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Paws With A Cause
4646 S. Division
Wayland, MI 49348
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Life Story / Obituary
Norma Luneke modeled a lifetime of hard work and commitment to the family she loved. A generous and loving wife, mother, and grandmother, she treasured the time she spent with her family building memories over the years. Nothing brought her greater joy than being around people. Her warm spirit and soft-hearted ways will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by her many special friends and loved ones for generations to come.
The 1920s saw large-scale industrial growth and significant changes in our nation’s culture. At a time when Lou Gehrig and Amelia Earhart were household names, Corwin and Maude (Driscoll) Dager welcomed home their newborn daughter, Norma, on June 27, 1928, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Born sandwiched between her older brother, Neil, and younger brother, Marland, Norma brought great hope and promise to her parents during an exciting time in our nation’s history.
Norma’s childhood was scattered with several moves in order for her father to continue his work with road construction. By the time she was well into her elementary school years, they settled in Dutton. As a young adolescent, Norma found her niche with bowling. She took lessons and enjoyed the sport at the local Fanitorium close to her home for many years. Norma was a model student and graduated from Caledonia High School. In order to make some money of her own, she took a waitressing position at Holly House. Never learning how to drive a car, she was thankful that both the bowling alley and her work were close to her home on Jefferson Street. During her growing years and lasting well into her adulthood, Norma developed an especially close relationship with her Aunt Virginia, her dad's sister. Without a sister of her own, Norma leaned on her for advice and the support of friendship. Their bond was very special and the feeling they shared about one another was mutual.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting with the man who would become her husband, Richard “Dick” Luneke! The two of them met in high school and were joined in marriage on May 25, 1951. Together they raised three wonderful children; Lyle, Linda, and John. During their years on Dean Street, Norma cherished her years as a homemaker. She doted on her children and ensured that they were well cared for over the years. Norma woke early each morning to fix breakfast and send Dick off to work. Afterward, she would busy herself with packing the kids’ lunches often with homemade peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches or her special macaroni and cheese. By 1963, the family moved to Marne. Active throughout her life, it wasn’t uncommon for Norma to join her kids in shooting baskets and watching sports with them. It was well known by her entire family that the Indiana Pacers were her favorite! Nurturing as well as easy-going, Norma instilled in her children the importance of family.
After the children were grown, she and Dick enjoyed many favorite pastimes. They spent many of their summers at their cottage on Big Star Lake where all were welcome. The more the merrier as far as Norma was concerned. She enjoyed entertaining at the lake and continuing her tradition of preparing special dishes for her family and friends. Norma also enjoyed going on motorcycle rides. When she was younger she liked to drive them on her own but in her older years, she would gladly ride as a passenger! Norma enjoyed all genres of music. She was a talented piano player and also played the accordion. She shared her gifts on special occasions or whenever a family member asked her to play. She mostly enjoyed hymns and country music but her taste also included her favorite artist, Neil Diamond. A lover of all people, Norma loved to touch base with her neighbors. She especially enjoyed having coffee with her good friend Bertha McCarthy, who lived across the street. It was not unusual for her to peek out the kitchen window while making her coffee to see if there was anyone up and available for conversation. A good listener and loyal friend, Norma had a special knack for making others feel special in her presence.
By 2006, Norma moved to the Villa Maria Retirement Community where she made many lasting friendships with other residents. When it came to relaxing, both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy became her regular television shows in recent years. There simply wasn’t anything in life that Norma looked back on with regret. She lived her life to the fullest by caring for the family she loved. Norma modeled treating others the way she wanted to be treated as well as being generous beyond measure. There is no doubt that she will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
Norma J. Luneke, age 91 of Grand Rapids, Michigan, passed away July 6, 2019. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard in 2010, and by her brothers Neil and Marland Dager. Norma is survived by her children, Lyle (Carol) Luneke, Linda (Jim) Wholey, and John (Karen) Luneke; 9 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren; and a special niece, Brenda Sawyer. A private family service will be held to remember and celebrate Norma’s life. Interment will be in Fairplains Cemetery. The family thanks Yorkshire Manor and Great Lakes Hospice for the wonderful care Norma received. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Paws With A Cause are appreciated. To share a memory or leave a condolence please visit www.heritagelifestory.com