Norma Jean Houston, the sweetest soul to race walk the streets of the Land of Enchantment, passed away at age 93. Norma was born on Saturday, February 20, 1926, in Montrose, Colorado, to her adoring parents, Elmer H. Orr and Mona Alberta Dearing Orr. After graduating from Montrose High School in 1944, she worked as a bookkeeper at a local dairy farm. It was during those years that she met and married her husband of 49 years, M. Lloyd Houston. Although they lived in several Colorado towns and Madison, Wisconsin, they spent most of their lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, dancing and racing their way into the hearts of everyone that knew them. They were active participants in the Senior Olympics where Norma competed and won medals in race walking, billiards, frisbee, dance, clogging, air gun, and shuffleboard. Norma and Lloyd were great ambassadors for senior citizens lobbying the legislature, working with Grey Gladiators at races, and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and teaching clogging and line dancing at senior centers. They were also wonderful examples of motivation and endurance for local high school students who watched and encouraged them as they practiced for races at their school tracks.
Norma was artistic and creative and enjoyed painting, sewing, crochet, piano, violin, organ, singing, cooking, camping, and travel. At the assisted living home where she spent her last years in The Woodlands, TX, under the loving eye of her oldest daughter, Carla, the staff nicknamed her their “little songbird”. She was loved by everyone for her cheerful and peaceful disposition.
Norma is survived by her daughters, Carla Fisher (Russ), Debra Yoshimura (Jaime Coulter), and Shari Zinik (Steve); and her granddaughters, Lesley Fisher, Andrea Fisher Writt (Cameron), Mariko Yoshimura (Koji Oura), and Kiri Yoshimura. A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, December 6, 2019, 9:00 a.m. at FRENCH – University. Interment will follow at 12:45 p.m. at Santa Fe National Cemetery, 501 North Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe, NM.
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