Obituary of Norma Serena Thorsen
On December 7, 2023, Norma Thorsen flew off to heaven to be reunited with her husband, Gil, and other beloved family and friends.
Norma, the daughter of Norwegian immigrants, grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She moved out west to California after marrying her husband, Gil, and 65 years later, Norma still had her Brooklyn accent and strength.
After graduating high school, Norma went to nursing school while in New York and became a registered nurse. She had a long career as an RN working in California and Idaho, taking a break for a bit to raise her kids.
Norma was a caretaker and a helper, and this went beyond just her career as a nurse. Norma served in every church she attended. She was a Sunday school teacher and Mariner within the Presbyterian church; also organizing Christmas events that included making crafts and eating chili. She ran the Merry Methodist group at First United Methodist Church in Meridian, Idaho, more than doubling the attendance of the group at the time. Norma was the hostess with the mostess, making sure all were welcomed and included.
Norma was a creative who could make beautiful things out of nothing; mosaic tile tables, piggy banks from Clorox bottles and felt, a landscape picture from broken colored glass and metallic yarn. She pieced together fabric and made beautiful quilts and wall hangings. She did needle work and crocheted. She was a cake decorator, tole painter and card maker. Norma left a trail of flowers at every home she lived in, planting, weeding and gardening. She loved to decorate her home, making it comfortable, beautiful, and fun.
But more than her career and hobbies, what Norma loved most was her family. She was a Mom to three kids: David, Carolyn, and Glenn, and along with her husband, Gil, she loved them with her whole heart. She supported all their events; football games, basketball games, baseball games, wrestling and soccer. She yelled and cheered louder than anyone else in the stands…sometimes louder than even the coaches. She showed up and proudly participated in our lives. Her love for her family was fierce and that love grew to include her daughters-in-law: Jodi (married to her high school sweetheart, David), and Janna (married to her high school sweetheart, Glenn); and her son-in-law, Scott (married to Carolyn).
And then came Norma’s six grandkids: Brianne, Matt, Nick, Kyle, Serenna and Abby. They grew Norma’s heart even bigger. Norma and her husband, Gil, took them on camping trips, riding lawn mower rides, and adventures playing in her large back yard. Traveling to Washington and Oregon for grandkid visits was a favorite pastime. Mom loved to spend time with them all. While visiting, she played with her grandkid’s and their Batman dolls and Breyers horses. She attended different sporting events as well as graduations. She even got to see one of her grandkids, Matt, cheerleading on tv. She had one grandchild in Idaho, Kyle, and she spent quality time with him very often. Together they laughed and played, did yard work and other activities, and sometimes, they just hung out. Norma went to Kyle’s band concerts, and his graduation even while fighting cancer.
Norma’s grandkids grew bigger and older and so did Mom’s heart. Some of them married, and Norma’s heart stretched even wider when she became a great grandma, known as GG. Brianne married David Mazzone, and together they have four children; David, Caden, Alexander, and Charlotte. Mom loved them all enjoying the quiet sweetness of David, the humor and storytelling of Caden, the joyfulness of Alexander and the beauty and love of baby Charlotte, who Norma met and held for the first in June.
Matt married a lovely woman, Hannah, and they have one child, little Ella who GG loved and knew through videos, FaceTime, and photos. Her clapping, smiling and dancing made GG smile.
Kyle married Chrissy and along with the gift of Chrissy came two great grandkids, Joe and Addi. They were 4 and 2 when they came into Norma’s life and Norma claimed them as her own, making sure they knew they were loved and chosen. She loved to watch Joe dance and to hear his jokes and all about school. She loved to watch Addi play, pretend and sing, saying Addi was an actress in the making.
Through the years, Norma loved extravagantly; she loved with her whole heart. She had many friends who were family to her. She cared for many patients as a nurse, positively affecting the lives of thousands. She loved her pets, and they were family. Norma rescued two different dogs over the past eleven years: Max and then Luci, adopting them through Fuzzy Pawz Rescue. She rescued Max and Luci and they rescued Mom.
When family gathered this year for one last Thanksgiving we shared about the qualities and memories of our Mom/Grandma/GG. The words that were used to describe Mom again and again were: “loving”, “kind”, “generous” and “humor”. She was all those qualities and more. She was joy and laughter, love and beauty. She was gracious, a helper, and a caretaker.
Family was everything to her, and she was everything to us. Her memory and legacy will continue on through the lives of Norma’s children, son-in-law and daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and great grandchildren and the 28 scrapbooks she created documenting our family’s history. She will be loved and missed by us all, including her beloved sister, Alice, who Norma loved very much.
A memorial will be held in the springtime just when all the flowers at her homes bloom in remembrance of Norma.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that you might donate to Fuzzy Pawz Rescue in Norma’s honor, hug your family and friends and perform an act of kindness within your community.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Norma Thorsen, please visit Tribute Store