Norma Gertrude Landstrom (McKay) passed away peacefully, with her son by her side at Dryden Regional Health Center on Friday, March 3, 2017. Norma was predeceased by her parents Norman and Gertrude McKay in 1960 and 1983 respectively, her husband Amer Joseph in 1998, her sisters Treasure Fecho in 2005 and Doreen Meadows in 2012 and her daughter, Cheryl Travis and grandson–in-law, Jody Wills, both in 2011.
Norma loved the outdoors and family. She spent a lifetime hunting, fishing and camping, only selling her shotgun when she was 65 when she moved to 10 Victoria St. She still had her fishing rod and fished in the river into her 70’s. She treasured family above all else. She never forgot a birthday or important occasion and always stayed in touch. Norma’s cards almost always arrived on the day of your birthday. She enjoyed many holiday celebrations with her family and played many a late night card game with them as well. She held dear her regular Saturday morning phone calls with Cheryl and made sure she kept knew what Dennis was up to way up north and kept everyone filled in on his whereabouts. She also fondly remembered family picnics, particularly when her kids were young and who would have thought “safety first” Norma would have let underage Dennis and Cheryl drive the car while out grouse hunting.
Norma was born on Dec. 8, 1927 in Dryden, where she spent most of her life. As a child she lived in a cabin near Dyment. She began school in Dyment and continued her education in Dryden. Norma told many stories of hunting and berry picking with her sisters. In the summer of 1947, Norma met Joe at the fair in Dryden and then married him on her birthday that year. Cheryl was born in 1949 and Dennis in 1951. In 1953 she headed west with her family, briefly to Manitoba and then to BC where they lived in several different towns until 1956 when Norma and the kids returned to Dryden for Cheryl to start grade 2. Norma worked hard nearly all her life. Most notably, she worked at the St. Regis Bag Factory, in the finishing room and as a security guard at the mill in Dryden. She also drove taxi, both as a young mother and in her later years. She finally retired in 1993. Norma also enjoyed gambling and had a few trips to Las Vegas. She was very proud of her time with the Frontiersman and recently donated her uniform to the museum in Dyment. Norma Gramma, as Kacy called her, really enjoyed spending time playing cards and learning about her iPhone with her great grandchildren. One visit Amy explained how her iPod worked, that you could get pictures and messages and play gambling games. Grandma phoned the next day and said she thought she’d like one of those. Norma mastered the iPod at 83. She loved to text and visit everyone on FaceTime. Grandma also loved hearing about the girls’ hockey games and even attended a few in Dryden and Thunder Bay.
Norma is lovingly remembered by her son, Dennis, son-in-law, Daral Travis, granddaughters, Lee-ann Wills and Kim Travis (Dustyn), three great granddaughters, Amy and Abby Wills and Kacy Coursolle and numerous cousins, and nephews. A special thank-you to cousins, Paddie and Sheila Doudiet, Dr. Cortens and the nurses for their care and kindness. As well, an extra special thank-you to Norma’s nephew, Rick Fecho, for spending time and looking after her as if she was his own mother. Norma really cherished this friendship.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dryden Regional Health Services Foundation in Norma’s memory through the Stevens Funeral Homes P.O. Box 412, Dryden ON P8N 2Z1. Condolences may be posted at www.stevensfuneralhomes.ca.