Norma Zeitler


Norma M. Zeitler, 98, of Douds, IA passed away, surrounded by her loving family, on Saturday, September 2, 2023, at the Timber Ridge Assisted Living in Ottumwa, IA. Funeral services will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, September 8, 2023, at the Christ United Methodist Church in Douds, IA with Tim Sprouse officiating. Burial will be in the Sunnyside Cemetery in Milton, IA immediately following the service. Visitation will be held at the Cranston-Pedrick Funeral Home in Keosauqua on Thursday, September 7, 2023, beginning at 3:00 pm with the family present to greet friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Memorial contributions in Norma’s honor may be directed to the Timber Ridge Assisted Living or to the Sunnyside Cemetery Association. Friends may leave online condolences at

Norma M. Zeitler was born on February 4, 1925, in rural Missouri to Dean and Mary Bletzer Gaffney. She attended country school before graduating from Milton High School with the class of 1943. Shortly after graduation she married the love of her life, James Zeitler. Norma and James lived for a short time in Colorado while James worked in the coal mines. Together they bought the farm and moved to rural Douds, IA which they would call home for the remainder of their lives. Norma was the proud mother of four boys: Fred, Jim, Rodney, and Matt. She was the perfect example of a hard-working farmwife and homemaker. She worked alongside James helping with the row crop and livestock operation but always had the gentle touch of a mother at home. Norma enjoyed crochet, as well as taking care of flowers and her garden. As their family grew, she made a point to support her grandchildren and great grandchildren, making as many of their events as she could. When the farm would allow, Norma traveled with James to Arizona making memories she would cherish forever. She was a member of the Douds United Methodist Church, Eastern Star, the Valley Club and was a lifelong Iowa Hawkeye Fan. Her presence will be deeply missed by her family, but they take comfort in knowing where she has gone, and the legacy she has left behind.

Norma was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, James (2022); two siblings, Norris Gaffney and Jean Evans; sisters-in-law, Thelma Gaffney and Nancy Gaffney; brother-in-law, John Evans, and a daughter-in-law, Nancy Zeitler.

Left to share her story are her children, Fred Zeitler (Susan Utt-Smith) of Douds, IA, Jim (Janet) Zeitler of Milton, IA, Rodney (Deborah) Zeitler of Iowa City, IA, and Matt (Teri) Zeitler of Douds, IA; 14 grandchildren, Jacque (Terry) Greene, Jana Zeitler, Shelly (Paul) Koenig, Emily (Chris) Odgaard, Angela (Kevin) Prevo, Jay (Krystal) Zeitler, Katie Kinnamon, William (Will) Zeitler, Elizabeth (Nilay) Zeitler, Joseph (Emily) Zeitler, Jeff (Manisha) Tedrow, Ashley (Drew) Crawford, Dakota (David) Albrecht, and Makenzie (Drew) Ostrander; as well as 33 great grandchildren, 12 great great grandchildren; her brother, Jerry Gaffney, as well as many extended family and friends.

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