He was known to me, mainly as Lion Norman.
He was known to others as Norman, a TRUE friend.
This TRUE Lions friend of mine, Norman Anderson, Forest Lake, pulled down the shades of a fulfilled life at age 98 on May 3, 2022.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Howard worked for Sell Publishing and ECM Publishers during his newspaper career, much of it in Forest Lake. He retired to Blooming Prairie and is still working as a free lancer for The Times.)
I was fortunate to have known Lion Norman for nearly 50 years, most of that time we shared together as members of the Forest Lake Lions Club.
As we approach our own mortality, it is refreshing to have developed an endless friendship with such a giving community member. He also served his country as a soldier in the U.S. Army, serving in Korea.
Lion Norman would answer every call to community service. As a Lion, he relished the involvement in Lions activities. He was once named Lion of the Year, and he also received the prestigious Melvin Jones LCIF (Lions Clubs International Foundation) award.
I realize that most of you have not met Norman and thus, did not know him. That's why I am writing about this unassuming type of man, to introduce you to a human being who cared deeply for his fellow human beings.
I provided taxi service for Lion Norman three times a month as we attended Lions meetings together.
Lion Norman served as club treasurer for many years and took the job seriously. With a tint of humor, he said upon retiring, "I am finished washing the books." He was kidding, of course, about money laundering.
When he was first asked to be club treasurer, Lion Norman replied, "Do you think I can do the job?"
One can use many superlatives to describe Lion Norman's character: loving, caring, soft spoken, kind, honest, man of faith, hard worker, etc.
Our Lions club sponsored concessions at the Hay Days summer snowmobile races, and I picked up Lion Norman at 4:30 in the morning to get an early start on our work detail. He never complained.
Lion Norman was always available to our beck and call.
He had many chains of friendship other than the Lions. He was part of a coffee klatch group that met regularly at Reub’s Tire Shop on the north part of town. Norman had a key; thus, he opened the shop early in the morning for his fellow coffee drinkers.
Norman was also an active small engine guy. He loved tinkering with small engines and participated in threshing days every year in
Can't write about Norman and not mention lutefisk. He loved the stuff and attended many dinners in the area.
Norman's work years were directed mainly to Andersen Windows of Bayport, Minnesota.
Norman and his wife, Betty, had two children, daughter Jody Granberg, the only surviving child. He is also survived by three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Norman would do anything for you. He loaned his van to me once to travel to Albert Lea for the purpose of picking up a piece of furniture.
Judy and I visited with Lion Norman for the last time on a sunny fall day at Forest Lake's Health Care Center, Arbors Birchwood.
We need more NORMANS in our lives. He was a special type of person who was connected spiritually with many people. He loved the communities of Forest Lake and Scandia, where he attended church services.
As we say GOODBYE to Lion Norman, give thanks for what he meant to all of us. He was TRUE to all of us.