Margaret Norma R. Degen, (Norma), 91, passed away on Friday, November 21, 2008 in New Smyrna Beach, Florida after a brief illness. Norma was born on June 23, 1917, in Poultney, Vermont, and previously resided in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland and Maine before retiring with her husband Joseph Degen to New Smyrna Beach, FL in 1983. Norma worked as a bookkeeper for Fowlers Department store in Glens Falls, NY. She met her husband Joe in high school in Grandville, NY. They married September 6, 1941, in Fort Ann, NY. She is preceded in death by Joe her husband of 67 years, who died on November 1, 2008. Together they raised their children, Mike and Bob on the east coast. As a young family they vacationed many summers at Lake George in upstate New York. Norma’s passion as a young woman was raising her boys, shortly followed by her love of tennis and horse racing. She excelled as a competitive bowler and transferred that love of all things competitive and athletic to her two sons. Travel adventures satisfied her curiosity but when that was not possible she became a voracious reader. It was a challenge to keep pace with both the number and diversity of books she read, but we were the beneficiary as she shared her love of reading with family and friends. For those of us who spent time with her, we will remember her intelligent conversation, her graciousness at all times, her influence on family decisions, and her fierce determination to be all that she could be. Norma is preceded in death by husband Joseph F. Degen, Jr., her brother John Rafferty, her sister-in law, Edna (Bob) Kaufman, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, John and Agnes Peters, and parents George H. and Margaret B. (nee O’Donnell) Rafferty. She is survived by her sons, Michael (Ruth), of Eden Prairie, MN and Robert (Judith), of Weems, VA. Grandchildren who will carry on her tradition are Molly (Zak) Tomczak, Elizabeth (Chuck) Pamperin, Michael Degen, Stacy Degen, and Michelle (John) Johnson. Five great grandchildren will preserve her memory also: Alexander Tomczak, Cody Pamperin, Ryan Pamperin, Samantha Tomczak and Dylan Johnson. Long time friends and neighbors, Keith and Bobbi Mills, share in our grief as Joe and Norma were surrogate parents in ways only the four of them can express. Many dear friends who shared her history and knew her vitality are Delores Durkin, Jean and Bert Corkum, and Bob and Agnes Perkins. A memorial service is planned for November 26 at the chapel of Sacred Heart Church, 1002 North Dixie Frwy, New Smyrna Beach, Fl, 386.428.4321, at 10:00 AM
Memorial donations may be made in Joe and Norma Degen's name to the Bert Fish Medical Center Foundation, 401 S Palmetto Street New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168 or Hospice of Volusia 3800 Woodbriar Trail Port Orange Fl 32119.
Wednesday, November 26 at 10:00 AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church 998 Father Donlan Drive New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168 on November 26, 2008 (map/driving directions)
Baldwin Brothers Funeral & Cremation Service 1 North Causeway New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169 (map/driving directions)