|Birth: ||Oct. 6, 1916|
|Death: ||Jan. 6, 2008|
South Carolina, USA
Norma Marie F. Custer, of Pimlico, widow of Harold E. Custer, departed this life for eternal slumber January 6.
Norma Marie was born to Ethel May Boone and Fred Frinkley in Mantua, Ohio in the family home.
Her father was a musician and orchestra director and her mother played piano for silent movie actors when they came to town. Music and entertainment ran through Norma's veins.
At a young age she learned to sing, dance and play the piano by ear. Norma grew up in a challenging time; she survived diphtheria and scarlet fever, which took her brother Billy at age 3. Money, food and clothing was short during the depression. She had to stop going to school in the winter at a young age because her mom and dad couldn't afford winter boots to get her through the snow. She and her younger sister Helen supported the war effort by working in a tire factory. These early years would teach Norma to never want for anything, which she didn't.
Norma Marie had her three girls. At age 35, in 1941, she gave birth to her first baby girl, Shirley Ann. She was now a mother and she loved her little girl and did her best to raise her alone under difficult circumstances.
In 1948 Norma Frinkley would become Norma Custer. She married Harold Elwood, a contract painter. She was Marie to him and he Elwood to her. In 1949 Norma became a mother again; Brenda Joyce was born and a little over a year, Beverly May came along. Three daughters kept Norma very busy. Family was her whole life. She loved to cook and sing for them. Teaching them everything from nursery rhymes to songs from her favorite singers, from Patsy Cline to Bing Crosby.
Whether intentional or not, Norma instilled an inner strength in all of her girls, a strength that would assist them all to get through difficult times in their own lives. Her love was constant and deep. She loved her children, but her pets too, and cats were her favorite. Every cat Norma owned was treated like a queen or king, and they knew it too.
Norma finally became a grandmother in 1962 to Valerie Ann. She'd be a grandma five more times after, to Michael, Lisa, Martin, Dustin and Matthew. She was also a grandmother to Lisa, Jerry Jr. and Laurie. When asked about the memories of their grandmother words like kindness, sweet, always laughing and smiling, agreeable, optimistic and funny came to mind. She wasn't easily disappointed or expected much from anyone. We all sure were lucky.
After living in Ohio her whole life, at age 75, Norma decided to move to Summerville. She'd had enough of the cold. Norma never drove, Harold did, but she was the best back seat driver telling Harold where, when and how to get there. Music was always a part of Norma's life, but at age 75 is when we all believe she truly began to have the most fun of all, when many Goose Creek friends knew her best. She was a gal who loved a celebration. She enjoyed dancing, whether in the chair bopping, or on the dance floor. Never shy and never wanting to miss out on anything, Norma was the life of the party, there was something special about her, friends would say. Those arms and snapping fingers never seemed to stay below her head much during these days. Her favorite line when having a good time with a cocktail was: Here's looking up your old address.
She was the only 80 year-old who decided to take up smoking; of course she was a pseudo-smoker, to her own admittance, holding the cigarette was the most fun, only blowing out, not in. Like many older people, Norma had her share of illnesses, but she never complained or wanted sympathy. She never asked for help, but it was always there. Friends and family helped to get her through her most difficult times. Norma's daughters did a lot to help, but Norma will forever be grateful for the selflessness of Jerry, Dustin and Brenda, who she lived with the past 6 years. Norma never wanted to be a burden to anyone, apologizing daily for her weaknesses and health. But Brenda wouldn't have it. Her drill sergeant approach with loving hands, not just helped Norma get through absolutely every physical and mental obstacle that came her way, but made her an example to the medical profession and to all caring families. While challenging at times, Norma was a model patient who never ceased to amaze everyone who came in contact with her. Hope, love, happiness and a gentle spirit is what Norma Marie taught us. Her great grandchildren, Caroline, Ellen, Michael, Ivy, Gage, Garret, Kelsy, Savannah, and Valerie Ann Marie will always have only the best memories of a woman who gave everything. Norma was also an aunt to Jim and Bill. Family was her life and we will all deeply miss that. Her smile will be in our hearts forever. We love you Norma, Mom, Grandma!
Harold Elwood Custer (1917 - 1998)*
Summerville Cemetery & Mausoleum
South Carolina, USA
Created by: Just another taphophile
Record added: Jan 10, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 23890687