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Obituary

JORUNN AUDREY NORBERG (published on July 06, 2010)



JORUNN AUDREY NORBERG On July 2, 2010 at the age of 85 years, Jorunn Audrey Norberg (nee Johnson) passed away peacefully at the Grace General Hospital after a lengthy stay while recovering from a stroke. Left to mourn her passing is her husband John William Norberg, her four sons Donald Victor of Sanford, Manitoba, (Germaine), Jon Eric of Toronto (Christine), William Gerald of Hickory North Carolina (Paula) and Johannes Robert of Winnipeg and her 11 grandchildren Tara, (Patrick), Genevieve, Kathleen, Cormack, Christopher, Alexander, Heida, Kirsten, Jeremiah, Kristopher, Candace, and great-grandson Gabriel. Audrey was born in Winnipeg on February 19, 1925 and at age six moved to Oakview, Manitoba where she spent her formative years. She received her elementary education at Darwin School and returned to Winnipeg as a teenager to complete her high school education at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate. Audrey took language training and became fluent in Icelandic, both spoken and written. This enabled her to work for the Konnie Johanesson Flying Service where Audrey provided the technical translation for the Icelandic pilots being trained there to start the Icelandic National Airline. Audrey had always loved aviation and elected to receive flight instruction in exchange for her translation services. After this program ended, Audrey went to work for Trans Canada Airlines (TCA)in the Instrument overhaul area. It was there that she met John William (Bill) Norberg who was to become her husband. It was a love at first sight that was to last for more than 65 years. After becoming engaged to be married, Audrey left TCA in order to spend time with her family at Oakview. It was then that she took on a teaching assignment at the one room school in Siglunes. Audrey enjoyed teaching children so very much and many of her students have kept in touch. In May 1945, Bill was transferred by TCA to Montreal to work on the Canadian Trans Atlantic Air Services. Audrey and Bill were married on August 10, 1945 and shortly after the wedding moved to Montreal to start their life together. Their first home was in Pointe Claire Quebec where they raised their four sons. The family was transferred back and forth between Montreal and Winnipeg before returning to Winnipeg to stay in 1985 following Bill's retirement from Air Canada. Audrey had a deep respect for her parents and her family upbringing in Oakview. She was truly blessed by a mother of extraordinary kindness and wisdom, who taught by example and the strength of her character. Audrey recognized the importance of her mother's example used it as a cornerstone in the development of her life philosophy. Consequently, Audrey was a person who liked people and always saw the best in them. She was generous, unselfish and kind. Her thoughtfulness knew no bounds yet she still continued to see issues in a very clear light. Nothing she ever had, had more importance to her than someone else's perceived need. Family gatherings were also very important to her, with no effort spared to make them enjoyable, fun and delicious. Audrey was an excellent chef. During her family raising years, Audrey was a strong supporter of Community activities, active in the local Home and School Association and strongly supporting its purposes. When Audrey's husband also became involved, it was then that he became known as Audrey's Bill ... a title he always cherished. Audrey was also an active member of the churches her family belonged to and was known for her dedicated support and accomplishments. As her family grew she became very active in the local Boy Scout Organization in a leadership capacity on the Group Committees and eventually becoming a Cub Leader - a capacity she served in for almost 10 years. As the family grew up she became increasingly involved in a number of personally rewarding creative activities. Audrey became fascinated with making Teddy Bears and was to become an expert in the art. She taught this skill to many people as well as working to raise funds for the program called Good Bears of the World that tried to put a teddy bear in the hands of any child in hospital who did not have one of their own. She made well over 2500 bears and they can be found in many parts of the world. She has also raised several thousands of dollars through the donation of her bears to numerous charitable organizations. One of her most popular was the Brief case bear that made its way into many an executive's brief case. They were considered to be Faithful... and they never talked back as well as coming with a lifetime Teddicare warranty. Audrey then became a very fine Porcelain Artist. Her deep love for flowers and birds was to become a focal point of her porcelain artistry and was indeed a dream come true for her. Red roses were without a doubt her favourite and her sons always saw to it that she had a bouquet on special occasions. She also had a special love of Yellow Lady Slippers and June roses from her early days on the farm - looking forward to their arrival each spring. She often spoke of her childhood days on the farm when they would be sung to sleep by the haunting calls of the whippoorwill, counting to see how many calls would be made before stopping...(or, alternately, when they would fall asleep). She was active in a number of porcelain art groups over the years, again serving in several leadership roles. She was a key person in establishing Canadian Organization of Porcelain Art (C.O.P.A.) that is now a very active part of the Canadian porcelain art activities. She also obtained a New Horizons contract to teach porcelain art to the elderly. Many people in retirement homes were to know the joy of this art through her dedicated efforts. Regrettably, Audrey contracted Age Related Macular Degeneration in 1996 which led eventually to a premature end to her painting Audrey and Bill had the good fortune to travel together to many parts of the world, both for business and pleasure. She looked forward to these opportunities and was well respected by her counterparts from other airlines and countries on such business trips. Audrey enjoyed international travel and on one trip had the opportunity to fly completely around the world. In their later years they spent many wonderful vacations together in Antigua and Barbados, with some of their happiest times spent listening to the local steel drum bands playing in evenings. Audrey will be deeply missed by her large family, many friends and acquaintances. To all who knew her we should try to follow her kind, loving example which reminds us always to be positive, look for the goodness in others and to “Paint our rainbow with the colours we have at hand”. A memorial service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7 at Neil Bardal Inc., 3030 Notre Dame Ave., across from Brookside Cemetery. NEIL BARDAL INC. 949-2200 nbardal.mb.ca


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