Norma Francis


Norma Francis McConnell Courtney, 97, of Oskaloosa and formerly Ottumwa, passed away on December 18, 2023, at Oskaloosa Care Center.

Norma was born to Dale Grant and Lillian Alta (Beaumont) McConnell on November 21, 1926, on the family farm in Soap Creek Township, Davis County, Iowa. After her father’s death, her family moved to Ottumwa, and Norma graduated from Ottumwa High in 1945. She received her Normal Teacher training in high school and taught briefly before working at the telephone company as an operator.

Norma married Emery Marion Courtney on May 5, 1950, and they were married for 50 years before he passed away in July 2000. Before moving to Oskaloosa in the late 80’s, they lived most of their married lives on a farm near Ottumwa. Emery had Alzheimer’s Disease, and Norma lovingly cared for him for the last 25 years of his life.

Norma was a member of Two Timber Church of Christ, where she was very active. She enjoyed gardening, flowers, reading, and crossword puzzles in her free time.

Norma is survived by her children, Gale (Cor) Vermeulen of Oskaloosa, LaRue (Ray) Fagen of Midland, Texas, and William Courtney of Burlington, Iowa; grandchildren: Kees, Taaf, and Bram Vermeulen, Mariah McAlpin, Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider, Sara Thomas, Paul Fagen, Amy Courtney, and Andrea Layne; and 14 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
In addition to her parents and her husband, Norma was preceded in death by two sisters, Florence McConnell and Doris Lawson; two brothers, Howard and David McConnell; and a great-grandson, Kai McAlpin.

Funeral Services for Norma will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 30, 2023, at Langkamp Funeral Chapel in Oskaloosa. The burial will be in Shaul Cemetery in Ottumwa. The family will greet visitors from 9:30 a.m. to service time on Saturday. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to Two Timbers Church of Christ.

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