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Norman C. Zeter


1934 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Norman C. Zeter Obituary
Zeter, Norman C.



Norman C. Zeter, 82, died peacefully at his home in Rio Rancho surrounded by his family on June 13, 2016, following a courageous battle with brain cancer. Norm was a resident of New Mexico for 36 years.



Norm was born in Lincoln, Illinois, on February 21, 1934 to Helen (Hoelscher) and Carl Zeter, the eldest of two sons. He graduated from Lincoln Community High School and attended the University of Illinois before graduating from Bradley University with a degree in engineering. He served in the U.S. Army. It was in Lincoln that he met and married Sandra Ball, his wife of nearly 57 years.



His entire professional career centered on construction and heavy equipment. Starting as a design engineer at Caterpillar Tractor Co. in Peoria, Illinois, Norm later moved on to another heavy equipment company, WABCO, where he eventually served as Parts Sales Manager. This job took him around the world as he set up and managed parts depots in the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, and Central America.



A dream of owning his own business took the family to Richmond, Virginia, where he founded James River Equipment, the local John Deere construction equipment dealer. While living in Richmond, he was appointed to the Hanover County School Board, a position that gave him an opportunity to proudly serve his community.



After eight years in Virginia, another job opportunity brought him to Albuquerque, where he worked for Kent Nowlin Construction Company as Vice President of the Equipment Division. At the time, Kent Nowlin was one of the largest construction companies in the Southwest. Still desiring to run his own business, in 1983 he founded Sandia Designers, a residential construction design firm. Working with his wife and business partner Sandra, they built Sandia Designers into a successful company that designed hundreds of homes throughout central New Mexico for both individuals and for builders that included Omega Builders, Artistic Homes, Crombie Construction, D.R. Horton, Scott Patrick Homes, and others. After retiring from Sandia Designers, Norm kept busy with his home business, High Desert Trader, on eBay and Amazon.



Throughout his life, he was active in the Christian church in many roles, including deacon, elder, and serving on the boards of the Virginia Evangelizing Fellowship and the New Mexico Christian Church Starters. He was a leader in the Boy Scouts of America. He was a drummer with the High Desert Pipes and Drums. His great passion, however, was history. When the family moved to Virginia, he spent much time exploring historical sites from the American Revolution and Civil War in Richmond and throughout Virginia. He later enjoyed discovering every corner of New Mexico.



Norm is survived by his wife, Sandra; his two sons, Todd (Anne) and Jeff (Jin); as well as his grandsons Benjamin, Daniel, and Ian. He is also survived by his brother, Leon (Linda) of Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is preceded in death by his parents.



His family wishes to thank the staff at Harmony Hospice for making their path easier during this difficult time.



Services will be held at First Christian Church, 10101 Montgomery Blvd. NE, at 10:00 AM on Saturday, June 18. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Gen2Gen Building Project at First Christian Church.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on June 16, 2016
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