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Norma Lee Jones was born to William Casey and Emily (Loghry) Jones on Tuesday, March 7, 1944 in Shoshoni, Wyoming. She grew up in the Missouri Valley area, where her father worked for Midville Irrigation District. She had four bothers and two sister, Don, Ken, Chuck, Dave, Letty, and Arlene. Tragedy struck the family when Letty did at age 12.
Norma went to school at Shoshoni and liked to play tennis and softball.
She married, had a son, Chuck, and a daughter, Robin, and was divorced. One day, she was outside her house in Riverton, Wyoming playing with her kids, when she met a young man working on her street. A Viet Nam vet named Zane Rhynard, he was to become her best friend and the love of her life, as she was his. They married on February 27, 1968 and an exciting adventure of 55 years began.
The little family of four followed construction work, living in Riverton and Rock Springs, Wyoming and at the Rhynard family home at Creighton, South Dakota. During this time Zane began working several weeks at a time in Alaska, and Norma stayed behind and sent the kids to the country school. Their next move brought them to Casper, Wyoming. Later they moved to Round Mountain, Nevada where they built their own home. Subsequent moves included Wasilla, Alaska, Hilo, Hawaii, and Marana, Arizona. For several years they lived at Newcastle, Wyoming and for a shorter time at Wamsutter, Wyoming. When Zane retired from construction a few years ago, they moved to an acreage outside of Douglas, Wyoming where they lived very happily until the summer of 2022. When Norma’s health deteriorated, they moved to Glenrock, Wyoming to be closer to their daughter and son-in-law, Robin and Ron Brock.
In all these locales Norma made a home for Zane, her children, her grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Flowers and shrubs or trees were planted wherever they lived. She loved cooking and was a fabulous baker and candy maker and kept a bright and cheerful home. She was famous for her peanut butter fudge, her pies, and desserts. Holidays and getting the family together were very important to her. She had a beautiful collection of angels and their home, no matter where, always had a Christmas Tree.
To know Norma was to love her, and she had many friends, including neighbors and healthcare workers, whom she often sent home with a package of her homemade goodies. When a former neighbor and her little children needed help, Norma took them in. When her sister-in-law was recovering from a severe injury and later surgery, Norma took her and her children in. She was especially close to her late mother-in-law and helped care for her in her final months. They were together on 9/11/2001 as Zane headed back to Alaska. And the spouses of her children were treated as her own.
A lesser woman might have, at least, balked at all these moves, but not Norma. She was devoted to Zane and interested in everything he was involved in, helping him in every way she could. She told her daughter she loved being married to him and couldn’t imagine life with out him. When Zane had both legs broken in a construction site accident in Nevada, Norma stayed at the hospital in Reno with him for 30 days straight and then cared for him at home for several months.
Norma passed away at the Memorial Hospital of Converse County in Douglas, Wyoming on the morning of Monday, January 30, 2023 in the arms of her husband.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her son, Charles “Chuck”; two sisters; and four brothers.
Norma is survived by her husband, Zane; her daughter, Robin (Ron) Brock; her daughters-in-law, Deanna Rhynard and Sherry Stark Rhynard; her grandchildren, Kateri (Jaso) Ashley, Cole (Stacy) Rhynard, Jesse (Gabby) Rhynard, Kylie (Stefan) Michels, Chelsea (Isaac) Richards, Jessica Brock, Angel Brock, and Jeremiah (Jenny) Benardis; and 22 great grandchildren. She is also survived by Zane’s three sisters, Judy Stafford, Marcia Gorton, and Patricia Buck.
To say she will be missed is an understatement, but her bright, happy spirit will be with us forever.
Funeral services for Norma Lee Rhynard, 78, will be held at 12 Noon, Friday, February 10, 2023 at the Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel in Douglas, Wyoming with Pastor Roy Phillips of the Douglas Baptist Church officiating. Interment will be in the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, South Dakota at 11:00 A.M. Monday, February 13, 2023 with Pastor Tom Martin officiating.
Family and friends may call at the funeral home on Friday, February 10, 2023 from 10:00 A.M. to 12 Noon.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel of Douglas, Wyoming is in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com