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Norma was born August 11, 1939 in Omaha, Nebraska the second of four children to George and Lois Bohlender. Her family moved to Erie, PA where George Bohlender, MD established his gynecological practice. Norma attended Erie schools from Kindergarten through high school. She attended Strong Vincent High School where she played in the band, flute and piccolo, was a cheerleader and an outstanding student.
After graduating from Strong Vincent, Norma attended Ohio State University. The Bohlender family was a Buckeye family with George, Lois and Sister Arlene all graduates of OSU. Norma majored in Home Economics and continued to play the flute. She played in the school band at OSU basketball games, but could not play in the marching band. It was believed that girls could not perform the script Ohio at football games.
Then in her junior year at Ohio State, Norma met a young Midshipman from the Naval Academy, Lynn Brooks. Upon graduation in 1961 she moved to Baltimore, Maryland to teach school for a year. Norma and Lynn were married in 1962 at the Presbyterian Church in Erie when Lynn graduated from the Naval Academy.
Norma's oldest daughter Karen was born in San Diego in 1965. In 1967 Lynn was assigned to teach naval ROTC at the University of Michigan. Lynn entered Law School at UM in 1968 and left the Navy in 1969. While in Ann Arbor Norma's youngest daughter Lola was born. Lynn graduated from law school in 1971 and the Brook's family moved to West Hartford, Connecticut.
Unfortunately, in 1975 irreconcilable difference resulted in divorce. Thus, Norma became a single Mom raising two daughters. Norma returned to teaching at the King Phillip Middle School in West Hartford. While at King Philip she taught 8th Grade Health.
Knowing that additional education would mean more income she return to school working towards a degree in Counseling. She earned a Master in Counseling and lacked only a dissertation for a PhD. It was during this time Norma discovered her abilities and learned to be jack-of all-tradesa�"yard work, painting, picture hanging, plumbing, etc. It was during this time in her life true independence was learned the hard way. Norma not only learned to be fiercely independent, she raised her daughters to be strong independent women also.
During this time, besides teaching Norma continued her interest in music by playing flute in a jazz band. In addition, around 1980 Norma discovered cycling. This activity provided her with an outlet for all the stress in her life and really was the means for handling all that life was throwing at her. Thus, biking became a survival tool for her.
Karen worked for while in Boston after finishing Nursing School at Boston College. Karen moved to Jackson, met and married Kris Lunde. Norma began to visit Jackson every summer and winter during school vacation days. In 1999 when Karen became regnant with Kamryn, the 3rd Lunde child, Norma retired and moved to Jackson---all on the same day. After moving to Jackson Norma discovered hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding mountains through activities scheduled by Teton County Parks and Recreation Department. When Jill Harkness offered Norma a part time job leading and co-leading these activities, she did not hesitated and accepted the offer and worked for the next 8 years in this capacity..
Norma believed Jackson is where she should have been all her life. She discovered respect and friendship at a level she had never experienced in Connecticut, especially from members at the Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole. Norma became an active member of the community by entering into a number of volunteer activities.
Norma volunteered at the National Museum of Wildlife Art and began working for Ron Gessler hanging the artwork. Norma spent many hours each year hanging art and earned the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2007. She was also given a tool belt as a token of appreciation for her efforts in 2011.
Norma joined the Jackson Hole Community Band shortly after arriving in Jackson. She played the flute and piccolo in all parades and concerts. In 2011 the band honored Norma by dedicating a concert with the Wyoming National Guard Band to her. Norma and other piccolo players came to stage front for playing of Stars and Stripes Forever.
There was an afternoon Sunday cross-country ski program for fun and fellowship. When the original organizer had to retire for health reasons, Norma stepped in a led the program until 2010.
Norma also continued her bike riding; even there were limited roads to tide. She began to do self-contained bike tours internationally. Her favorite country was Ireland. She circumnavigated the Emerald Isle mostly on her own.
In September 2004 she was on a Bicycle Adventure Club ride through the National Parks of Utah and Arizona. It was on the bike ride Norma met another passionate bike rider, Royal Price. It was the meeting of two souls and they were married 4 months later at Dornan's in Moose, Wyoming.
Norma and Royal settled into the Rafter J development shortly after he moved from Golden, Colorado. Norma taught Royal to cross country ski and snowshoe. Norma also took Royal on some of the best hikes in the surrounding mountains and National Parks. However, their passion remained touring by bicycle. While they did some old favorite rides in Erie, Connecticut, and Southern California, they did a lot of rides Internationally. With the Bicycle Adventure Club they rode Coast to Coast across Italy, rode from Austria to Venice through the Dolomites, Corsica, Pyrenees in France and Switzerland. However, their favorite was a month long self-contained tour in Ireland.
Then September 2010 they cycled the Dordogne region of France. Norma rode as strong as ever with no hint of any difficulty. Royal and at least 6 other friends on the tour saw her riding as strong as ever. Six weeks later Norma was diagnosed with cancer. At first, it was diagnosed as ovarian cancer she began chemotherapy in December In April it was learned that Norma had lung cancer. She entered a trial program at the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City. She fought this terrible disease to a standstill for 18 months. Her courage, strength and determination inspired everyone that knew her
While in home hospice care Norma told Karen of a dream she had of going to heaven, but returning. Karen asked if it was beautiful and Norma said she told St. Peter he had to wait because it was too muddy and not beautiful, so she returned home. On Wednesday, Saint Peter sent an angel to tell her that heaven had been cleared of mud and was once again sparkling. Upon hearing this news she loaded her tool belt and piccolo on to her favorite bike and rode off to meet Saint Peter to enter heaven where there are no hills to climb or headwinds to battle. She is in a better place and will be remembered by all.
Norma is survived by her husband Royal, daughter Karen Lunde, Son-in-law Kris, Grandchildren Kyler, Kristopher, Kamryn and Kaleb Lunde all in Wilson; daughter Lola Brooks in New York City; sister Arlene in Binghamton, New York, brother Peter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and sister Janice in Erie, Pennsylvania.
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