Jeanne Marie Norby
1932 - 2020
September 8, 1932
November 16, 2020

Jeanne Marie Norby

With sad and heavy hearts, on this Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2020, we had to say good-bye to our beloved mother,grandmother and great- grandmother, Jeanne Marie Norby (nee Yost).

Jeanne was married for 49 years to her cherished husband, Leonard Norby, until his death in 2001. They were high school sweethearts. Jeanne was proud to be an Aquinas graduate in 1951. She remained active for years with the Aquinas Alumni Association. Jeanne supported Leonard all through his military service in Korea. She worked at several jobs over the years and was often employed in medical care administration. She worked at St. Francis Hospital, as a young bride and was back there at Franciscan-Skemp, after she and Len became empty-nesters. Together they had seven children. Tragically they lost their first child, Jerome, soon after his birth.

She is survived by six children, Dennis (Diane) Norby, Cheryl (David Bowen) Peterson, Larry Norby, James (Lisa Linder) Norby, Barb (Greg Yahnke) Norby and Sue (John) Neberman. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren; a sister, Geraldine Opdahl; sisters-in-law, Leecie Welch, Bernadine Voss, Arlene Johnston and Marie Yost; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her husbands, Len and Doc, and her son, Jerome, Jeanne was also preceded in death by a grandson, Sean Schaller; a brother, Arthur Yost; sisters, Marjory Brower and Emily Anderson; and brother-in-law, Kenneth Opdahl.

During all the years in which Len managed two jobs, he entrusted Jeanne to be the primary caretaker for their children. Jeanne managed their household with a firm but loving hand. She always ensured that everyone had lots of chocolate in their Easter baskets, special angel food birthday cakes, and full stockings on St. Nick's. She taught her kids to reuse and recycle before being green was even a trend. She was skilled at developing creative consequences for her kids well before that was a recommended method. Her sons have hours of hilarious stories detailing some very unique chores she devised for them and the restitution she would require. Jeanne was a Den mother and a Girl Scout leader, to ensure that her kids would have a scout troop. She flooded the backyard in winter so her kids would have a skating rink.

Jeanne belonged to the Moose Lodge, the Eagles Auxiliary and the St. Pius Ladies Society. Jeanne was a very active member of the La Crosse Genealogy Society. She spent years compiling an extensive family history for both the Norby and the Yost families.

Jeanne and Len loved to travel and together they visited all of the lower 48 states, along with Canada and Mexico. Jeanne also traveled to Norway, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Jeanne maintained extensive journals detailing their travels. Sometimes they traveled with Len's sisters or cousins and their whole crew acquired quite a reputation for having fun times and joking.

Jeanne found someone with whom she could share her life after she lost Len, when she married Merle (Doc) Holliday, in 2003. She shared 10 years with him until his death in 2013.

Special thanks to all the staff at the Bluffview Memory Care facility for their compassion and sacrifices in these extremely difficult and heartbreaking times.

Jeanne's sons and daughters would like to recognize their sister, Barb, for the kind and extraordinary care she gave our Mother these last years of her life. Barb's generous and selfless spirit made our Mother's life the best it could be for the longest time it was possible.

A private family funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20, at Mary, Mother of the Church Parish in La Crosse, with the Rev. Brian D. Konopa officiating. Burial will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery. The service will be live streamed on the parish's YouTube channel, which can be accessed at

Schumacher-Kish Funeral and Cremation Services of La Crosse is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be submitted at

Jeanne and Len can now continue their travels up in the heavens, and Jeanne can bake her angel food cakes for some actual angels.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by La Crosse Tribune on Nov. 18, 2020.
Funeral Mass
Mary, Mother of the Church Parish
, La Crosse, Wisconsin
Funeral services provided by:
Schumacher-Kish Funeral and Cremation Services - La Crosse
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13 Entries
Barb, Sue, Cheryl, Jim, Larry and Denny. I am so sorry for the lose of your mom. As you know, I was so lucky to hang out at your loving home. Jean always made me feel welcome! Always a smile and kidding around as I waited to play while waiting for you to get your chores done. I Envied you all for having such an awesome mom and dad. I remember when you would answer the phone "Lens Home and Cleaners" I always chuckled. I learned a lot at your house like raking the carpet and sifting flour. We always had fun! Love to you all at this sad time and my sincerest sympathies Love, Cheryle (the neighbor kid)
Cheryle Wolfe Niedbalski
November 25, 2020
My sincere sympathy to all the Norby childern. Your Mother was a wonderful lady who I met through my parents first, Ike & Alvina Clements. My parents & your parents played cards together with Hank & Jeanette Nedercorn for many years. They are all together in heaven now. Probably having a great card game. I also knew your Mom from working at Franciscan Healthcare for many years. May she rest in peace. Remember the good times & the memories to get you through the hard times. Sincerely, Karen Nordstrom
Karen Nordstrom
November 23, 2020
Hello Norby's. I am so sorry to hear about your mom. Your parents and mine were more than family they were good friends. Your parents were very supportive friends to our parents. I fondly remember their spontaneous visits along with a 12 pack of Old Milwaukee and then to dinner. We greatly appreciated and enjoyed the visit Jeanne and Barb made to Sparta to visit with us. Also remembering visits to Greenbay St and Markle and the get-together picnics we had. My dad Jim, Clarice, Leonard and Jeanne are enjoying each other's company again. We all loved Jeanne and Leonard. Such great people. Even though we could not attend in person it was nice to see virtually. Love and thoughts to you all. Steve and Jennifer Dunn
Steve Dunn
November 21, 2020
Jeanne and I were classmates and friends at Aquinas. We continued that friendship when I retired and moved back to La Crosse in 2000 when we were on Reunion Committee and joined Women of the Moose together. She will always be remembered as a sweet loyal friend.
Terry Phalin Hafner
November 20, 2020
Thoughts and prayers are with all in the family.
Michael Hammond
November 20, 2020
I remember Jeanne from the La Crosse Area Genealogy Society (LAGS) meetings. She was a lovely lady and we had fun sharing family history stories and learning of new things happening in that field. I am so sorry for your loss. It is especially difficult in these times with the COVID-19 virus isolating us so much. It sounds as though you all in the family have wonderful stories to tell of her and I am hoping that before long you can get together and share those stories and remember what a joy it was to have Jeanne in your lives. God bless you all. Jane Radloff
Jane Radloff
November 19, 2020
Norby Cousins....I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs and prayerful thoughts are being sent to all of you during this very difficult time. I will be watching the streamed service, only wish we could all be together so that we could comfort and share stories.
Julie (Yost) Chodek
November 19, 2020
What a wonderful woman/human! I would have enjoyed knowing her. Thank you for sharing.
Linda West
November 19, 2020
Norby Family, she was a delight to work with when she volunteered at St Pius X Parish. Can't remember all the stories but the fond times remain... Peace & Blessings, Linda Kuehl St Pius & MMOC
Linda Kuehl
November 18, 2020
I had Mrs. NORBY AS MY GIRL SCOUT LEADER. I also was friends growing up with Barb and Susan. I worked at the Hixon house with sue and she's still on my Facebook. My sympathies to the family. I have fond memories.
Connie Wooden
November 18, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of Jean's passing. I worked with Jean for many years at Skemp. Jean was a very kind person to all. Darrel Greeno and I are thinking of you at this sad time. Prayers to all.
Lynette Neumann
November 18, 2020
Sad to hear about Jeanne. I have fond memories of our families together. Prayers are with you. Brent and Mary.
Brent Larson
November 18, 2020
To Barb, Sue and the entire Norby family, my deepest sympathy on the loss of your mother. Your mom was always such a kind and sweet lady who always seemed to have a smile on her face. Now reading her obituary I had no idea what a full life she lived not only raising her family but all her jobs and extensive travels all over the world. She was always treated me so well and I fondly remember working with her when I sold the family home for her. May she rest in peace.
Michael Peterson
November 18, 2020