Norma Jean (Vance) Yowell, 86, of Perry, was born Jan. 22, 1927, at her Grandpa Carpenter’s farm house in Three Sands to Loyd “PeeWee” Vance and Esther Vance. She passed away Sept. 4, 2013, at Green Valley Nursing Home in Perry.
Norma lost her mother and baby brother when she was 8 years old. She and her two younger siblings lived with the Carpenter family in Red Rock, until Norma’s father later married Evelyn Vance.
Norma attended and graduated from Three Sands School. She went on to attend Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa.
Norma began working at Forney’s Restaurant on the west side of the square in Perry. Norma met the love of her life, Bob Yowell while working at Forney’s. They were married on Jan. 16, 1948, in Clayton, N.M. They were married 59 years. To this union, three children were born; Debra, John Randall (Randy) and Kim.
Norma is best remembered for all the children she taught in the Co-op Kindergarten sponsored by all the Perry churches. Norma served as a positive influence on children for 17 years before kindergarten was moved to the public school system. Many students have fond memories of graduating from kindergarten with Mrs. Yowell in their white caps and gowns. She was instrumental in starting the summer Perry Head Start Program as well.
Together, Norma and Bob owned and operated the Texaco gas station. Later they owned and operated the Conoco station for many years before retiring. Norma then worked at the Heppler’s Zip Trip and Busha’s Clothing Store in downtown Perry.
Norma was involved in all her children’s activities, including PTA and Camp Fire. She also served as a Boy Scout den mother. She volunteered in the Perry Band Boosters and held many offices. Norma was a member of the Noble County Extension Homemaker’s Club. She served on the auxiliary board at Perry Memorial Hospital and worked at the Noble County Election Board for many years. She was an avid Oklahoma State University Cowboys fan and loved watching sports.
Norma and Bob were founding members of the Paradise Cove Recreation Club at Lake Carl Blackwell. Norma also was an officer at Perry Senior Citizens and enjoyed her time there. She was a member of the First Christian Church where she taught Sunday school.
Norma will be greatly missed by her friends and family. She had many close friends in all the organizations with which she helped. She also had exceptional neighbors who cared for her and loved her like family for over 55 years. Norma’s family extends a special thanks to her neighbors, Manuel and Shirley, Kelly and Sheila and Leslie.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m., Saturday at the First Christian Church in Perry. Rev. Martin Foster will officiate. Interment will be at Grace Hill Cemetery in Perry. Services are under the direction of Brown-Dugger Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to the Perry Memorial Hospital Auxiliary in care of Brown-Dugger Funeral Home, 1010 N. 7th Street, Perry, OK 73077.
Norma is survived by her three children; Debra McIntire and her husband, Larry, of Oklahoma City, Randy Yowell of Perry, and Kim Thompson and her husband, Mike of Stillwater; nine grandchildren, Jay Yowell of Edmond, Treg Yowell and his wife, Terry of Kyle, Texas, Brian Yowell of Oklahoma City, Brandon Yowell and his wife, Jennifer of Oklahoma City, Ryan McIntire and his wife, Amy of Sahuarita, Ariz., Daniel McIntire of Oklahoma City, Jessica Thompson Jeter and her husband, Greg of Ramona, Julie Thompson Morris and her husband, Doug of Perry, and Josh Thompson of Tulsa, Okla.; 12 great-grandchildren, Jordan and Jorja Yowell of Edmond, Colton and Camden Yowell of Oklahoma City, Evan, Avery and Maya McIntire of Sahuarita, Ariz., Ryan, Rett and Raley Morris of Perry and Kinnedy and Logan Jeter and baby Jeter, due in December of Ramona; two brothers, Allen Vance and his wife, Jeannie, Yukon, and Don Vance and his wife, Ludy of Denton, Texas; sisters, Margie Bowers of Wichita Falls, Texas and Beverly Reathaford and her husband, Pete of San Diego, Calif.; and two sisters-in-law, Sara Jo Musick of Perry, and Judy Vance of San Diego, Calif. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Norma was preceded in death by her husband, Bob in 2007; her parents, Loyd and Esther Vance; step-mother, Evelyn Vance; brothers, Bob and Gary Vance; and sisters-in-law, Doris Gleason and Rudy Vance.
Norma’s nine grandchildren will serve as pall bearers. Honorary pall bearers will be Manuel Self, Bernard Heppler, Kelly Lewellan, Jimmie Frie, Bobby Davis, Bill Simon, and members of the Paradise Cove Recreation Club.