Norman E. Heller, 83, of Black River Falls, passed away peacefully, Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at the Wisconsin Veteran’s Home at Chippewa Falls.
Norm was born Dec. 24, 1935, in Black River Falls, Wis., to Francis Q. and Esther L. (Hulett) Heller. He was raised in Kenyon Valley, rural Black River Falls, where he attended grade school. He graduated from Black River Falls High School in 1953.
He married Shirley K. Cormican in Merrillan on March 8, 1958. The couple resided in Milwaukee before moving to the Squaw Creek area in the Town of Albion, and then their home in Kenyon Valley in the Town of Adams in 1960.
They raised four children in Kenyon Valley; two sons, Steve (Kris) Heller, Arcadia, Wis., and Scott Heller, Black River Falls; two daughters, Stephanie Heller, Black River Falls, and Salina Heller, Eau Claire.
Norm joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard at B.R.F. in 1953 and completed Basic and Advanced Training. He was a member of Troop A, 2nd Recon. Sqdn., 105th Cavalry, 32nd Infantry Division and was called to active duty in 1961, for the Berlin Crisis, during the Cold War. He was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington. He also served with the 127th Infantry while in Milwaukee and was honorably discharged on March 8, 1965. He was awarded a number of merit and marksmanship badges.
Norm was a tireless worker, and steadfastly provided for his family. He not only held full-time jobs, but also operated a beef farm in Kenyon Valley. He had a passion for the land and caring for animals. He raised beef, hogs, horses, and allowed for many cats and dogs, and even some rabbits, to always keep his children happy. A proud father, he watched his children help on the farm, and took them and his grandchildren on countless tractor and pony rides.
While operating the farm, he also worked full-time first, hauling milk. After driving milk trucks, he had a long career at the Jackson County Iron Mine for many years, until it shut down in 1983. After that, he went to work for the Town of Adams, and was the Road Maintenance Supervisor. Skilled in operating heavy equipment, he drove tanks while in the army, large dump trucks at the iron mine, and excavators and plow trucks at the Township.
Norm retired from the Town of Adams and farming, and in retirement, enjoyed working Sunday through Saturdays at Black River Liquor where he was able to visit with great friends and neighbors, and share camaraderie. He still loved watching crops, following current events, and attending activities of his children and grandchildren. He deeply cared for his family and friends, and loved his home and life.
Family events were bustling with laughter and stories, as he is survived by his grandchildren, Mike, Myla (Ed), Amanda, Nichole (Derek), Makayla, Kianna, and Emmarie Heller, Mindy (Greg) Braun, and Kelsey Casper; his great-grandchildren Melissa, Rylee, Grayden, Cooper, Jazmine, Iviannah, and Ryker; and his great-great-grandchild Nirvana.
Norm is also survived by his children; sister, Hazel McClaren; sisters-in-law Charlotte Heller and Linda Heller; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley; parents; two brothers, Francis Heller and Richard Heller; and a sister, Lillian Witte.
Funeral services with full military honors will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at Squaw Creek Lutheran Church, N12615 County Rd P, rural Black River Falls, WI, with Pastor Denise Anderson officiating. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery, Black River Falls. Visitation will be held on Friday, May 17, 2019, at Torgerson Funeral Home, 408 N. Water St., Black River Falls from 5:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. and again at the church on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. until time of service.
Torgerson Funeral Home, Black River Falls is assisting the family with arrangements.