With sadness we announce the passing of Gene Raymond Norstrom of Rimbey, Alberta. Gene passed away at the Red Deer Regional Hospital on Friday, October 21, 2022 at the age of 83 years.
Gene was born in December of 1938 to Harry and Gertrude Norstrom, the middle of five children, on the family farm near Westerose, Alberta in the Battle River area. He started his education at the Lakedell School until the family moved to Bluffton in 1951. Bluffton is where Gene finished his schooling. He enjoyed playing sports growing up, with a special love for baseball and hockey. He played both sports for the Bluffton Bisons.
Gene started his work career helping on extended family farms in different parts of the province. In the early 1960s he began working at the Esso Bulk Station in Bluffton. While working at the bulk station, he spotted the love of his life walking on the street. Gene overcame any shyness he had and asked Winnie Bushey for a date! Their first date was a movie in Rimbey at the theatre. In 1962 Gene and Winnie became engaged and were married in September of that year.
The next chapter was a move to Rimbey in 1972 after the bulk station was scheduled for closure. Gene subsequently began his employment with Flint at the Rimbey Gas Plant. Pursuing new opportunities, he went on to work on a seismic crew for Pennington Drilling and Blasting. Wanting to be closer to home, Gene then finished his work career in the oilfield construction business for both Straightline and Parkland Oilfield Construction. Gene retired in 1998.
In 1963 Gene and Winnie started their family with the birth of Raymond in February. Dean was next in July of 1964, Steven in February of 1968, and Brent completed the family in January, 1974.
There were many treasured family vacations over the years. Most were to visit extended family, which was dear to Gene’s heart. He always spoke lovingly of how much it meant to him to spend time with family, especially those he did not get to see often. Gene loved to camp and took time to teach his boys to fish.
He was also involved with the kids’ sports as they grew up, and spent long hours at the rink helping, which he loved. There was always room in the car during road trips for teammates, which made the trips so much more enjoyable.
Gene was an avid collector, and as the family grew larger with grandkids he began his mission to build collections for them. Hockey cards and coins were his favourites. In 2020 Gene built a large collection of special-edition coins for each of his grandchildren. He was so excited to hand them to each grandchild! It meant the world to him, and now they each have a special collection that will always remind them of Grandpa.
He also enjoyed playing cards with family and friends. Cribbage and Smear were his games of choice. However, Gene would never say no towards learning a new game, so long as it meant spending time with his family. He also loved music and took great pleasure in going to dances where he could waltz and two-step to his favourite songs. Gene and Winnie always seemed so cohesive on the dance floor.
Gene is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Winnie; and his children Raymond (Kathy), Dean (Jennifer), Steven (Bob), and Brent (Natasha); as well as his cherished grandchildren Jordan (Stephanie), Mitchell (Jacqueline), Connor, Kristin, Megan (Nic), and Logan; and precious great grandchildren Colter and McKenna. He is also survived by his sister Velma Capaniuk; brother Harvey Norstrom; brother-in-law Rick Gibson; sisters-in-law Melody (Bob) Hansen, Myla (Brian) Hansen, and Michelle (Gary) Zelasek; in addition to numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins from both sides of the family.
Gene was predeceased by his parents Harry and Gertie; brother-in-law Jim Capaniuk; his brother Dale and sister-in-law Dorothy Norstrom; sister-in-law LaVerne Norstrom; sister Rita Gibson; father- and mother-in-law Wilfred and Amy Bushey; and brother-in-law David Bushey.
The family would like to thank Rimbey FCSS and the Rimbey Hospital staff. They would also like to express their gratitude to Dr. Imam and the staff at the Red Deer Regional Hospital for their wonderful care and compassion.
A public Funeral Service in Celebration of Gene’s Life was held at the Zion Lutheran Church, Rimbey on Saturday, October 29, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Mark Schultz officiating. Interment followed at 2:00 p.m. in the Iola Fairview Cemetery, Bluffton.
If friends desire, memorial tributes in Gene’s memory may be made directly to the Zion Lutheran Church, Box 133, Rimbey, Alberta T0C 2J0; or to the charity of one’s choice.
Thoughts and messages to the family may be shared through the condolence area located at the bottom of this page.
Service and Burial Arrangements for the Late Gene Raymond Norstrom entrusted to the care of