Norma Elizabeth Northcutt 1922-2021

Norma Elizabeth (Younker) Northcutt, a 91-year resident of Yuma County, passed away January 15, 2021 in Wray, CO at the age of 98.
She was born to William Eli and Marie Webb Younker on November 18, 1922 on her grandparents Winfred and Sarah (Eaton) Younker’s farm near Ogallala, NE. She was the 3rd of 7 children. Her twin, Norman died at birth.
Her family lived on a farm near Ogallala and she attended grade school in Ogallala. She and her brother, Arnold, would ride their horse to school. Some of the other students liked to tease the horse and one day, the horse reared up. Arnold fell off, but Norma held on for dear life!
She learned to play the harmonica when her brother was learning, because, of course, if he was going to learn, so was she! Norma played by ear, and could play well into her nineties.
Around 1930, when she was 7, her family moved to Yuma County, CO. Her father led their horse pulling a wagon about 120 miles. They walked a lot on the way. They settled on a farm in the Mt. Olive community 8 miles south, 2 1/2 miles west, 3 miles south of Yuma. Her mom was an excellent cook. Norma’s favorite snack was her mom’s homemade bread.
She used to walk a mile to church, as a child, through weeds, stickers, and a barbed wire fence, to get to a neighbor’s place to go to church with them. As an adult, she was active in the Kirk Foursquare Church, then the Cope Assemblies of God Church. She taught Sunday School and was active in Women’s Groups.
Norma loved nature, walking and being alone outside while thinking. She loved spring’s wildflowers, being barefoot outside in summer, and autumn’s beauty.
Norma’s first job was working for a farmer. She milked cows, helped separate the milk, prepare meals and serve them, washed dishes, made beds, swept floors, washed the separator and any other job required. She made $3.00 a week, with a 30-minute a day break.
Norma moved to Yuma, so she could attend High School. She is pictured with her class in the 1938 annual from Yuma High School. One day, when she was in Yuma with her best friend, Ruth, Norma looked across the street and made a comment about a good-looking guy standing there. Ruth asked if she would like to meet him and took her to meet her brother, Ernie Northcutt. They loved to be together and from that time on, where you would see one, you saw the other.
She did not graduate with her high school class, choosing to marry. Later, when her children were grown, she finished her schooling. She also took classes after this, such as a Creative Writing Class she thoroughly enjoyed.
Norma and Ernie (Freeman Ernest) were married in St Francis, KS, on November 29, 1939. To this union were born seven children: Steven Ernest, Phillip Eugene, Phillip’s twin who died at birth, Barbara Eileen, Judy Evelyn, Terry Eli, and Debra Elaine. Norma loved children and said she would have had more if she could have. She was always so proud of them.
After their marriage, Norma and Ernie lived on a farm 18 miles north and 2 miles east of Eckley, CO.
She and Ernie helped, at times, her in-laws, Ashford and Idella Northcutt, at the skating rink they owned in Yuma. She was given a surprise 20th BD party there.
In 1957 Ernie and Norma moved to Kirk, CO, where Ernie became custodian of the Kirk School. Norma worked at the Kirk Creamery, soon moving up to manager. She also stayed with elderly ladies, sometimes overnight.
From 1958-1989, Norma worked in food services at Liberty Grade School in Kirk, then the consolidated school in Joes, CO. She also drove a school bus for 21 years, from 1968-1989. She retired from the school district in 1989, after 31 years, having risen to the Head Cook position. She was creative at home and school, making holiday decorations to decorate the bulletin board in the lunch room, and decorating the senior table at graduation time. She also drove the bus to the Yuma swimming pool for lessons in the summers.
She was an avid reader and read late into the nights to relax, even though she had to rise early for work.
Ernie and Norma attended as many of their children’s school activities as they could, supporting them in sports and various club activities, including 4-H in the summers.
Norma loved writing and frequently, beginning in 1959, was the “Kirk News” correspondent for the Wray Gazette and the Yuma Pioneer. In 1981 Norma attended a Creative Writing class for some college credits because she loved to write. She also loved to crochet. During this writing class, she created a crocheted clown bank pattern, wrote it up, and submitted it to The Workbasket magazine who published it.
She sold Tupperware from 1980-1984. She also was very successful as an Avon representative for many years.
She and Ernie endured many hardships, including crop failures, a burglary, and Ernie getting his leg caught in the power take off while mowing at the school. They moved into a mobile home in 1973, after their home burned. Ernie passed away in 1977, leaving Norma a widow for over 40 years. She continued to talk affectionately about “my Ernie” to family and friends.
Norma loved singing songs in the car. She also loved quoting nursery rhymes. But, most of all, she loved her children and grandchildren. She would write lists of their families from time to time, and kept everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries on her calendar. She also kept other information she wanted to remember on her calendars and transferred them each year to a new one.
In 2010, at 88 years of age, Norma moved to Hillcrest Towers, an assisted living facility in Wray.
Preceding her in death are her husband Ernie, brothers Arnold, Norman, and Clyde, sisters Ruby and Phyllis, brother-in-law Byrl Green, daughter-in-law Karen Northcutt, son-in-law Nate Clayburg, grandson Christopher Northcutt, and great-grandsons Spencer DeLap and Sam Sandmeier.
She is survived by:
Rev. Steven and wife Marvean Northcutt, Georgetown, TX, and granddaughter Shirley (Les) Hasty, Wray, CO, four great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren; granddaughter Amy (Jeff) Taylor, Littleton, CO, one great-grandchild; granddaughter Michelle (Jason) Foster, Wray, CO, three great-grandchildren;
Phillip Northcutt, Burlington, CO, and grandson Shawn (Cathy) Northcutt, Parker, CO, and three great-grandchildren; grandson Shannon (Jenna) Northcutt, Akron, CO, two great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren;
Barbara Clayburg, Sterling, CO, and grandson Kevin Riley, Yuma, CO, three great-grandchildren; granddaughter Carrie (Brad) Weese, Colby, KS, five great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren; granddaughter Rebecka (Justin) Cranwell, Sterling, two great-grandchildren;
Judy and husband Derrill Langen, Odessa, MO, and granddaughter Jennifer (Jeff) LeBlanc, Odesssa, MO, three great-granddaughters, two great-great-granddaughters; granddaughter Valerie (David) DeLap, Anchorage, AK, seven great-grandchildren; Christy (Jeff) Logan, Odessa, MO, four great-grandchildren; granddaughter Derrillynn Parker, Colorado Springs, CO;
Terry Northcutt, Fredericksburg, TX, and granddaughters Briana Woods and Alexis Northcutt, Boulder, CO;
Debra and husband Donald Misner, Kirk, Co, and granddaughter Kathrine (Dennis) Hansen, Loveland, CO, two great-grandchildren, one great-great granddaughter; granddaughter Kimberlee (Justin) Knutzen, Berthoud, CO, three great-grandchildren; and grandson Justin Misner.
In addition to her 17 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren, and 12 great-great-grandchildren, she is survived by her sister, Geraldine “Geri” Green of Akron, CO, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Services will be Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 10:30 A.M. at the Kirk Methodist Church.
She will be buried next to Ernie at the Kirk Cemetery.
Pam Coulter to officiate the service and Baucke Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.