I wrote this obit on Monday and then, pursuing a life story, went to the home of some of the listed surviving because I couldn't seem to get in touch with anybody.
Nobody was home, but when I was leaving, a car passed me and when I saw them pull into the driveway, turned around and pulled up.
I talked with two of the surviving sons about George and they were more than willing to share their memories of their father.
They were even willing to help me back into my car when, in my excitement, I totally locked my keys in the car.
Here's the obit:
George Washington Norman Sr., 81, of Columbia died on Sunday, July 11, 2010, at his home.
He was born April 15, 1929 in Dumas, Ark. by parents Robert and Mary Frances Berry Norman.
Mr. Norman is survived by two brothers, Rainy Huggins of Star City, Ark., and Samuel Peterson of Pine Bluff, Ark.; two daughters: Lisa A. Turner and Lori A. Tatum of Columbia; seven sons, Peter A. Norman, George W. Norman Jr., Edward W. Norman and Jason O. Norman of Columbia, Wendell E. Norman of Tulsa, Okla., Robert B. Norman of Milwaukee, Wis., and Octavius D. Norman of St. Charles; 46 grandchildren and 44 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday at the H.T. May and Son Funeral Home, 2207 Holly Ave., Columbia. Services are planned to be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, 702 Banks Ave., Columbia. Burial will be at Memorial Park Cemetery.
-- Gianna Volpe
And here's the life story, which wasn't even up for some reason.
I just had that fixed over at the copy desk.
I plan to go and visit the family and give them the link to the story.
George Washington Norman Sr., of Columbia, died Sunday, July 11, 2010, at his home. He was 81.
Mr. Norman was born April 15, 1929, in Dumas, Ark., to Nancy Huggins, whose brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Mary Norman, raised him on the family's agricultural farm.
He met and married his wife, Joyce, when the two were about 17.
George and Joyce Norman operated a hamburger stand called Jay's from 1975-1979 in Dumas, Ark. The restaurant was named after their son Jason.
The family then moved to Tacoma, Wash., where they remained until 1983.
George Norman Jr. wanted to open a barbecue place in Columbia in the early 80s, but didn't want to proceed without the help of his father. George Norman Sr. was known for his talent with cooking barbecue.
In 1983, George Norman Sr. moved to Columbia to work at Norman's BBQ as head cook and operator. Norman's BBQ was located at Garth Avenue and Business Loop 70.
George Norman Sr.'s granddaughter, Stephanie Bonaparte, 26, said that every Fourth of July her grandfather had a gathering where he would cook barbecue for the family. She said her grandfather was not only someone who loved cooking, but was also a self-taught piano player with a passion for jazz music.
Bonaparte described George Norman Sr. as someone who took care of everybody.
Last year the family gathered in Columbia to celebrate George Norman Sr.'s 80th birthday. Forty-six of George Norman Sr.'s grandchildren and 44 of his great-grandchildren were present. A sheet was handed out at the event that depicted the family's lineage dating back to Austin Batchelor, who was born in 1805.
George Norman Sr.'s fifth son, Robert Norman of Milwaukee, 56, described his father as someone who loved people and telling old stories.
"He was a beautiful person and was incredibly generous," Robert Norman said. "He gave everything of himself."
George Norman Sr. is survived by brothers Rainy Huggins of Star City, Ark., and Samuel Peterson of Pine Bluff, Ark.; daughters Lisa A. Turner and Lori A. Tatum of Columbia; sons Peter A. Norman, George W. Norman Jr., Edward W. Norman and Jason O. Norman of Columbia, Wendell E. Norman of Tulsa, Okla., Robert B. Norman of Milwaukee, and Octavius D. Norman of St. Charles; 46 grandchildren and 44 great-grandchildren.
His wife died earlier.
Visitation will be held 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday at the H.T. May and Son Funeral Home, 2207 Holly Ave. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, 702 Banks Ave. Burial will be at Memorial Park Cemetery.
-- Gianna Volpe