Charles and Barbara Norman


Charles William Norman, 91, and Barbara Lue (Kistner) Norman, 86, of Pine River, perished together in a catastrophic house fire in their family home of 64 years on March 21, 2023.

Charles “Chuck” Norman was born July 27, 1931, to Oscar William Norman and Jennie Marie (Kangas) Norman. After graduating from Pine River High School in 1949 he initially worked on the family farm with his 7 siblings. He then eagerly enlisted in the Army only to have his time cut short when his father died unexpectedly and he was needed to help his mother care for the 5 siblings still at home.

Barbara “Barb” Norman was born January 7, 1937, to Edward Timothy Kistner and Clara Lonette (Collins) Kistner in Walker, MN. She graduated from Walker High School in 1955. Barb also came from a family of 8 children and had been the primary caretaker of an older invalid sister. Very active in band and 4-H, she made good friends with Alta Norman (Chuck’s cousin). While visiting Alta, a Norman family function was held and she met Chuck. They were married September 20, 1958.

Their mutual experience and shared vision of caring for others through the opportunities at hand was realized with them starting a dairy operation and small crops farm. Working tirelessly 7 days a week, they raised 3 children, Tammy, Charles (Chas) and Brian. After the children graduated and left the home they worked the farm together as a dairy operation until 1994. When they sold the dairy cattle, the focus became high quality alfalfa hay and first quality beef.

Although raising cattle and crops while wrestling with land and weather brought them income, what brought them wealth was their relationships with any and all they met. It was important to them to be good neighbors, always ready with a listening ear, a story, a cup of coffee and “just one” cookie. Their dining table was the treasured spot for all who stopped in.

Chuck was preceded in death by his parents; brother Oscar; and sisters, Rose and Ruth. He is survived by his brothers: Daniel “Dan”, Edward “Ed”, Robert “Bob” and sister Mary. Barb was preceded in death by her parents; sisters: Frances, Helen, Jeanne, Mary and Patricia. She is survived by her brothers, Bruce and Edward “Ed”.

They are survived by their children: daughter, Tammy; sons, Charles (Carol) and Brian (Chae); granddaughters: Brooke, Chasity (David) and Temmi; grandsons: Charles (Becky), Eric (Meghan) and Randy (Megan); and 15 great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at the First Lutheran Church, Pine River, on Saturday, April 1. Visitation will be from 10:00 am-12:00 pm with the services 12 noon. A Norman feast will be served following the service. We invite all whose lives they touched to come to share a meal, memories and of course coffee and “just one” cookie.

Kline Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

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