Norman (“Norm”) Leroy Ponsford, age 73, of Dassel, passed away at St. Cloud Hospital the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018.
He was born May 13, 1945, in St. Cloud, to Wendell and Marian (Sparks) Ponsford.
Norm grew up in Annandale, and graduated from Annandale High School in 1963.
He then joined the Air Force and was stationed in Lubbock, TX.
Norm managed the Ben Franklin Store in Buffalo after he came home from the service, and then, in 1975, he owned the Ben Franklin Store in Cokato.
Norman and Linda (Danberg) were united in marriage Oct. 9, 1982, at Golden Valley United Methodist Church in Golden Valley.
After Norm and Linda were married, Norm managed Tom Thumb stores in the Minneapolis area, and was then asked to manage the Hutchinson Tom Thumb store. After being there a few years, he was asked to manage the new Erickson Freedom store that was being built in Hutchinson.
A few years later, Norm decided to do something different and went to work for Hutchinson Technology, where he was the inventory lead for over 10 years.
At the time of his death, Norm had been a Mason for 50 years, and was a member of the Dassel American Legion.
He served as a volunteer firefighter while living in Buffalo.
Norm was a people person. He was always an open book. Any opportunity to talk to people was a highlight of his day.
Music was also a very important part of Norm’s life. His love of music began when he was a child singing solos in church and singing with the church choir that his mom directed.
Norm and Linda met in a singing group. After the group disbanded, Norm and Linda continued to sing at various churches, weddings, and other events. Norm loved to sit at the piano and sing with Linda for hours. The last few years it became difficult for him to sing due to his lack of lung capacity, which was very disheartening to him.
He thoroughly loved listening to Linda play the piano. Norm also loved camping, fishing, and being in the beautiful outdoors as much as possible.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Wendell and Marian; and his sister-in-law, Rachel Danberg.
Norm is survived by his wife, Linda, of Dassel; children: Jon, of Olympia, WA, and Sue, of Minneapolis, from his first marriage to Eloise Heagle; brothers Tom (Bonnie) of Annandale, and Jim of Cokato; grandchildren Julian and Madison; mother-in-law Nancy; father-in-law Kale (JoAnn); brothers-in-law David (Donette) and Jeff; nieces and nephews Tom, John, Kim (Chey), Lindsey, Trista, Kenny and Seth; and his four adored cats.
The funeral service took place Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Cokato, with visitation starting at 1 p.m. at the church. The Cremation Society of Minnesota handled cremation arrangements. Interment will take place at a later date at the Baptist Cemetery.