Norma Jean Stockman stepped across the threshold into heaven December 3 at the age of 83 and into the arms of Jesus and to the joyous greeting of friends and relatives who went before her. She has no more pain and can rejoice now with full breaths.
Norma's love of God, devotion to family, enjoyment of other people, gift of music and infectious laugh were well known. She was born May 18, 1929, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, the second of five children, to Clyde and Rose Sturm. She learned the value of hard work and Christians values and was never afraid of tackling any job. And she would do it with joy and excellence.
Norma met and fell in love with Brennan Stockman when she was only 16 years old while performing at a USO show in Muskogee at the Veterans Hospital. They were married on April 4, 1947, just before her 18th birthday, and loved and supported one another for more than 65 years. They complemented each other, and their faithfulness has served as a model for everyone around.
Besides Norma's primary role as wife, mother, grandmother, cook, chauffeur, counselor and friend, she managed to have several careers. After moving to Bartlesville with their young family in 1959, she stayed at home for a few years. Then she began a career at JC Penney's, starting out as a clerk and eventually becoming a merchandiser. People were her specialty-making them feel special.
After leaving JCP, she and Brennan established Big 4 Moving Company, serving the community for several years. During the big flood of 1986, they diligently saved the belongings of as many people as possible. Norma, Brennan, and friends spent many hours cleaning, washing, and repacking boxes for others. After closing that business, they began doing estate sales. Many have commented "My house has been furnished by 'sales by Norma.'" They continued these sales for over 20 years, completing their final one Thanksgiving of 2011. She also helped many people move into retirement centers, serving as their moving coordinator and helping them get established.
For many years, Norma had a huge garden, canning and freezing what she could, giving away much, and selling the rest. Proceeds from these sales went into a brown teapot which was opened and spent on a vacation in early August each year.
Throughout the years, Norma was a part of many bands, entertaining at dances, nursing homes, retirement centers and Prairie Song. She played everything from Big Band Era to country songs, to songs from the 1930s-1950s. Her most recent group was the Remeniscers with John Weymeyer and Jerry Lemen.
In addition to piano and keyboard, she also played the vibes, accordion and organ. She taught accordion for several years and had an accordion band in Cushing, Oklahoma.
Norma was predeceased by her parents Clyde and Rose Sturm and a brother Donald Sturm, all of Muskogee. She is survived by her loving husband Brennan of Bartlesville, son and daughter-in-law David (Mike) and Karen Stockman of Columbia, Missouri; daughter and son-in-law Kay and David Mains of Tulsa; grandson Jeff Mains of Plano, Texas; granddaughter Tricia Hulliung of Mascoutah, Illinois; Cindy Ivey of Forest Lake, Minnesota; grandson Michael Stockman of Omaha, Nebraska; granddaughter Julie Likens of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; six great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her sister Violet Blair of Muskogee, Oklahoma; brother and sister-in-law Bill and Ann Sturm of Gainesville, Virginia; brother and sister-in-law Bob and Sharon Sturm of Denver, Colorado.
Words that describe Norma are: friendly, faithful, dependable, hard working, companion, friend.
Norma requested that donations be made to First Methodist Church in her name in lieu of flowers. Arrangements are under the direction of Walker-Brown Funeral Home. Celebration of her life will be held at First United Methodist Church in downtown Bartlesville, on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. with Reverend Buz Wierick officiating.
You are with God, Norma. Your family and friends are rejoicing with you and will see you again.