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Norman Shepler Zeiters
Birth: Aug. 28, 1917
Death: Nov. 10, 2008


In many ways you are defined and to some extent limited by the environment in which you were raised and grew up. Although you have moved away, aged and may live in much better circumstances those invisible strings of the past will always form psychological entanglements in your life, these are strings from the past that you will never untie. You will never completely leave the past behind; it will always live somewhere in you. For us the past was the 50ís. Most of us are fairly nostalgic about growing up in La Mesa in the 50ís and have fond memories of our neighbor dressed as Santa, asking us what we wanted in the middle of down town La Mesa.

My dadís defining environment was the Great Depression and being put into an orphanage with his brother when he was a young boy. Those two events haunted him the rest of his life. It also indirectly affected our lives because his anxiousness caused us to be fearful. The harsh treatment, cruel punishment and austere conditions in the orphanage also affected him. He was a pretty strict disciplinarian to us, though nothing like the beatings he endured routinely at the institution. He also grew up in a family that showed no affection to each other, so for most of our lives, we felt loved, but he really did not openly express it to us. He also hated gardening because it was part of the forced labor that the orphanage children had to perform for their meals at the orphanage. I think my father did pretty well by all of us considering his childhood and we have far more happy memories of the silly board games we played at home than bad ones. His depression years also taught us to be thrifty and the importance of home ownership. We are grateful to him and my mother for passing those values on to us as their life lessons.

After his death, we were looking at his albums. They were full of smiling pictures of a handsome, tanned young man in the Navy. It was easy to see how important the Navy was and how much it shaped his life. Of course, we all learned the floor was the deck and the other word for walls, ceilings, etc. as they were on a ship. The influence of the Navy on his life was clearly profound and probably became the family he never really had. The Navy and its patriarchal structure provided a solid father figure for him with the shipís captain in place of a real father. It was also easy to see how much fun he had in the Navy with a different girl in every port.

Finally, his marriage of almost 50 years and his life in the same house for 58 years provided the stability to all of us growing up on Bellflower Drive, in the same house, with the same neighbors and the same schools. They represented stability to us in unstable times as we navigated the sixties, survived the seventies, sailed through the eighties, slept through the nineties and woke up in the new millennium. The only unchanging part of those turbulent times was the same parents in the same house for fifty years. Kind of like our own personal Rock of Gibraltar. Many of us returned to that house to stay when our marriages failed and we needed the haven of our old home. We were always welcomed home. It will always be a sanctuary to us in our hearts even if it is no longer in our family. If for nothing else our father deserves to have his life celebrated for its simplicity and its solidness. My dad was a humble man, who read the newspaper, watched the evening news and saw through the majority of the politicians with the kind of laser wit that would make OíReilly proud. He helped build Trinity Presbyterian Church literally by pouring the slab with some of the other residents of our street and continued to belong to the church for many years.

In his final waning years, like the rest of us, he missed our mother immensely. Although he had pain, he never complained about it or the limitations that being on oxygen forced on him. He still was fairly active and ate hearty, watched television, called his friends and family and read his Bible every day. He wanted to die at home in his own bed in his own house and thankfully God granted him that final wish. I know he considered himself to be blessed to have met and married our mother. We were likewise blessed to have him in our lives for so long. We thank God for this blessing and know he is safe in heaven in the arms of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I read a story in the UT about a young eleven- year old boy who died of cancer after a valiant fight. Before he died he wrote to his friends and family: ďI have had a wonderful time on earth. Donít be sad. Celebrate my life and have fun. I love you all.
P.S. See you on the other side.Ē If this youngster had a wonderful life and the wisdom at eleven to tell us to celebrate and have fun, I know that Zekey would second the motion. He did have a wonderful life and we salute his life well lived.

God Bless you all and thank you for joining us here today to share this time with us. I know Zeke is smiling from the other side.
Family links: 
  William Dorson Zeiters (1876 - 1918)
  Twila May Zeiters (1923 - 1996)
  Dorothy M Kinsey (1905 - 1995)*
  William D Zeiters (1914 - 2006)*
  Norman Shepler Zeiters (1917 - 2008)
*Calculated relationship
1917 - 2008
1923 - 1996

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
San Diego
San Diego County
California, USA
Maintained by: Mickey
Originally Created by: International Wargraves ...
Record added: Jul 02, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 72481296
Norman Shepler Zeiters
Added by: Mickey
Norman Shepler Zeiters
Added by: Mickey
Norman Shepler Zeiters
Added by: Mickey
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