Having served her Lord, her family, her community, and the youth of Galveston County for over 69 years, Linda Nash Norman passed away peacefully at her home on March 10, 2017, comforted by the man who loved her for over 50 years.
Linda also known as Linda Lou, Linda Kind and Lovie was born on Galveston Island on November 22, 1947 to Paul and Helen Nash. Linda and her older sister, Nancye, grew up with active and loving parents first in midtown Galveston and then on the Nash family farm on the west end of the island. She and Nancye enjoyed a happy childhood, attending Galveston schools and sharing in Presbyterian faith at First Presbyterian Church and later at West Isle Presbyterian Church, where their parents were founding members.
From an early age, Linda’s innate talent and love for sports gained her a reputation as a gifted athlete. As a youth, she participated in numerous sports - excelling at fast-pitch softball, marksmanship and bowling in particular. At only 16 years of age, she won the National Championship of Bowling in Washington D.C.
Linda graduated from Ball High School in 1966 where she was an active member of the ROTC, holding several awards in rifle marksmanship. Following graduation, she journeyed to the University of North Texas in Denton, where she earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in physical education.
While home for Christmas break in 1970, Linda’s charming childhood sweetheart, Cecil Ray Norman, proposed marriage. Not wanting to spend any time apart while Linda finished working on her master’s degree at UNT, the two love birds married during the break in a wedding on January 9, 1971. That marriage would set the example of what a marriage should be for the next 46 years.
Always the sensible to Cecil’s comical, Linda finished her schooling and began her career teaching physical education at Texas City’s Northside Elementary. She taught there for 20 years and later at Parker Elementary in Galveston for 15 years, where she impacted hundreds of students throughout her many years of teaching and coaching. In 1987, her colleagues voted her “Teacher of the Year” for the Texas City Independent School District.
With their own hands, Linda and Cecil built their home across the street from the Nash family farm where they welcomed daughters Jocelyn Rae in 1978 and Sarah Lynn in 1980. Linda and Cecil created a warm and loving home not only for their daughters, but also for all of their friends, and for numerous Galveston citizens who needed a helping hand. Upon entering the Norman home, one could always count on a warm smile, and a serving of Linda’s homemade chili, chicken flautas, gumbo or crab cakes which rivaled Paula Deen’s.
Kids could also count on the Normans to host elaborate Halloween parties complete with scavenger hunts, hayrides, fortune tellers and apple-bobbing. As the children grew, Linda continued her thread of caring for Galveston’s youth by coaching and leading the Lassie League Softball Organization. In 1988, Coach Norman took her team of 10 and under all-stars (a team that included her youngest daughter) to the National ASA Tournament in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma where despite their small stature and youth, the team went on to place 2nd in the entire country for amateur softball.
Although she received numerous accolades throughout her professional career and association with youth sports, Linda’s greatest joy came from caring for her family. She was Cecil’s steadfast companion – their partnership embodying a seamless blend of love, humor, respect and community engagement. She created a life for her daughters where they would share a close bond with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and instilled in them a love for God, a sense of kindness and compassion, and community awareness and activism. She celebrated their accomplishments wholeheartedly and selflessly gave her time to their numerous interests.
Linda now rests peacefully with her parents; her mother-in-law, Lois Hays; and her sister and brother-in-law, Nancye and Ernie Bright. Linda will be sadly missed and joyfully remembered by her husband, Cecil; daughters, Jocelyn and Sarah; son-in-law Derron Cook; sister and brother in-law Tresea and Parviz Moradi, and other beloved family members and friends, including her church family.
Bringing her much joy in her later years were Linda’s five grandchildren: Gunnar,
Charlotte, Cannon, Cali and Sawyer. Lovie’s five learned compassion and kindness well beyond their years through their participation in her care. This is the legacy she leaves for them, and they will always hold a special place in their hearts for Lovie.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at J. Levy & Termini Funeral Home. We will celebrate Linda’s remarkable life on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 11:00 AM at West Isle Presbyterian Church, with the Reverend Dr. Bob Bullock officiating. Interment will follow at New City Cemetery on 42nd Street and Broadway. The family would like to welcome all to a lunch reception at West Isle following interment to share in the love and laughter of Linda’s life.
Pallbearers will be Richard McLaren, Derron Cook, Parviz Moradi, Bobby Bero, Jimmy Gerondale and Pat Dye.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Linda’s cousins John Nash, Pete Nash, Eddie Nash, and Donnie Lera; and, nephews Chris Porter and GW Norman, Jr.
The family thanks you for any beautiful flowers, and asks that you please remember West Isle Presbyterian Church and the Alzheimer’s Association in Linda’s honor.