Steve Norman

July 28, 1946 - June 4, 2024


June 6, 2024 - 2:24 PM

Local business owner Stephen Frank Norman, 77, passed away peacefully Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at his home in Iola, surrounded by family. Steve was born July 28, 1946 in Iola, to Dean A. and Marjorie (Anderson) Norman. The family moved to Needles, Calif., then Missouri, and back to Iola in 1957.

Steve graduated from Iola High School, class of ’64, then went upstairs to the Iola Junior College, and moved on to Pittsburg State University. After graduating, he taught industrial arts at Le Roy and Gridley High Schools in Southeast Kansas. Steve made the move out west to teach graphic arts and printing at Clay Center and at Colby Community College.

In 1973, Steve returned to Iola to help his father run a printing business, Allen County News Journal, which became Norman Printing Company, which he continued to run until 2006. For a brief period, he thought he could retire some day and sold the company and continued to manage the location until the doors were closed in 2018. Shortly after, Steve got bored with nothing to do and he and his wife Gail reopened as Norman Printing at the same location since the 1970s, 214 N. Jefferson, in Iola. All of the family spent a lot of time at the business, most helping out with job deadlines, counting orders, packing boxes, etc.

It was a family business, from the beginning to the end. Everyone participated at some point in their lives. It wasn’t very exciting for most of us, and we all moved on to different things.

Steve was a member of Iola Masonic Lodge No. 38, Mirza Shrine Temple of Pittsburg, Iola York Rite, and a lifetime member of the Iola Elks Lodge No. 569. He was also a member of Iola Rotary and Iola Industries. Steve also served the community throughout his life. He served as chairman of the Allen County Cancer Society, a deacon and elder at First Presbyterian Church, and advisory board of USD 258 for communication and technology.

Steve was an avid sports fan and enjoyed the Chiefs especially, even all those years he thought he would never see another Super Bowl with Kansas City playing. He was able to see several games and he enjoyed that very much. Steve enjoyed the outdoors and time at the lake. We enjoyed many days boating, water skiing, and grilling outdoors. Steve even spent a summer in Idaho flying around in helicopters fighting forest fires. We don’t remember where exactly in Idaho, but remember all the stories.

Steve also loved music and played the saxophone and enjoyed watching the kids and grandkids at the music performances.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Dean and Marjorie Norman; sister, Barbara A. (Norman) Catron; and many of his close friends, Richard, Dick, Larry, and Vinnie to name a few.

Steve is survived by his wife, Gail P. (VanRickley) Norman; children, Michele (Chris) Knight of Carthage, Mo., Michael (Andrea) Norman of Austin, Texas, and Jason Olsten of Iola; grandchildren, Lexi, CJ, and Ashley Knight, Isaac Norman, Katelynn and Ashton Olsten, John and Trevor Cox, and Garrett Henderson; and great-grandchildren, Kaysen Austin, Oliver Patton, Jack English, Bristol Cox, and Jacey Sexton; Diana (Bill) Asher, mother of Michele and Michael; sister, Deanna and Chuck Morgan; nephews, Matthew (Elizabeth) Morgan and their son, and Jason Thornbrugh of Ankley, Iowa; nieces, Angie (Rick) Griffith and their three children of Kansas City and Stephanie Catron (James) Craig and their five children of Victoria, Texas.

Cremation is planned under the care of VanArsdale Funeral Home, Le Roy.



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