Norma Jean Swanson, 80, of Gardner, passed away Jan. 7, 2014 at Olathe Medical Center.
Norma was born Dec. 5, 1933 in Kansas City, Kan., to Robley D. and Anne Guillaume Evans. She grew up in Kansas City, Kan., graduating from Bishop Ward High School. Norma married Robert James Swanson on April 11, 1953 in Kansas City, Kan. They moved to Gardner in 1954.
She was a homemaker for many years then worked more than 20 years at Farmer’s Bank and First Kansas Bank in Gardner. Norma then worked as an insurance agent for Jeff Sears American Family Insurance Agency in Spring Hill, Kan., retiring in 2013.
She was a member of Divine Mercy Catholic Church, and a life member of the American Legion Auxillary Unit No. 19. Norma was active with her children in 4-H and a past member of the Johnson County Fair Board and Kansas State Fair Board where she was inducted into the Kansas State Fair Board Hall of Fame. She was Past President of her auxiliary unit, second district and Department of Kansas American Legion Auxillary. She also served as American Legion Auxillary Central Division National Vice President.
Being very involved with her husband Bob in veteran organizations, Norma joined La Societe de Femmes. She was a long-time member serving Locale 1510 in many positions including La President, La Sous President, La Aumonier, La Commissaire Intendante and several years as La Correspondante. She also served the state organization on many committees and the offices of Grande Garde de la Porte, La Aumonier, La Commissaire Intendante, La Correspondante and La President. She went on to represent Kansas as La Cheminot Nationale to the national organization. Norma will be dearly missed by family, friends and her community.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Bob and infant daughter Carol Jean.
Norma is survived by children Sharon (Mike) Spiker, of Wetmore, Kan.; Susan (Larry) Jennings, of Paola, Kan.; Robert (Debbi) Swanson, of Spring Hill; Kathy (George) Higginbotham, of Olathe; Pam (Larry, Jr.) Demaree, of Gardner; Marlene Bailey, Arkansas City, Kan.; Mary Higginbotham, of Gardner; Janet (Rob) McRae, of Spring Hill; Mike (Diane) Swanson, of Olathe; siblings Donald Evans and Ron Evans, both of California; Craig Evans, of New York; David Evans, of Paola; Lynda McCale, of Arizona; and brother-in-law Dr. John J. (Betty) Swanson, of Kansas City,Kan.; 16 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m., Jan. 13, 2014 at Divine Mercy Catholic Church, 555 W. Main, Gardner, KS 66030. Burial follows at St. Columbia Catholic Cemetery. An American Legion Auxiliary Service will be held at 2:45 p.m. with visitation from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Jan. 12, 2014, Rosary will begin at 5 p.m., held at Bruce Funeral Home, Gardner, KS (913)856-7111. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Legion Auxiliary LeRoy Hill Unit No. 19 Scholarship Fund or the Knights of Columbus Gardner Community Garden. Condolences may be left at www.brucefuneralhome.com.