Cover photo for Norma May Till's Obituary
Norma May Till Profile Photo
1930 Norma 2023

Norma May Till

August 14, 1930 — July 26, 2023

Norma Till passed away July on 26 after a long struggle

with Alzheimer’s. She was a Redlands resident for over

50 years. Norma was born in Edmonton, Alberta,

Canada on August 14, 1930. She grew up in a loving

household with five sisters and two brothers as the

baby of the family. Growing up in Canada meant cold

winters and Norma speed skating as a young adult.

After attending Donald Ross and MacKay Avenue

Schools, Norma joined the workforce as a bookkeeper.

In the fall of 1953, she met 2 nd Lieutenant Arthur N. Till.

Lt. Till was an F-86 Sabre pilot in the United States Air

Force whose unit was on temporary assignment to

Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska. The unit was

grounded in Edmonton due to poor weather in

Fairbanks. Norma and Art met at Art’s hotel where

Norma had accompanied a friend to see the American

servicemen. Since the weather was clearing and the

unit would soon depart for Alaska, Art proposed after only three days and Norma said yes. The

next month, Art returned on a 30-day leave and Norma and Art were married on November 7,

1953. They honeymooned in Las Vegas, Nevada. The marriage would last until Art’s passing in

1996 - 42 years with only a three-day courtship!

Life as an Air Force officer’s wife took Norma all over the world. After their marriage, Norma

relocated from the Canadian prairies to the California desert as Art’s unit was stationed at

George Air Force Base in Victorville. She would soon accompany Art to New Jersey, to France –

where daughter Kellie was born, to Germany – where son Tom was born, to Virginia – where

their second son David was born. The entire family then moved to the island of Oahu as Art was

stationed at Hickam Field. They remained in Hawaii as Art did two tours in Vietnam. Their last

move was to Redlands, California when Art was stationed at Norton Air Force Base in San

Bernardino. Upon Art’s retirement from the Air Force, Norma, and her family settled

permanently in Redlands.

In 197, Norma’s family grew with the addition of a son-in-law and daughter-in-law as daughter

Kellie married Brian Connor and son Tom married Sue Barder 26 days apart in August and

September. Norma, unfortunately, lost her youngest son, David, in 1980 as he succumbed to

injuries sustained in an automobile accident. The odd years of the 1980s brought great joy to

Norma as she was blessed with 5 grandsons: Bob 1981, Jim 1983, Daniel 1985, Ryan 1987, and

Jeffrey 1989. The grandsons brought Norma great joy as she watched them growing up, and

attended their baseball games, scouting ceremonies, school presentations and ceremonies, and

lacrosse games to mention just a few.

1979 also saw Norma’s return to the workforce. Beginning first as an instructional aide at

Mariposa Elementary School and then as a librarian at Mentone Elementary School. Norma


Norma Till


dedicated 27 years to the children of Redlands and Mentone. She was a part-time employee

but would happily spend many additional hours beyond her contracted work day so students

could reap the benefits of the library. In 2000, she was one of four selected as Classified

Employee of the Year for Redlands Unified School District. When Norma retired from Mentone

Elementary in 2006, she had been their librarian for 22 years and the school’s principal, Mr.

O’Neill, proclaimed the Mentone School Library would be forever known as the Norma Till

Library.

During the summer months, Norma enjoyed spending time at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas,

California, and road trips with her husband, Art, in their RV, exploring the Southwest and Pacific

Northwest. Norma also enjoyed spending time in Virginia with her son, Tom, and his family. On

her 75 th birthday, her Canadian family had a family reunion/birthday party for her at Seba Beach

in Alberta. Norma was able to spend time in Edmonton with family members she hadn’t seen in

years and visit sites from her childhood.

Norma is a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a mother. She is a grandmother to five and a great-

grandmother to four – Kacie, Kalvin, Serafín, and Nolan. She enjoyed golfing, bowling (in which

she competed well into her 70s), watching baseball (especially the Angels), and she was an avid

dancer. She and Art belonged to a dance club for many years. Norma enjoyed Coca-Cola and a

vodka tonic with lemon (NOT lime!). She enjoyed sausage pizza and loved Disneyland.

Norma loved her pets; her dog, Ramona, kept her active with their daily walks, and her cat,

Dory, kept her company as they watched the Angels play on TV. Norma always maintained her

Canadian citizenship and was proud of her Norwegian heritage.


The family invites you to view a slideshow of Norma’s life: https://youtu.be/atIuBVUOsX0

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Norma May Till, please visit our flower store.

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