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Norma passed away peacefully at her home, surrounded by her children, on Wednesday, January 13, 2021; exactly where she asked to be. Her beloved husband of 55 years, who passed away almost exactly 6 months prior, was patiently waiting for her, holding open the door of his bright blue 1950 Chevy Deluxe, ready to help her in and go for a cruise…
Norma was born to Donald and Agatha Rinehart on July 27, 1945, in Faribault, MN. As the oldest of 4 children, Norma helped to raise her 3 siblings after her mother passed when she was just 11 years old. Later, she was blessed with 3 half-siblings. Norma had dreams of being a hairdresser. Shortly after graduating from Morristown High School in 1963, she obtained her cosmetology license. While attending beauty school, she met a sharp-dressed guy named Phillip, who was one year her junior, at a dance at the Kato Ballroom. He took her to his senior prom, proposed, and they were married on January 9, 1965. The rest is 55 years of entertaining history.
They raised 3 children, Ronda Johnson (David), Kellie Deegan-Dirksen (Jason Ingles), and Dan Deegan (Dawn).
Norma spent her life working as a beautician. In the late 1980s, she teamed up with her very close friend, Joan Stoffel, and created Park Lane Beauty Salon in West Mankato, a salon that catered to the elderly and people with special needs. They had a mobility van that would go to rest homes and group homes to pick up clients and provide them with a day at the salon and return them home. In the 90s, they both opened several salons in many retirement homes in Mankato.
Besides being a cosmetologist, Norma enjoyed sewing, interior decorating, planning themed parties, gardening, reading, riding with her husband in his fleet of classic cars, and spending time with her family. Sunday suppers were important to her; after a big meal, she got to play with the grandbabies and the great-grandbabies and catch up with her family.
Norma and her husband were foster parents to several children, helping them to transition to new lives. She also made it her mission to support particular charities that touched her heart as well as donating her books and magazines to many different assisted living facilities in the area.
Norma is survived by her children; 9 grandchildren; several ‘adopted’ children and grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Phillip; her parents; her grandchild, Amy; and several aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws.
Funeral Mass will be held at 3pm on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Mankato. Visitation will be an hour prior to the service at the front of the church. Masks will be required at the church. Burial will follow at Pilgrims Rest Cemetery in Mankato. A celebration of life at the Kasota Community Center will be held immediately after the burial.
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