Norma Jean Westphal, age 87, died Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 at her home in Three Rivers. She was born in Goshen, IN on Aug. 13, 1928 the daughter of Harold and Edna (Chiddister) Bates. Norma was a graduate of Marcellus High School, and later earned her Associate, Bachelors, and Masters Degrees from Western Michigan University. Norma was married to Harry G. Westphal on Oct. 27, 1947 in Goshen, IN. She was a lifetime teacher and learner. She first taught at the Corey Lake Country School, and then at White Temple School near Vandalia. Norma taught at the Red Brick School in Cassopolis before moving to Mendon to teach at Mendon Elementary. She retired from Mendon after 25 years of service, and 37 years in teaching. Norma was a member of the Michigan Education Association and the First Baptist Church of Newberg. She was an avid reader who enjoyed flower gardening, and loved Detroit Tiger baseball.
Norma is survived by a son, James (Chris) Westphal of Munising; two daughters, Peggy Jo Lafnear of Three Rivers and Patricia (Dennis) Sweet of Shelbyville, TN; 11 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Judy Gavin of Three Rivers and Connie (Duane) Butchner of Vandalia; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Harry Westphal; her son, George Dale Westphal; a great- grandson, Andrew Lafnear; five sisters, June Chenoweth, Marjorie Young, Marilee Westphal, Hilda Church, and Vivian Chiddister.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 PM Friday at the Eickhoff Funeral Home in Mendon. Funeral services will be 11 AM Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 at the First Baptist Church of Newberg, 13201 Born Street, Jones, MI 49061 with Pastor Michael Owen officiating. Burial will be in Poe Cemetery. It is suggested that memorials be directed to the Mendon Public Library. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.eickhofffuneralhome.com