Norma Jean Leimbach
June 8, 1935 – January 23, 2019
Norma Jean (Chiera) Rawls Leimbach died peacefully at home with her family by her side on Wednesday, January 23nd.
Norma was born June 8, 1935 in Haywood, West Virginia. At an early age, Norma showed her natural interest in nursing others. At the age of 12, she took her grandfather's cigar box and fashioned a first aid kit to nurse the local boys playing pick-up football. After high school she attended the Norfolk General Hospital School of Nursing and became a registered nurse. Her nursing career and joy of caring for others continued for 50 years.
Those lucky enough to know Norma can attest to her spirited playfulness, and flowing dance moves with her husband Robert on the dance floor. She shared her love of bridge with many friends through the years, especially her Newcomers and Oliver's Landing bridge clubs. She also enjoyed golfing and reading mysteries. She was excellent with needlework and her many crochet projects are treasured by her family.
Norma was predeceased by her parents, Joseph Chiera of Calabria, Italy and Lillie Mae Hester of Haywood WV, her siblings Wilmer Franklin Chiera, Lawrence Ray Chiera, Harold Edwin Chiera, Edna Lorraine Ingignoli, David Lee Chiera, her first husband, Dennis Eugene Rawls, and her son, Dennis Brandon Rawls. She is survived by her husband, Robert Leimbach, brother Robert Chiera (Janet) of Wayne, WV, daughters Sherry Rawls-Bryce (Bill) of Winchester, VA, Joy Miller (Rick) of Vale, NC, daughter-in-law Joanne Rawls of Swansboro, NC, and beloved grandchildren Kristen Heckler (Brian), Heather Bradshaw (Daniel), Brandon Rawls (Adrienne), Keaton Rawls-Bryce (Christina), and 3 great grandchildren, with a fourth on the way. She is also survived by numerous extended family members but had a special closeness with her niece Nancy Lou Harris (Milton), nephew Joseph Ingignoli (Stephanie), and great nieces Chiera and Alex Ingignoli.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Catawba Regional Hospice, 3975 Robinson Road, Newton, NC 28658, catawbaregionalhospice.org or Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church, 9379 NC Hwy 127, Hickory, NC 28601.
Catawba Memorial Park has been entrusted with the interment arrangements which will be private. A memorial celebration of Norma’s life will be held at Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church, 9379 NC Hwy 127, Hickory, NC 28601 on February 15th, 2019 at 4:00 pm.