GLADSTONE - Norman Olav Peterson, 96, of Gladstone, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, at the Christian Park Healthcare Center in Escanaba.
Norman was born May 17, 1916, at 711 Minnesota Ave. in Gladstone, the son of Ole and Irene Peterson. His father was a cement contractor, former city commission member and mayor twice. His mother was a fifth grade teacher in Gladstone.
Norman attended school in Gladstone, graduating in 1934. He was second in his class of 72 students and won second place in the U.P. Tennis Tournament in singles. Following high school, Norman attended Northern Michigan University. He graduated in 1938 with a bachelor of science degree, majoring in mathematics and minors in chemistry and physics. He also played both singles and doubles in tennis for three years, while at NMU.
Norman Olav Peterson
Norman started teaching in Gladstone during January of 1939 as a substitute. He was hired by Superintendent A. R. Watson in August for a position of eighth grade mathematics. He left in May of 1942 for the United States Army. He attended the Illinois Institute of Technology for nine months where he was in the Enlisted Reserves and studied radar, electronics and ultra high frequency techniques. He served in Missouri, Florida, and South Carolina. He was also sent overseas to New Guinea, the Philippine Islands and Japan. He rose to the rank of first sergeant and was captain of his company basketball team.
Following his discharge from the military, Norman taught G.I. students in Houghton for half a year. He returned to Gladstone in September of 1946 where he taught for the next 40 years and was the assistant basketball coach for four years and tennis coach for several years.
Norman went back to school, receiving a master's degree in education and supervision from the University of Michigan in the summer of 1949. He also attended the University of Michigan for one more summer, Case University in Cleveland under a General Electric Fellowship, LaFayette University in Pennsylvania with a mathematics grant, Oberlin College in Ohio with a mathematics grant and Cornell University in New York with a scholarship from Shell Oil where physics was studied.
Norman was united to marriage to Mary Lou (Farrell) Brown on Dec. 20, 1980. She preceded him in death on Aug. 30, 2000.
Norman was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Gladstone, where he served on the Church Council for five years and was vice chairman for one year. He also taught Sunday school and was in charge of the Fellowship Hall Committee when building a new church.
Norman was an avid golfer and a member of the Gladstone Golf Club for over 61 years. He served on the board of directors for six years and made three hole in ones, two in Gladstone.
He was a member of the Gladstone Masonic Lodge 396 for several years, serving as Worshipful Master in 1955. He also served as chairman of the building committee for 14 years.
Norman was also a member of the Michigan Education Association, life member of the National Education Association, was on the council of Region 17 of the MEA, and chairman of the two-day conference in Marquette for all the teachers in the Upper Peninsula.
Norman is survived by his son, Nicholas Brown; daughter, Mary Pat (John) Gray and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents and an infant brother.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 2 to 3:45 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church in Gladstone. Military honors will be presented at 3:45 p.m. at the church by the Gladstone American Legion August Mattson Post 71. Funeral services will follow at 4 p.m. at the church with Rev. Jonathan Schmidt officiating. A luncheon will be served in the fellowship hall immediately following the service. Norman will be laid to rest in the Fernwood Cemetery in Gladstone. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to First Bank in Gladstone, where a scholarship fund will be established in Norman's name.
For additional information or to leave a message of condolence, go to www.skradskifuneralhomes.com.