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Norma Shaffer

September 5, 1919 April 17, 2014
Norma Shaffer
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Obituary for Norma Shaffer

NORMA LEAH AMMANN SHAFFER, 94, died April 17, 2014, in Rochester, MN. She was born September 5, 1919 to Frieda (Schneider) and Henry Ammann in Neptune, NJ. She graduated
from Asbury Park, NJ High School in 1937 and worked in New York City as a governess. She applied to three universities and rode a bus across country to enroll in the University of Minnesota,
sight unseen.

Norma worked her way through college and participated in the YWCA and Wesley Foundation. She earned her B.S. in food and nutrition science in 1941. After graduation, she worked at
Betty Crocker Kitchens in Minneapolis.

On December 18, 1942, she and Harold K. Shaffer were united in marriage by Rev. Henry Lewis at Lake Harriet Methodist Church in Minneapolis. The couple worked with Harold’s parents on the Shaffer family farm during World War II, then returned to the University. Harold earned his B.S. in 1946 and Norma earned her M.S. in 1947.

The couple lived in Owatonna, MN, for a year before settling on the Shaffer family farm in Troy Township near Pipestone, MN in 1948. They were dairy farmers.

Norma was active in the Presbyterian Church and the community. She was an ordained elder and deacon, and served on the session (church board). She was a leader in the presbytery (district) and synod (region) working for the equality of women and men in the church. She was a delegate to the church’s General Assembly (national meeting) in 1967. After Norma and Harold retired; they enjoyed attending Synod School at Grinnell and Buena Vista Colleges in Iowa.

Norma advocated for education and life-long learning. She served as a member of the Pipestone School Board for 18 years, and was instrumental in creating the joint school/public library in
Pipestone. Norma was a member of PEO and the Current Events Club in Pipestone. She was a Girl Scout leader before she had children. She and Harold were 4-H and Rural Youth Club Leaders.

She enjoyed baking, photography, reading and writing. Norma and Harold enjoyed hosting foreign exchange students and extended family members over the years. They traveled to Scandinavia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand in their retirement.

Norma is survived by son Kim (Jan) of Blue Earth, MN, daughter Carol (Otis Laurberg) of Rochester, MN, daughter Judy (Paul) Ruud of Fairfax Station, VA, eight grandchildren, three
great-grandchildren, her sister Marie Eberhardt of Mendham, NJ, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Harold, her sister Ruth Howland and
brother Ernest Ammann.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to First Presbyterian Church of Pipestone or Seasons Hospice of Rochester.

Norma donated her body to the Mayo Clinic. A graveside service will be held at a later date.

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