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Margaret Gary
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Katharine 'Kay' Norem

March 8, 1931 ~ July 20, 2018

Service: July 30, 2018 2:00 PM
   Location: Hope Lutheran Church

Katharine “Kay” Norem passed away on July 20, 2018. Kay was born on March 8, 1931 in Moorhead, MN. She was the fifth out of six children to Fred M. Scheel and Mabel Benedict Scheel.

Kay grew up spending her summers on Pelican Lake. The walls of her home today still hold photos of the memories created there swimming, water skiing, and bonding with her siblings and extended family.

After graduating from Moorhead High School in 1948, she attended Monticello Women’s College in Alton, IL for one year and then attended North Dakota State University for two years.

In 1951, she married Don Norem and they lived at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas during the first few years of marriage. Their sons Jim and Mark were born at the Air Force Base. They then moved to Fargo so Don could finish college, and this is where their daughter Karen was born.

Summer vacations provided Kay the opportunity to take her children to her beloved Pelican Lake each year so they could grow up learning to love the water, being surrounded by family, and creating memories like she had.

In 1961, Don and Kay landed at a ranch in Columbus. Never having lived on a ranch, Kay learned how to calve a cow, feed livestock, and have dinner for the hired men on the table every single day at 12 o’clock on the dot; all while wrangling three young children. She was the picture of grit and grace, and those qualities were both present throughout the rest of her life.

In 1965, they moved to Bozeman and have made the Gallatin Valley their home ever since. Kay enjoyed volunteering; she had a humility that didn’t expect recognition or praise, but she simply found value in giving back. She was a 58-year member of P.E.O, active for 50 years in Chapter F. She built many dear friendships from her time with that group of women. She also volunteered at Hope Lutheran Church, where she was a member for many years. Kay loved spending time in her garden, and as a result had a beautiful yard each summer.

Her love of travel started after a trip to Europe with her parents and brother, Bob, when she was a teenager. Kay enjoyed exploring new places, seeing beautiful sights, and learning about different cultures. Her sister, Pat, was her travel partner for both stateside trips and European tours. Just like her dad instilled a love of travel in her, she passed that love on to Karen. The two of them have a collection of wonderful travel memories.

Perhaps Kay’s greatest joy was watching her grandchildren grow up. She delighted at the invitation to be an integral part of Shawn and Brett’s childhood. She enjoyed one-on-one time with Shawn driving him to his golf practices and with Brett to his early morning jazz band class. Her house was their first stop on the way home from school from elementary through college. She beamed watching the boys take ski lessons and was the best listener when they had a story from a day on the mountain as they got older. When Shawn went off to college at University of Utah she made a tradition of visiting him and checking out the Salt Lake Farmer’s Market that lasted well past his return to Bozeman. As a result of Brett’s four years at Gonzaga she became one of the biggest Gonzaga basketball fans you will meet. Some of her favorite memories were graduation trips with Brett and Shawn – exploring the Irish countryside, hiking the Swiss Alps, and trying as much fresh pasta and gelato in Italy as they could in a week. More recently, she looked forward to her visits to New York City where Brett and his family live.

Since 2003, Kay has been spending summer weekends at Hauser Lake. Like Pelican Lake, this has become a gathering place to slow down, create rich family memories, and end a day on the water sitting on the deck with family and a bowl of blueberry cottage pudding with vanilla ice cream. She especially loved watching Keegan, Brady and Norah experience their first runs behind the boat and turns at Bridger Bowl. There was no one whose face lit up with pride more beautifully than Kay’s. 

Kay was the kind of woman you hope to become, which is why her great-granddaughter Norah was given her middle name, Katharine.  Kay lived life well – full of love, a little adventure, deep kindness, and a humility that made her easy to be around. She will be deeply missed.

Kay is preceded in death by her husband Don in February of this year, brothers Jimmy (age 10) and Fred B. Scheel, sisters-in-law Ginna Scheel and Joan Scheel, and brother-in-law Tom Crary. She is survived by her sister Pat Crary of Fargo, brothers Bob Scheel of Fargo and Chuck (Francie) Scheel of Clinton, WA; her children Jim (Kerry) Norem of Olympia, WA; Mark (Sonya) Norem of Big Timber and Mark’s children Kaycee, Stacee, Darcy and Christopher; and Karen Toresdahl of Bozeman and Karen’s sons Shawn (Carli) and grandsons Keegan and Brady Toresdahl of Bozeman and Brett (Jodie) and grandchildren Norah and Conor Toresdahl of New York City as well as six other great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Monday, July 30 at Hope Lutheran Church; a reception will follow from 3:00 to 5:00 P.M. at Riverside Country Club.

Donations may be made to Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 W. Graf St., Bozeman, MT 59718; or Cancer Support Community, 102 S. 11th Ave., Bozeman, MT 59715.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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