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Norma Lea (Martin) Downs

January 21, 2019
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Norma Lea (Martin) Downs, 84, of Le Grand, Iowa, passed away on January 18, 2019 at Mercy Hospital with her children by her side.

Norma was born at home in rural Zearing, Iowa, on December 29, 1934 to parents, Ralph LeClaire and Thelma Pauline (Deal) Martin. She graduated from Whitten High School in 1954. Norma was married to Harold Downs on St. Patrick's Day 1967 joining their families. Together they raised four children in Montour, Douglas Allen Downs, Diane Lea (Jeff) Plunkett, David Scott (Karman) Downs and Patricia Ellen (Tim) Dolezal. They then built a home in Le Grand. They were married for 51 years.

Norma worked for the United States Postal Service as a clerk in Marshalltown for 20 years and throughout that time, including her retirement years, a member of the American Postal Workers Union.

Article Photos

Norma Lea (Martin) Downs

Norma in her younger years played piano and always enjoyed singing a little tune. She would talk about riding her bike out in the country to get to her piano lesson. Gardening was something Norma was involved in during her childhood alongside her mother and again after marrying Harold. They planted large gardens and Norma became an experienced canner using her mother's recipes. She also made deer and beef jerky that all the guys in the family liked. If dad planted it mom could "put it up" freeze it, dry it, can it. Tomatoes always their largest crop, seemed endless. The juice and whole tomatoes always enough to share. The spaghetti sauce, the families favorite, is also Grandma Thelma's recipe. Norma passed on a lot of her techniques to granddaughters who are now gardening and canning themselves.

Norma liked to entertain and opened her home for family graduation parties, bridal and baby showers, engagement parties, birthday parties, and hosted two weddings at their home in LeGrand. Norma liked to cook to please people, always adding her special touch. We were one lucky family to have such a caring mother, grandmother and friend.

Norma is survived by her Brother: Dennis (Sherry) Martin, Daughter: Diane (Jeff) Plunkett, Son: David (Karman) Downs, Daughter: Patricia (Tim) Dolezal

Grandchildren: April (Wes) Myers, Lyndsey (Nick) Jansen, Taryn Plunkett,

James (Sarah) Downs, Chenia (Nick) Harriman, Ryan Gooding, Amber (Ricardo) Vazcarra ,

BreAnna Dolezal, Logan Dolezal.

Great Grandchildren : Emeline, Laurel, Jett, Jovi, Aubryanna, Isabell, Norma, Tayviun, Sahara, Frederick, Nichole, Vinci, Avery.

Nieces, Nephews and Cousins.

Norma was preceded in death by her parents, brother Donald, husband Harold and son Doug.

The funeral service will be held at 12:00 at Mitchell Funeral Home on Thursday, January 24, 2019. Bobby Shomo will be officiating, Visitation will be held at 10:00 until the service begins at Mitchell Funeral Home. Buiral will follow the service at Benson Cemetery, Whitten, Iowa.



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