John Norman
John Norman

Obituary of John Charles Norman

Formerly of Montrose/Watertown and Buffalo, MN, Jack passed away at his home in Maple Grove, MN, at age 93.

He was a proud 1951 Gustavus grad and class officer, gentleman farmer, math and physics major, electrical engineer, Army veteran, part-time teacher at Anoka Ramsey Community College, lifelong Democrat, avid reader, genealogist, Toastmaster, wrestling enthusiast, 55 Alive teacher, Buffalo Zoning board member, Wright County Historical Society Vice President, and author of many thoughtful letters to the editor.

Jack moved through the world at his own steady pace with a strong curiosity, unwavering self-certainty, and a commitment to contribute to his community.

A mixture of Swedish and Norwegian roots, Dad’s love language often involved the question “How’s your car running?”

Born in St. Paul, MN, to Chester and Agnes (Holman) Norman, he attended kindergarten through high school in Excelsior, MN, and graduated in 1947. He earned bachelor of science degrees in mathematics and physics from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, graduating in 1951.

In 1953, Jack married his high school sweetheart, Leanne Lewis, at the Excelsior Lutheran Church (now Mount Calvary). From 1954-1956, he served in the U.S. Army, much of the time in Germany.

When he returned to Minnesota, he completed a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota in 1958. Jack worked for Minneapolis Moline, Lyman Lumber, Adolphson-Peterson, Andrew Kindem, Bemis Bag, Audio Development, Sperry-Rand, Maico Electronics, and Electro Nuclear Systems before retiring from Honeywell in Hopkins, MN, in 1990 after 27 years.

From 1969-1986 he operated a hobby farm with his family in rural Montrose, MN. He loved being a part of the Watertown community, attending and watching sporting events, reading, history, attending Gustavus events, and working on family genealogy with Leanne. He and Leanne traveled extensively, including trips to Europe, Norway, Sweden, and China. He kept very busy--until a stroke slowed him down in November of 2015. From then on, he was lovingly cared for by Leanne.

Jack was preceded in death by his sister Kathleen (Noren) and his namesake grandson Jack Eric Norman. He is survived by his wife Leanne; children Leslie (Terry) Sworsky of St. Francis, MN; Lee (Denise) of Maple Grove, MN; Linda (Jim) Reding of Maple Grove, MN; and Eric (Jordene) of Osseo, MN; grandchildren Steve, Brian, Jessica, Andrew, Jocelyn, Jonathan, Christopher, Marisa, Luc, and Nick; great grandchildren Anika, Gerrit, Grant, and Liam.

We will celebrate his life in the spring around the time of his birthday.

Goodbye Grandpa Jack, we love you and we’ll miss you. Go, Gusties!

A Memorial Tree was planted for John
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society Of Minnesota | Brooklyn Park