Born on August 21, 1947 to Eugene and Rhoda Winnie in Berkeley, California. Norm attended Kensington Elementary School in Kensington. He graduated from Oakland High School in 1965. He attended college at Chabot Community College in Hayward, California. Norm first worked in the warehouse division of A.G.E. Department Store in Oakland where he met Barbara White who worked in the credit department of the same store. She was the love of his life. They were married on October 21, 1967 in San Leandro. They raised two beautiful daughters; Sherene Gruver presently of Elk Grove, California and Michele Cernik presently of Rocklin, California. Norm passed away on November 9, 2012. He was preceded in passing by his beloved wife Barbara by one year.
Norm and Barb began their marriage as managers of an apartment complex in Oakland. It was here that they started their family. Norm also worked at Sunshine Biscuits and then Lucky’s Stores. From Oakland they moved to San Ramon, California where they remained until Norm’s retirement from Lucky’s as a warehouseman and loyal Teamster of Local 70. It was six years ago, after Norm’s retirement that they moved to make Gridley their home.
During their life in the San Francisco Bay Area Norm and Barb were avid fans of the Oakland A’s baseball team. Before the game Norm would pack his SUV very carefully with everything anyone might possibly need at a tailgate party. We would enjoy a barbecue with every side dish you could think of because Norm and Barb were the King and Queen of the Oakland A’s tailgate party. During these “tailgaters” we were thankful for Norm’s famous organizational skills. His car (and house for that matter) was the neatest and most professionally stocked in the world. This was Norm. He thought of everything.
Norm and Barb shared a love for the ocean. While living in the Bay Area they traveled there often. Their home is filled with photos and figurines of sea otters, there to remind them of that special place in their hearts.
Norm loved animals and especially his dogs. His daily routine in San Ramon included piling the two dogs into the car and driving down to the nearest McDonalds restaurant so that he could treat the dogs to McDonalds famous French fries. There isn’t one of us who will forget Norm calling out “MAGGIE!” to his challenging Lhasa apso.
He was well known for his barbecues. We can all picture Norm standing in the garage over the barbecue in his shorts and barefoot, no matter what the weather or the temperature. It didn’t matter, Norm was oblivious. To him it was always summer.
Page 2 of 2 - Norm loved Gridley because it moved him close to two of his favorite places; Chester, California and the California Central Valley. Chester and it’s surrounding forest was Norm’s second home. To say that he loved to fish the streams and lakes in the area and visit with his friends from Chester and Lassen View Resort is an understatement. He lived to be in the forest. Norm also took up the game of golf on the greens of the Lake Almanor area near Chester. One of his most special spots was Horseshoe Lake, a beautiful and isolated lake in Lassen National Park.
In Gridley, Norm and Barb lived among the wintering waterfowl that he could hear flying over his house at night. He was a long time member and supporter of Ducks Unlimited. His house was decorated with numerous paintings of waterfowl, a statement of his love of the vision of thousands of geese, ducks and swans flying overhead.
Norm loved his grandchildren. The grandchildren’s room was always filled with new toys for their next visit. Norm and Barb saw to it that they knew they were loved.
Norm loved to swim and he loved kids. He could be found every afternoon in the backyard pool but he also stocked it with toys for the grandchildren and for the neighborhood children.
Norm was known as “Pooh” or “Pooh-bear” to his friends, of which he had many. Norm knew how to be a good friend. He had that remarkable ability to be thoughtful to the needs of his friends. You knew you were loved by Norm. He did not hide his feelings.
Norm had a relaxed and friendly manner both to friends and to strangers. He had a large presence, a good heart and a loving spirit. He was easy to like, easy to remember and will be impossible to forget.
Norm is survived by daughters Sherene and Michele, grandchildren Madison of Elk Grove, grandchildren Ryan and Hannah Cernik of Rocklin, brother Robert Winnie of New York, sister Yvonne Marler of Suisun, sister Mary Cooper of San Leandro, sister Karen Perazzo of Pacifica , and sister Carolyn Ziegler of Nevada.
Services will be held for Norm at: Crawford’s Barn, 2715 Tiber Drive, Sacramento, California, on Saturday, January 19, 2013, at 2 p.m.