Steve Norman

July 28, 1946 - June 4, 2024


June 10, 2024 - 2:23 PM

Local business owner Stephen Frank Norman passed away peacefully at his home June 4, 2024 in Iola surrounded by family. Steve was born July 28, 1946 in Iola, to Dean A. and Marjorie (Anderson) Norman.

The family had 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 taught graphic arts and printing at Clay Center and 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 and sold the company and continued to manage the location until the doors were closed in 2018. Shortly thereafter, Steve got bored with nothing to do and he and wife Gail, reopened as Normans Printing at the same location since the 1970s, 214 N. Jefferson, in Iola. All of the family spent a lot of time at that place, mostly 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 the 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 the Iola Rotary Club and Iola Industries.

Steve also served the community throughout his life. He served as chairman of the Allen County Cancer Society, was a deacon and elder at First Presbyterian Church, and on the 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 KC 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.

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

Steve is survived by his wife, Gail P. (Van Rickley); children, Michele (Chris) Knight, Carthage, Mo., Michael (Andrea) Norman, Austin, Texas, Jason Olsten, Iola, Jaime Cox-Henderson, Iola; grandchildren, Lexi, CJ, and Ashley Knight, Isaac Norman, Katelynn and Ashton Olsten, John and Trevor Cox, and Garrett Henderson; 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; nephew Matthew (Elizabeth) Morgan and son; niece Angie (Rick) Griffith and three children, Kansas City; niece Stephanie Catron (James) Craig and five children Victoria, Texas; nephew Jason Thornbrugh, Ankeny, Iowa.

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

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

A Celebration of Life will be from noon to 3 p.m., July 27 at Iola Masonic Lodge, 201 W. Madison Ave.



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