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Norma Jean Lagomarsino

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Norma Jean Lagomarsino Obituary
Norma Jean Lagomarsino

Ventura, CA

With her family by her side, Norma Jean Lagomarsino passed away peacefully in her home on November 26, 2015. She was born on November 18, 1926 in Burbank, California to Dexter and Minnie Mabrey. Norma grew up in Palm Springs, California. As a child, she frequently visited her relatives in Ojai and Ventura California where she ultimately resided, and met her future husband, Robert. In the early 1930's, she attended Ojai Elementary School for a short time, and then finished her primary education in Palm Springs. Norma enjoyed cooking, gardening, swimming, horseback riding, skiing, singing, and playing tennis. She was a talented soprano with an amazing voice. Her vivacious spirit guided her towards becoming involved in many philanthropic organizations. In 1968, Norma, Alan Rains Jr., and a handful of Ojai residents started the first Ojai Chapter of Pop Warner Youth Football, which later became The Ojai Eagles. In the late 1960's, she taught a cooking class to young members of the local Ojai Valley (Mira Monte) 4-H Club. In 1970, Norma and her husband Robert were instrumental in the creation of a co-educational Villanova Preparatory School. St. Catherine's, an all-girls Catholic high school in Ventura, was the sister school for V.P.S. and at that time had ceased to exist. Parents of V.P.S. students embraced and implemented the change with much optimism. In 1971-72, Norma, Mary Farrar, auctioneer Joe Quinn, and the Villanova Mother's Club established the first annual Villanova Preparatory School Auction. A fundraiser that is in existence to this very day. In the early 1980's, she served as president of The Congressional Club in Washington, D.C., and chaired The Annual First Lady's Luncheon, also held in Washington, D.C. In the mid 1980's, Norma was on The Board of Directors of The National Institute of Mental Health, in Washington, D.C. In 1985, she testified before a U.S. Senate panel about the failures of governmental policies toward the mentally ill. After she spoke, Senators Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy had stated to her husband, then Congressman Robert Lagomarsino, that her testimony had brought tears to their eyes. After her husband had retired from congress, Norma and Robert devoted much of their time at the new university: C.S.U.C.I. She worked hard to establish The Robert J. and Norma M. Lagomarsino Archives.

In her later years, she spent much of her time with her family and helped with organizations such as the Catholic Charities and Child Abuse and Neglect. She also served on the Santa Cruz Island Foundation Advisory Council. As once reported in the Ventura Star, her husband while speaking at an event said, "Norma is great but not easy".

Norma is preceded in death by her son Dexter, and survived by her husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law, six grandchildren, and three great grandchidren. She is loved and will be greatly missed.

A private ceremony was held in her honor.
Published in Ventura County Star on Dec. 13, 2015
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