We begin today without our husband, father, and grandfather. For 90 years we had one of the best. It seems strange that he isn't here because he was always close by, always available, and always present. He was the best listener and there was no problem he couldn't solve. He always knew just what to do. He was our source of strength and comfort. He always reminded us to do our homework. He believed in us and did whatever he could to help us achieve our goals.
Norman was born in Fords, New Jersey on October 2, 1929, the fourth of eleven children born to Mary Wainwright and Walter Garfield Schmehl. He enlisted in the Navy upon high school graduation and served with honor. This experience gave him the opportunity to see the world and allowed him to qualify for the G.I Bill, which he used to earn a degree in aerospace engineering from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York. His exceptional mathematical and analytical skills, along with his maturity, was noticed by The Boeing Company and upon graduation from RPI they offered him a position as an aerospace engineer in Seattle, Washington. He eagerly accepted the opportunity to leave the crowded East Coast and relocate to the wide-open spaces of the West.
Norman's life again changed for the better, some would say, when he accepted Boeing's assignment to relocate to Ogden, Utah to manage Minuteman and Peacekeeper projects at Hill Air Force Base. He met Susan Kissel, a flirty blonde secretary who was impressed not only with his job skills, but also his East coast charm and New Jersey swagger. They got married on September 19, 1963, and recently celebrated 56 years of marriage. Together they traveled the world and had the opportunity to enjoy 25 years of retirement. They enjoyed cruising, golfing, skiing and being regular exercisers at the Ogden Athletic Club.
Norman and Susan's best partnership was as parents to their two children, Derek and Melissa. Norman aptly referred to himself and Susan as "the loyal support staff". Derek and Melissa had many opportunities and successes that would not have been possible without them. We have so many fun memories of tournaments, car trips and friends we met along the way.
Norman is survived by his wife, Susan, his son Derek (wife Kristine), of Salt Lake City, and daughter Melissa Colin (husband Sean) of Portland, Oregon. He also was extremely proud of his three talented grandchildren-Owen and Harper Schmehl, and Stella Colin. Two sisters also survive him, Margie Macy of Texas and Ann Rectenwald of New Jersey, and one brother, Willard Schmehl, of California.
Norman was one of the lucky ones in life who was never sick and never took any medications. The hardest thing to bear, therefore, was a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in October 2019. He suffered the ravages of this terrible disease without complaint, but together with Father Time, the battle was too large to overcome. We wish to thank the Visiting Angels, especially Fayth and John, and the Envision Hospice team of Amber, Kiera, and Samantha. They brought him much support through this difficult time.
We will be celebrating Norman and his amazing life at the Union Grill- Lower Level on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. The Union Grill is located at 315 24th Street, Ogden, UT 84401. All friends are welcome to join us.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Norman Schmehl, please visit our floral store.