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 Norma Elizabeth <I>Branch</I> DeWitt

Norma Elizabeth Branch DeWitt

Death 15 Apr 2013 (aged 86)
Burial Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
Memorial ID 108812258 · View Source
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Norma DeWitt
86, of Speedway, passed away on April 15, 2013. She was preceded in death by her parents, Weir and Mary Branch and son, David DeWitt. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 65 years, to whom she married in 1947, Paul DeWitt; children, Douglas (Nancy) DeWitt, Joyce DeWitt and Ruth (Scott) Musgrave; sisters, Virginia Morelli, Irene Lupinetti and Dorothy McLaughlin; 8 grandchildren and 5 great- grandchildren.

Visitation will be held on Friday, April 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in St. Christopher Catholic Church, 5301 W. 16th St., Speedway. Entombment will follow in West Ridge Park Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Stevens Mortuary , 5520 W. 10th St., Indpls.

Norma Elizabeth DeWitt was born July 23, 1926, in Wellsburg, W. Va., the 13th child of Italian immigrants whose name was shortened from Branciarolli to Branch when they came through Ellis Island.

The family settled in the upper Ohio River Valley, western PA, northeastern OH and the panhandle of W. Va. Steel mills, coal mines and other manufacturing were the industries, and her father, Weir, was right in there, followed by her brothers and husband in the years ahead. As with most large families who settled in the country at the time, they were very self-sufficient—lives revolved around family and friends who often came from similar origins.

Surrounded by the love of her mother, Mary, and older siblings, her childhood was full of wonder and positive experiences, even with an old-world, proud, but strict Papa! She flourished in that loving environment, wanting for little, even though they all experienced the Great Depression and its hardships.

As the Depression came to an end, better days appeared. HS days were among her fondest times--the big band era and dancing was the rage, and saw the beginning of Mom's love of music (these great times continued in the post war days as well for The Greatest Generation, as Tom Brokaw called them). Indeed, as the HS days were winding down, WWII became the next challenge for them to face. The men were all off to war, and the women went to work in the factories.

Mom worked at the Eagle Can factory making lubricating oil cans of all sizes and shapes. Paul was off to war in the European theater. Ironically, he had worked at the can factory before he left for war. When he came back, he went back to Eagle and that's where he and mom met and the romance was on.

Dad's mother, brother and sister, actually left shortly for Indianapolis, lured by other job opportunities—dad followed as well, but, missed Mom too much—so, he headed back to Wellsburg to be with Mom.

Mom and Dad were married a few months later, and their early married years found Dad at the steel mill and Mom caring for Doug, Joyce and Ruth, all born within 4 years. We siblings' memories were of only wonderful things, and the great family gatherings almost every Sunday. The Dad's all played cards, while the women prepared and served old-world Italian dishes, watched kids and shared life's stories and experiences. Those gatherings were truly the best.

In 1955, Dad again got a chance to go to work in Indianapolis, and Paul and Norma were the first of their generation to leave the cocoon and the clan behind. It turned out to be great move. Dad had a great career at Allison Div of GM, and Mom was a homemaker and mother supreme—and on occasion, she took work outside the home to help when needed. She worked at RCA for a couple years to get the down payment for the home in which they still reside to this day.

Mom was full time homemaker until the late 60's when the three of us were graduating HS and moving onto college to help with those expenses—she first went back to work at RCA for a 2 year stint, went to the Water Company for a brief stint and then ultimately to Sears, where she worked for more than 20 years. She loved having her own spending money, but had the good sense to buy most things on the charge cards that Dad paid for—smart cookie was Mom.

We were all so lucky to have been raised in such a great environment and in such a great time in our country. Along the way, in 1962, we had another family member join in—little brother David. He was, from day one until the end, the apple of Mom's eye! Being a tad ornery, he kept the folks busy as the three of us older siblings were off starting careers and lives of our own.

In the 70's, grandchildren were introduced, and filled everyone's lives with more joy and wonder. Along the way, Mom and Dad traveled, spent winters in Florida, and always enjoyed time with friends—plus, there were always the trips back to visit family in Wellsburg. Mom led a full and active life—was the consummate mother and wife. Active forever in church at St Christopher—her last days were filled with the wonder of the last two great-grandchildren's arrival.

She will be missed and never forgotten. Mom was one of a kind—all whom she touched were lucky and blessed for the experience. As Neil Diamond (whose music Mom really liked), said in a song, her life was "done too soon!" That was certainly true for Norma Elizabeth DeWitt. She cheated us all and left before her time was done and before we were ready! But, we know she's in a happy place, back with David, her Mom and Dad and all the wonderful brothers, sisters and friends who passed before her.

Simply the best, Mom!

Family Members




  • Created by: KEW
  • Added: 20 Apr 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 108812258
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Norma Elizabeth Branch DeWitt (23 Jul 1926–15 Apr 2013), Find A Grave Memorial no. 108812258, citing West Ridge Park Cemetery, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by KEW (contributor 46998261) .