Norma Rhiley, 94, of Oshkosh passed away early Saturday morning, January 7, 2017 at the Regional West Garden County Nursing Home in Oshkosh.
Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, January 13, 2017 at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Oshkosh with Rev. Kathy Montira officiating. Burial will follow in the Oshkosh City Cemetery.
Memorials in Norma's name may be given to St. Mark's Lutheran Church.
Holechek Funeral Home and Cremations in Oshkosh is serving the Rhiley family.
Born in Pleasant Grove, Arkansas, on May 12, 1922, she was the first child of Harence and Thelma Wyatt. In 1931, Norma and her siblings, Faye, Hope, and James, traveled with their mother to Lisco, Nebraska, to join her dad who had come to find work during the Depression. Two more sisters joined the family, Shirley and Liz. She graduated as valedictorian from Lisco High School and married King Rhiley Jr. on October 4, 1941.
Norma and King moved to Richmond, California, the same year and started a family. Judy Lee, King III, Sue, and Joe were born in California. Her parents moved to Richmond for the war years, and when King was called up for army service, Norma worked at Standard Oil while her mother looked after the kids. In 1949, the family moved back to Oshkosh where Pat was born.
Norma kept busy raising her five children, decorating her house, and landscaping the yard. She was an excellent seamstress and created many dance costumes for her daughters. She filled her home with the classics, art books, and music. She loved to paint, so there were butterflies in the kitchen and Snow White in the bedroom. She and King had a ceramics studio in the basement for a time. Later she took up oils and watercolors. She also wrote poetry and short stories, some based on the many trips she and King took in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
She was a wonderful cook and loved to entertain; from dinner parties and weddings to cooking for crews in the early morning hours, her recipes were always delicious.
She was an avid bridge player and belonged to two clubs, where she made many cherished friendships. She was a member of the GC Garden Club as well as the Writers’ Group. She and King were members of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, where for many years she decorated for the annual Smorgasbord. She worked as sales associate at King Rhiley Realty, and she and King spent several winters in Northridge, California, with her daughters.
Her greatest joy was family. She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Shirley and Tom Sullivan; her children: Judy Lee Salmonson, King and Barbara Rhiley, Sue and Rick Jensen, Joe and Kathy Rhiley and Patricia Young; grandchildren King IV and Lisa, Jill and Rick Jr., Cyndi, James, and Chris, Martina, Hal, Rienna, Vanessa, Nathan, and Anthony; great-grandchildren Nick, Calvin, Eddie, Amity, Selah, Miles, Ephrem, Benedict, and Athena; sisters-in-law Carole and Karen: brother-in-law Robert and Shirley Rhiley, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.
She is predeceased by her husband of seventy-one years, King, her parents, her sisters Faye, Hope, and Liz, her brother James, brothers-in-law Joe, Jack, and Randall, and son-in-law Nurdin Young.