Norma Vale Reeves Busler, 85, lifelong resident of Umatilla, Ore., passed away peacefully August 18, 2018, in Spokane, Wash., with her family at her side.
Norma was born at home in Umatilla to Ernest T. and Florence Rachel Reeves on January 25, 1933. Norma grew up with her five siblings on the family farm. She was extremely close to her brothers and sisters, taking care of all of them at one time or another as they aged and needed assistance.
While growing up Norma was very active in Umatilla High School events. She played sports, played in the band, was a cheerleader and was valedictorian of her graduating class. She was also a member of the Umatilla High School alumni association for many years.
In 1952 Norma married Donald A. Andersen. They had to two children, David Andersen of Portland, Ore., and Dawn Andersen Watts of Spokane, Wash. Don and Norma later divorced.
She returned to her birthplace and went to work at the Umatilla Army Depot where she eventually worked her way up to become a supervisor supply clerk. She retired from the Army Depot after 33 years of rising at 4:30 a.m. so she could carpool to work. Norma’s children were her pride and joy and she worked tirelessly to provide for them with the assistance of her mother, sisters and brothers.
Norma dearly loved the Lord, her church, and her church family. She became a member of the Umatilla Community Presbyterian Church in the 1960s and was a lifetime member. She held many positions at the church, serving as Sunday school teacher, session member and choir director, to name a few. Her grandchildren all thought she “owned the church.” Until her recent illness, she was the “go-to” person for said church.
Norma attended all of her children’s events when they were growing up. She did the same for all of her grandchildren, at least as much as her schedule would allow. All her grandchildren’s friends knew her as Grandma Norma, the grandma with the “purple hair” and pink umbrella. Over the years, Norma traveled thousands of miles between Portland and Colfax, Wash., to see her children and grandchildren. She also spearheaded several trips to Illinois to visit extended family. Those trips with her sisters, nieces and daughter were very special to her.
Family was very important to Norma, so were her friends. She not only had friends her own age, but also had friends that her children introduced to her. Some of the best times Norma experienced late in life were visits from her family friends, her pastor, her nieces and her sister, Jeannie (Reeves) Creamer. Sister Jeannie was a constant support and companion when her time allowed. The two would often sit and do crossword puzzles, play Yahtzee, or read books.
Norma enjoyed good health most of her life until the winter of 2016, when she was diagnosed with cancer. Even after several surgeries, radiation and treatments, Norma remained at peace with her circumstances and her faith and family carried her through the rough spots. Following her diagnosis, Norma moved to Spokane to live with her daughter and son-in-law. They were joined by her grandson, Tim, and his wife, Alexandrea, a few months later as they began the process of building their home. Her great-granddaughter, Mazie, represented the fourth generation in the household and knew her simply as G.G. (Great-Grandma).
Norma was a wonderful mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, friend, and believer. She always gave of her time and never expected anything in return. She had a servant’s heart and always found a way to help someone in need. She will be missed on this earth, but we know she will be with all those she loved who have passed before her.
Norma is survived by her son, Dave Andersen of Portland, Ore., and her daughter Dawn (Andersen) Watts of Spokane, Wash. She is also survived by one sister, Jeannie Creamer, four grandchildren (Keith, Tim, Kristin and Drew), and one great-grandchild (Mazie). She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Florence and Ernest Reeves; two brothers, Harold and Bennie Reeves; and two sisters, Dottie (Reeves) Stephens and Patsy (Reeves) Hutchinson.
If you wish to honor Norma with a memorial donation, you may contribute to the Umatilla Community Presbyterian Church, Umatilla Alumni association or the American Cancer Society.
A celebration of life for Norma will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 25, 2018, at the Umatilla Community Presbyterian, located at 14 Martin Drive. A private family burial will be at Sunset Hills Cemetery, Umatilla, Oregon.
Please sign the online condolence book at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon, is in care of arrangements.