Norma V. (Humburg) Dornack, 86
Onalaska, Wisconsin Norma Viola (Humburg) Dornack of Onalaska, Wisconsin passed away on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at her daughter’s home, surrounded by family.
Norma was born March 24, 1931, at home in Prescott Township, to Theodore Martin and Rosa Melvina (Weise) Humburg. She attended elementary school at District 36 Prescott Township and graduated from Blue Earth High School in 1949.
While growing up, the Peterson Family played a significant role in Norma’s life. She considered them mentors and tremendously enjoyed working with and learning from them. Even in her later years, she remembered her time with them fondly and with deep gratitude.
After high school, Norma attended Mankato State University before moving to Fairbanks, Alaska. She married Edward Laurence Dornack June 29, 1952, at First Lutheran Church in Fairbanks, Alaska. While living in Fairbanks, she served as secretary to Judge Ladessa Nordale in the Commissioner’s Office. After graduating from the University of Alaska in 1959, she taught third grade at Nordale Elementary School. Norma loved her adventures in Fairbanks, the landscape of Alaska, and the people. She collected Alaskan memorabilia, books, and stayed informed with the news from Fairbank’s local paper, The Newsminer, and from the University of Alaska’s alumni association.
After Norma and Ed moved back to the “lower 48,” she taught second grade at Houston Elementary, Houston. She also taught several grades at Galesville Elementary, Galesville, Wisconsin. After staying home with her two youngest children, Norma re-entered the education field, serving as a homebound teacher, substitute teacher, working with special needs children, and pre-kindergarten classes. Just as Norma had mentors in her personal and professional lives, she served as a mentor to many educators and young people.
Norma enjoyed many hobbies, but said music was her first love. She sang in the glee club and church choir as a youth. Throughout her life, she attended orchestra, band, and choir concerts, organ recitals, piano recitals, plays, and “The Nutcracker” ballet each December.
Other hobbies included genealogy, gardening, sewing, knitting, upholstery (with Ed), bread baking, antiquing, and reading cookbooks. Norma and Ed would read cookbooks like novels, comparing recipes and their variations. (This habit has been passed down to their children and grandchildren!) Norma was an exquisite seamstress, making sure the plaids matched at the seams, as did the stripes. She also enjoyed being outdoors and working in her flowerbeds. Roses and tulips were among her favorites.
Norma was above all else an advocate for children her children, grandchildren, great- grandchildren, students, and others. Always the educator, a “teachable moment” was never lost. Many have benefitted from this quality and are forever grateful.
Norma is survived by three children, Rev. David C. Dornack of Portland, Oregon, Dean A. (Debra) Dornack of LaCrescent, and Laura B. (Stuart) Dornack-Highlander of Decatur, Texas. Grand- children are Melissa Webb, Michael (Ann) Dornack, Drew (Brooke) Dornack; Christina (Paul) Langrehr, Debra Dornack, Cody (Shayla) Dornack, Ashley Dornack, Benjamin (Ava) Horn, Emilene (James) Heiderscheit, Maria Horn; Elizabeth and Kathryn Highlander; 13 great-grandchildren; sister, Iona (Ken) Mastin of Blue Earth, and many nieces and nephews.
Norma was preceded in death by her husband, Edward Laurence Dornack, parents, and brothers Arlin, Wilfred, and Sherman Humburg.
Graveside services will be held at Onalaska Cemetery at 11 a.m., Thursday, June 29, on Ed and Norma’s 65th wedding anniversary. Reverend Scott Skogen of North Presbyterian Church will officiate.