Norma Bauerschmidt (1925 - 2016)

Norma Bauerschmidt, a Michigan resident who chose to travel the United States instead of undergoing treatment for cancer, died Sept. 30, 2016, in her motor home on San Juan Island, Washington. She was 91.

Bauerschmidt’s travels were chronicled on social media, inspiring millions of people worldwide. Her “Driving Miss Norma” Facebook page has generated more than 450,000 “Likes.”

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Her journey started Aug. 24, 2015. “It was one year ago that we left northeast Michigan on our epic journey, the breadth and depth of which we could never have imagined,” according to an update to the Driving Miss Norma Facebook page. “We have driven the RV nearly 13,000 miles and slept in over 75 different locations in 32 states. We helped celebrate our National Park Service’s 100th anniversary by visiting a couple dozen national parks, monuments and recreation areas from coast to coast and north to south.

“Miss Norma has experienced more “firsts” than we can count. Big things, like riding in a hot air balloon or on a horse, to little things like getting a pedicure or having her first taste of key lime pie, oysters and fried green tomatoes.”

The page also expressed the Bauerschmidt family’s gratitude.

“Our families, friends, and the many thousands of former strangers have lifted us up and kept our spirits high. We continue to be overwhelmed by the kindness and love that has been directed our way.”

Her story has been covered by NBC’s “Today” show, the “CBS Evening News,” the Huffington Post, and BBC Radio.

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