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Norm Kelch


1938 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Norm Kelch Obituary

December 2, 1938 - April 2, 2016

On April 2, 2016, Norm Kelch, 77, left his life-long soul mate and beloved "Retta Faye" and went to be with his Heavenly Father. He passed away peacefully in his home in Yuba City, CA. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Loretta, daughters Lorree Mar (Ted) and Malinda Houck, grandchildren Darren Nichols, Douglas Nichols, Wesley Houck, Cassandra Houck, four great-grandchildren, sister Sherry Briggs, and brother Derrell Kelch.

Norm was born to Ambrose Ray and Beatrice Kelch on December 2, 1938 in Chico, CA. He grew up in Chico and married his childhood sweetheart, Loretta Decker, on June 18, 1955. He joined the United States Army that same year, beginning a long and successful military career that took his family on a 20 year adventure all over the world.

Norm served in Korea and Vietnam where he earned the Bronze Star. He was also awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. Other assignments took the family to Oakland Army Terminal, Travis Air Force Base, Rhine Mein AFB and Frankfurt in Germany, the American Consulate in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Fort Ord, CA, and Fort Devens, MA. His last overseas assignment was at Hakata Air Force Base in Japan. He finished his career at Fort Hood, TX where he retired in 1975.

The family returned to Chico, CA where Norm earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Welfare and Corrections from California State University Chico in 1978. He then started his second career in Probation with a brief stint in Tehama County. Two years later he went to work for the Sutter County Probation Department. His last 7 years there were spent as a member of NET-5. Norm was a member of the CPPCA, serving as President twice, and a member of the CNOA. He valued the close relationships he formed in the law enforcement family.

Norm and Loretta made their last home in Yuba City and became very involved community members. Norm was a member of the Yuba City Noon Kiwanis Club until his death. With Loretta by his side, he served as Secretary and President. They made many friends and memories with this wonderful group of people.

Music was a big part of his life. With Loretta on the piano and Norm on the baritone uke, they enjoyed countless hours of harmonizing on the old time toe-taping spirituals.

Norm loved conversations with the people in his life. He had a great sense of humor and always made others feel special whether it was a young great-grandson, a son-in-law, or a friend. He had a keen interest in and knowledge of national and world events which made him interesting to talk to. He was a Christian man who practiced his faith with quiet acts of generosity to his family and his community.

Memorial services will be conducted Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Yuba City with Pastor Gaylord Enns officiating. Military honors from the US Army will take place. Inurnment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to . Arrangements are under the direction of Ullrey Memorial Chapel.

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Published in Appeal Democrat on Apr. 7, 2016
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