William Robert Norman was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin on March 18, 1925. Bill passed on June 20, 2018 at the age of 93. He graduated from Duluth Central High School, Smith-Hughes Engineering School and the University of Chicago Navy School of Communications. He studied advanced courses of sales and marketing at Harvard, the University of Wisconsin and International Advertising at the Academy of Arts in London, England. After graduation, Bill joined the US Navy. The Navy sent him to Camp Waldron, Faragut, Idaho for basics. Then he was assigned to Naval Intelligence and sent to the University of Chicago for further training. Then on to JASCO (Joint Assault Signal Company) consisting of Army, Navy and Marines, to teach ship-to-shore communications to the Army and Marine Signal units. He was sent overseas and assigned to the ship U.S.S. Rixey. Aboard the Rixey he saw action at Leyte, Luzon and Okinawa. After being discharged from the Navy in 1946, Bill joined the Marines for 2 years and was discharged in 1948.
After WWII, Bill met Beverly Ann Grawunder (AKA Beverlee) at a roller skating rink in Duluth. A short while after Bev’s graduation, they were married on January 1, 1949 in Duluth, and enjoyed 69 beautiful years of marriage. Bill and Bev moved to Albert Lea in 1952 where he worked for Queen Stove for 21 years in the advertising department. In 1973 Bill decided to make a change and started his own advertising agency, “William Norman and Associates, Inc.” originally located in Albert Lea, then Minneapolis, and finally Denver. Bill and Bev moved back to Albert Lea in 1979 and he rejoined Scotsman (Queen Products) as Advertising and Sales Promotion Manager.
Bill has enjoyed many community activities, such as the Albert Lea Community Theater, Toastmasters, Cub Scout Leader, Miss Minnesota pageants, United Way Drive, and the Jaycees. He served on the boards for the Art Center, Festival Theater, and Good Samaritan Nursing Home. He wrote many political speeches for some of Minnesota’s finest leaders. He was an active member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Eagles, Moose and Elks Clubs. He and Bev have been life-long members of the First Presbyterian Church in Albert Lea.
Bill is survived by his wife Beverlee; 4 children: Craig Norman (AZ), Linda Pearson (Don) (MN), Ruth Ann Norman (AZ), and Scott Norman (Kathy)(CO); 7 grandchildren: Jennifer Mueller (Kurt), Gretchen Petterson (John), Grant Norman (Amanda), Michelle Erickson (Jason), Roger Reinhart (Holly Dimmick), Dillon Drews (Ashley Bonner), and Brian McDonald (Shannon); 13 Great-Grandchildren and 2 Great-Great-Grandchildren. Bill also has a sister, Audrey Jean Hrebal, who resides in Minnesota, and many nieces and nephews.