Norma Jean Roloff died peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on Friday, February 1, 2019, following a courageous journey with cancer.
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Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, February 8th, at Egelhof, Siegert & Casper Westview, 2659 John F. Kennedy Road, Dubuque, and from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 9th, at St. Peter Lutheran Church, 3200 Asbury Road. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, February 9th, at St. Peter Lutheran Church, with burial following at Memorial Gardens.
Norma Jean was born on March 2, 1933 in Ossian, Iowa, daughter of Alfred and Marie Ehler.
She attended several country schools while growing up, and at the age of 16, she bravely left the family farm and headed to Dubuque on her own. She would tell us stories of pulling in to Dubuque for the first time, driving down Central Avenue and being in awe of all the lights and stores.
Norma Jean was an extremely hard worker. When she arrived in Dubuque, she began working at Mercy Hospital. She later worked at Sweetheart Bakery for 26 years until her retirement in 1988.
Norma Jean dedicated her life to her family. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was blessed with two daughters, Barb and Marlene through her marriage with John Wall. In 1962, she met the love of her life, Lawrence Roloff, at St. John Lutheran Church. He was bound and determined to marry her, even sitting outside on her front porch until she said “yes”. They were married in 1964, and she was blessed with another daughter, Amy. They went on to share many happy years together with their blended family of 7 children. She and Larry shared a wonderful life together for forty-four years until his passing on April 12, 2009.
She instilled a strong work ethic, her love for cooking, appreciation of music, and the importance of being together as a family. Norma Jean also stressed the importance of faith in God, the power of prayer, and value of attending church. She was a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church and appreciated her church family.
Those left to honor and cherish her memory are her three daughters and sons-in-law. Barbara (Pat) Shepherd, of Peosta, IA, Marlene (Dan) Frye, of Asbury, IA, Amy (Ryan) Poyner, of Davenport, IA. Her grandchildren - Dawn Shepherd, John (Tanya) Shepherd, Megan (Tim) Michel, Emily (Tad) Schoeny and Emma and Nathan Poyner. She was also blessed with 9 great-grandchildren – Adrianna, Alivia and Abigail Jean Shepherd, Lily, Maggie and Owen Michel, and Nora, Stella and Lyla Schoeny. She is also survived by four step-children – Diane (Don) Riedl of Sherrill, IA, Pam (Dan) Wiederholt of Long Grove, IA, Steve Roloff of Lancaster, WI, and Sheila (Charlie) Dimke of Galena, IL, as well as four step-grandchildren – Jessica (Donovan) Moser, Kevin (Emily) Riedl, Carrie (Robbie) Aristodemo and Jenny (Kevin) Hulson. She has 6 step great-grandchildren, and one more on the way.
She is survived by one brother, Donald Ehler and three sisters, Bea Johnson, Dorothy Hageman and Bernice Johnson.
Norma Jean was preceded in death by her husband, parents, brothers Linus and Cletus Ehler, sister Joan Halvorson, and brothers-in-law Carl Johnson, Alex Hageman, Harold Henry, Calvin Johnson, Glen Hammerand, and sister-in-laws Mary Ehler and Mary Anna Hammerand.
Memorials to honor her life will be shared with Norma Jean’s favorite charities.
The family would like to thank Dr. Matthew Kirkendall and his amazing nurse, Kate, for their professional care, thoughtfulness and patience. We were blessed to have Allison, Betsy, Jennie and Jan from Hospice of Dubuque provide Norma Jean and our family so much kindness and compassion during this journey.