Norma Jean (Gagna) Anderson, 92, of Russell, Kansas, died on Thursday, February 11, 2021, at the
Russell Regional Hospital.
Norma Jean was born on February 10, 1929, on the family farm near Rice, Kansas, the daughter of Elzear H. and Ida Maude (Hanna) Gagna. Her family attended St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Aurora where she was baptized. The family lived on farms in the Aurora and Concordia areas and attended country schools through the eighth grade. Her family moved to Concordia, Kansas, in April 1943, and she graduated from Concordia High School and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic High School. Norma Jean met her future husband, James W. (Jim) Anderson in 1946, following his return from service in the Army. They were united in marriage on October 14, 1946, in Concordia and moved to Russell, Kansas, in 1947. From this union Norma Jean and Jim were blessed with a son David. Norma Jean was a devoted wife and homemaker. She worked outside the house as an Avon representative, cook at the Russell High School, Travenol in Hays, Kansas and as a receptionist for Dr. Kuhn’s office. Norma Jean and Jim were longtime members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Russell. After 65 years of marriage, Jim preceded her in death on September 20, 2012.
Norma Jean enjoyed being involved in church activities, working with the youth organizations, church dinners, banquets and St. Mary’s Catholic Guild. She was also involved with the Salina Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, Russell County 4-H Fair, and working with her husband in the Knights of Columbus. She was very proud in helping put together the Knights of Columbus cookbook, featuring recipes submitted by K of C wives where over 11,000 cookbooks were sold. She also enjoyed being a fulltime wife and mother to her husband and son David. Most of all she cherished spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
Norma Jean is survived by her son, James David (Lisa) Anderson; Grandchildren Tiffinie (Monte) Mai, and Tammie (Kris) Schultz; Great Grandchildren, Lane Earlin Mai, Braden David Mai, Bailey Lynn (Sam) Kilian and Great Great Grandchildren, Brantley John, Oaklynn Alene and Emery Layne, all of Russell.
Norma Jean was also preceded in death by her parents; her five Gagna brothers, Alden, Duane, Dean, Hobart and Harold, and her two sisters Bernice Trahan and Fedora Mae Nobert.
A celebration of the funeral mass for Norma Jean will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Thursday, February 18, 2021, at the St. Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Russell. Burial will follow at the St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Russell, Kansas. Visitation will be from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M. on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, at the mortuary with family present to greet guests from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M. Wednesday, evening. Memorials may be given to K of C Charities Aid Foundation and sent in care of the mortuary. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell, Kansas is in charge of the funeral service arrangements.