Obituary of Norma Catterson
Norma Jean Walden Catterson, 87, of Twin Falls, Idaho, passed away peacefully on April 7, 2019, six days following the passing of her husband of 67 years. Norma was born on December 10, 1931 in Huntsville, Arkansas to Elmer and Mollie (Yingst) Walden. She was second youngest in a family of 8 children, and grew up primarily in Arkansas during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl era. Much like the families depicted in John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, Norma’s family packed up and moved from drought stricken Arkansas to California to work in the fields. They later returned to Arkansas for a short period of time, but when Norma was 11 years old, they followed other family members out west to settle and farm in Buhl, Idaho.
Norma graduated from Buhl High School in 1951. She married Russell Catterson, the love of her life, on July 22, 1951 and moved to Twin Falls. It wasn’t long until she had her hands full with a new baby. Daughter Debbie was born in 1952 and life became one exciting moment after another. A move to San Diego, California was the first of these moments. The next eight years would see two more daughters born: Teresa, 1955, and Sandy, 1957 and several different residences in and around San Diego County. In their spare time, Norma and Russ enjoyed competitive square dancing. They belonged to the square dancing club Roaring Squares and their girls, at least the oldest one, remembers well the Friday night square dance practices in the family garage. They also enjoyed trips south of the border to watch jai alai games and horse races.
After eight years of Southern California sunshine, Russ and Norma decided to move the family back to Twin Falls in 1961. Soon plans were being made to build a house on an acreage of land south of town. That house ended up being their home for 55 years. Their girls grew up there, moved away, brought home husbands, and then grandkids. It was the focal point of our family where countless holidays, celebrations, and special moments will be remembered forever.
Being a stay-at-home mom was Norma’s career in the early years. Later on she worked various part-time jobs and in 1970 became manager of Avis Car Rental at the Twin Falls Airport. She worked there for several years, then moved to Hertz Car Rental where she worked until retirement.
As an active member of the Kimberly Church of the Nazarene, Norma held several leadership roles throughout the years: Bible school director, Young People’s president, Sunday school teacher, summer camp counselor, church board member, and choir member, to name a few. Her passion was her grandchildren and camping, and she loved to mix the two. She and Russ always had an RV of some type and set out on camping excursions frequently. Their favorite spot was Stanley and the Sawtooths and having one or more of their grandkids along was the joy of Norma’s life. She was a devoted, loving grandmother and cherished each one of her seven grandkids unconditionally.
Norma was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Lawrence, Coy, Floyd, Loy Walden; sisters Clorene Rathbun, Rema Wiggins, son-in-law Dallas Flisher, and husband Russ. She is survived by her daughters Debbie Flisher, Boise; Teresa Primm (Jim) Twin Falls; Sandy Rayborn (Randy) Twin Falls; brother Junior Walden (Nola) Twin Falls; sister-in-law Lilah Watson, Twin Falls; seven grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Thank you Jim and Cathy Lynch of Willowbrook Assisted Living for taking such good care of Mom. The staff’s loving care and compassion for her was deeply appreciated. Thank you Visions Hospice for your assistance and Pastor Mike Seward for your many visits and constant support.
A combined memorial service is planned for Russ and Norma on May 3, 2019, 2:00 PM at Rosenau Funeral Home. Condolences can be left at www.rosenaufuneralhome.com.