brothers, Mark Spealman, Albert Spealman and Emmit Spealman and a son-in-law, Clarence Dobmeier.

Emblom-Brenny Funeral Home