Nov. 11, 2020: Norma Jean Gaither (84) of Boise, Idaho passed away in her home from Alzheimer’s. She was comforted by loved ones in the days leading to her passing. Norma was born April 6th, 1936 in Lagrange County, Indiana. She was the second child born to Ernest and Dorothea Talmage. Norma grew up on the family farm milking cows and raising sheep. Norma graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Elementary Education and traveled to California with friends to work in the San Bernardino School District. She later earned a master’s degree in Education. She married Thomas Gaither in 1965. Together they began raising his four young children. Two more children were added to the family in 1968 and 1971. Tom and Norma were married for 55 years and have been very devoted to each other.
The family moved to Idaho in 1971. Norma worked at Highland Elementary School and taught 1st grade for many years. Every student left her classroom knowing how to read and write. She gave each of them a firm foundation and a strong start for all of their school years. Norma retired in 1994.
Education was very important to Norma and she encouraged each of her children to continue their schooling. She wanted us all to be “well-rounded” and signed us up for swimming lessons, skiing lessons, piano lessons, church choir and school sports. She and dad never missed a single game, piano recital, concert or event. This was true for her grandchildren as well.
Norma was a wonderful Mother and Grandmother. She enjoyed reading and singing with her Grandchildren and swinging them on the swings. She was the type of Grandmother who could be called upon to help build a sandcastle in the sandbox; and she always had a basement full of toys. Family was very important to her. There were many family dinners and extended family gatherings around her large dining room table. For many years, the whole family packed up in our motorhome and made the journey to Indiana to see our Grandparents and cousins. Christmases, birthdays, and all family gatherings were loud and boisterous with everyone talking at once and laughing.
Norma is survived by her husband Thomas Gaither, her sister Mary McCormick and brother Alan Talmage. Norma is also survived by all six of her children: Mike, Andy & Jeff Gaither, Susan (Marty) Goffin, Jean (Jeff) Bishop, and Karen (Loren) Schwarzhoff. Norma also had 10 grandchildren: Dustin & Matthew (Destiny) Gaither, Thomas Gaither, Josh Gaither, Derek Szaner, (deceased), Jill Spector (Sam), A.J. and Jenna Bishop, and Halle & Mia Schwarzhoff.
There will be a family memorial service at Relyea Funeral Chapel. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Alzheimer’s fund.
To send flowers to Norma's family, please visit our floral store.