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Ourso Funeral Home

13533 Airline Highway, Gonzales, LA

OBITUARY

Joseph Francis Norman Sr.

March 7, 1933August 14, 2019
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I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7 Joseph Francis Norman, Sr., a resident of Gonzales, affectionately known as “Buzzy”, departed from this life on August 14, 2019 at the age of 86. Joe served in the US Navy during the Korean War, was a retired BASF maintenance supervisor, a member of Nick Kalivoda’s Campus Bible Class and attended Grace Life Fellowship Church. He was an avid Civil War buff who loved history, and having Wednesday lunches with dear friends at the boat. Joe will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Gayle; his sons, Joey and Jamie; his stepson, Cody; granddaughter, Stefanie (Bobby); grandson, Dax (Samantha) and great grandchildren, Thomas, Kloe, Bethany, Shiloh, Gatei and Tasnim. Joe is also survived by his sister, Lenora (Jean) Farris, as well as nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, JC Walker; sister-in-law, JoAnn; daughter, Kathy and son-in-law, Nuredin Tunsi; brother-in-law, Darell Espey and mother-in-law, Althea Espey. Family and friends are invited to attend visitation on Sunday, August 18, 2019 at Ourso Funeral Home from 5PM to 8PM. Visitation will resume at Grace Life Fellowship on Monday, August 19, 2019 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM followed by a celebration of Joe’s life at 11:30 AM. Interment will follow at Resthaven Gardens. Pallbearers will include Russ Walker, Jack Farris, Bobby Jackson, Dax Ballard, Mike Clark, Keith Espey and Kevin Espey. Honorary pallbearer is Barry Farris. The family would like to give thanks for care and compassion to Dr. Miletello, Dr. Walker, Dr. Knapp, Hospice Nurse Jessica White, Hospice Social Worker Leslie Olivier and the Hospice Care Team at the Butterfly Wing-Mid City. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Joe’s memory to Grace Life Fellowship Church, 10210 Barringer Foreman Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. Please visit www.oursofh.com to leave expressions of sympathy and condolences. Ourso Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, August 18, 2019
  • Visitation Monday, August 19, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, August 19, 2019

Memories

Joseph Francis Norman Sr.

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Joey Norman

August 18, 2019

Joey Norman

August 17, 2019

I thank The ( Lord in Heaven) Dad, my brother ,sister and I were given a dad as you, you were fair , loved us unconditionally and kept us out of harms way and we grew up in a a christian home. Many things in life are unknown but you were a constant rock for Gayle and all your kids and grandchildren. I am still here with your loved ones, we will miss and cherish you always until we meet again, and yes thanks to Jesus we shall do just that, your so
loving son, Joey

Joey Norman

August 17, 2019

Joey Norman

August 17, 2019

Joey Norman

August 17, 2019

Joey Norman

August 17, 2019

FROM THE FAMILY

Joseph F. Norman, Sr.

FROM THE FAMILY

Baby Joe

FROM THE FAMILY

Joe in his younger years

FROM THE FAMILY

Joe in his younger years

FROM THE FAMILY

Joseph F. Norman, Sr.

FROM THE FAMILY

Baby Joe

FROM THE FAMILY

Joe in his younger years

FROM THE FAMILY

Joe in his younger years

FROM THE FAMILY

Joe in his younger years

FROM THE FAMILY

Joe, the graduate

FROM THE FAMILY

Joe in his younger years, with friends

FROM THE FAMILY

Joe with Navy buddy

FROM THE FAMILY

Joe - US Navy

FROM THE FAMILY

Joe - US Navy

Biography

Joseph Francis Norman Sr. was a modest man, quiet and observant in his ways. He was trustworthy and traditional in his approach to his life and in his relationships. He was tough-minded with the kind of “stick to it” attitude that earned the respect of all who knew him. He was also a man who was meticulous, carefully disciplined, and orderly in virtually everything he undertook. Realistic about life, he was always prepared to take on responsibility.

His parents were Frank P. Norman and Ellen Walker. Joseph was raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Growing up, Joe learned to be self-confident and dependable. These were traits that would serve him well throughout his life.

Growing up in the Norman household was a bit different than most homes. There were good times to be had, but just as often there was a fair share of challenges as well. However, Joseph was able to work through the usual family problems when they appeared, and he was the one person in the family who seemed able to keep the stress at bay. Joseph was raised with two siblings. He had one older sister, Jean, and one younger brother, J. C. (Butsy). Joseph took special care of his younger brother. Joseph and his siblings may have had the typical rivalries while growing up but Joseph was always consistently loyal to his family.

As a young child, Joseph was never someone who needed to be the center of attention. He wasn’t pushy and never forced his way into games or other activities. Joseph developed a variety of interests, though, and the things he enjoyed doing he did well. He was always curious about the world around him and was often eager to explore it. Joseph took part in football and basketball. However, what Joseph enjoyed most was simply playing and spending time with his friends.

While his teachers and even his friends generally thought of Joseph as being a serious person, he managed to have a pretty good time in high school as he made that critical transition from adolescence to adulthood. Sports played an important part in that transition. Joe graduated from Baker High School in 1951. He enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. His favorite class in high school was History. The teacher he enjoyed learning from the most was Mr. Hornsby. Joe can be remembered in high school for becoming State Champions in Football and Basketball in the same year. Joseph was a very logical person who enjoyed learning about factual information. Using his exceptional memory, he was able to learn much through observation. Joseph always seemed to have a command of the facts and was able to make it seem as though he could easily master any problem that might be presented to him.

Always considered to be a solid friend, Joseph was fortunate to have numerous acquaintances and several very close friends during his life. Since he disliked making generalizations about people and preferred to draw his own conclusions based on direct observation, Joseph was able to see beneath the surface of relationships and became a true friend to those who knew him. He was committed to his friends and valued the trust he placed in them. It was not uncommon for Joseph to go beyond the call of duty for others, and friends frequently sought him out for advice because he had a knack for coming up with practical solutions to any type of dilemma. Later in life, he became good friends with Lloyd Fauntleroy, Robert Judge, Pete Immethun, Richard Menzie, 'Hots' Aull, Jerry Zelmer, and John Perilloux.

On July 25, 1997 Joseph exchanged wedding vows with Gayle Espey at the Lake Tahoe Chapel in Lake Tahoe, California. Devoted to Gayle, Joseph held endearing, traditional values about marriage and family life. He took the responsibility of marriage to heart, giving it his total commitment. He was a source of strength to Gayle and took his role seriously as head of the household. He worked hard to make his new family happy.

Joseph brought the same traditional values in his marriage to bear on how he raised his children. He was a good parent to them, always firm yet fair in his dealings. He would always think things through before he acted, even when it was an adverse situation. Joseph was also a walking schedule, always seeming to know what everyone in the family needed to do, where they needed to be and when they needed to be there. Joseph was blessed with three children, one step child - one daughter, Kathy; two sons, Joey and Jamie; and one step-son, Cody. Joseph was also blessed with four grandchildren: Dax, Stefanie, Gatei, and Tasnim.

Joseph greatly enjoyed what he did for a living. He was a hard worker who expected the same in return from his co-workers. He was skilled at working effectively in small groups and in one-on-one situations as well as handling solo assignments efficiently. Joseph enjoyed dealing with concrete ideas and could penetrate any amount of fuzzy information to reach the essential facts. Always able to attend to the task at hand, Joseph was excellent at meeting deadlines. He was an efficient worker, one who paid careful attention to detail, allowing sufficient time to complete one task before moving on to the next. His primary occupation was Maintenance Supervisor. He was employed for 30 years at BASF Corporation. Joseph worked hard to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done.

Joseph was a Navy Veteran. He was a machinist aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga and was part of Fighter Squadron Thirty-One. Joseph saw action during the Korean Conflict. Through his hard work and dedication, he achieved the rank of 1st Class Petty Officer. A literal thinker who possessed a calm exterior, Joseph seemed to enjoy the routines set forth by the military. His results-oriented approach to things made him committed to the job, and he understood well his role in serving his country.

Joseph liked to experience things first-hand as well as learn about them. This trait carried over into his hobbies, where he was very methodical in how he organized his activities and categorized things. Since he enjoyed his private time, Joseph always tried to allocate a specific time for working on his hobbies. His favorite pursuits were reading the Bible, reading and studying about the Civil War, visiting battle fields, cutting his lawn, and spending time outdoors. Joseph was content to enjoy his hobbies alone but was also willing to share his interests with others.

Joseph found pleasure in sports. Being a person who was comfortable making win/lose decisions throughout life, he could appreciate that athletes made those types of decisions in sports. He applauded those who won, and he enjoyed the statistical data and sports facts and could find himself wrapped up in those details. In high school, Joseph played football and basketball. He would watch his favorite sporting events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were LSU baseball and LSU and Saints football. Joe's favorite college football coach was Nick Saban.

Organizations were grateful to have Joseph as a member, since he always brought with him a “stick to it” attitude and a high degree of common sense. Using straightforward methods to successfully complete the job, Joseph was a great planner who was incredibly well organized. It seemed that he was able to schedule any event or activity with ease. He always seemed to know exactly what needed to be done. In his early adult years, Joe played a big part in the Sunday School ministry at church. Throughout his later years, Joseph was an active member of Nick Kalivoda's Radio Bible Class.

As a man who always showed great commitment to the things he believed in, it’s little wonder that Joseph was so concerned about his community. Being practical and mentally disciplined, Joseph preferred to base his decisions on first-hand experiences. Joseph was never afraid to roll up his sleeves and dig right in. Politically, Joseph was a Conservative Independent. (He was neither Democrat nor Republican.).

Joseph was a man who was dedicated and devoted to his faith. He attended Grace Life Fellowship Church for over 4 years. During that time, he enjoyed attending Pastor Tim's Elective Hour, studying various books of the Bible. He was a sympathetic man who valued his beliefs and was willing to share his faith with anyone who would listen to him.

Joseph enjoyed traveling and taking vacations. He was an early starter and had a knack for researching all of his options and applying cost-effective planning techniques. Favorite vacations included Jerusalem, Egypt, the beaches of Pensacola and Gulf Shores, San Francisco, Gatlinburg, and spending time at his camp on the Amite River.

When Joseph’s retirement arrived in 1996, he busied himself with rebuilding a Ford Mustang and supervising the building of what would become his final home in Gonzales, Louisiana. In retirement, he found new pleasure in volunteering at the Chapel as van driver for foreign students who took conversational English classes. He loved spending time working in his yard. Even in retirement, Joseph continued to stay in touch with his old friends, having classmate luncheons and lunches 'on the boat' with his Veteran friends.

Joseph Francis Norman Sr. passed away on August 14, 2019 at The Butterfly Wing - mid city Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Joseph fought a brave battle against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. He is survived by his wife, Gayle; children Joey, Jamie, Cody; grandchildren Dax (Samantha), Stefanie (Bobby); great grandchildren Thomas, Kloe, Bethany, Shiloh, Getia, and Tasnim. Services were held at Grace Life Fellowship Church. Joseph was laid to rest in Resthaven Cemetery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Commitment is a key word that can be used to describe the life of Joseph Francis Norman Sr. he was committed to living the life of a good man who was both practical and trustworthy. He was committed to the traditional values that he upheld his entire life. He committed himself to being a hard worker who expected the same effort in return from those around him. Most of all, he was committed to those he knew and loved. He left quite a quite a legacy.