Norma L. Morgan

Honored by:Cathy Carlyle
Brick location:C:18  map

Norma Lucille (Shellito) Morgan certainly belongs in the Plaza of Heroines, because she has been a heroine to her children and an inspiration to many.

Born on Thanksgiving Day in 1925 to Harley and Mabel Shellito, she has always been a blessing for which to be thankful. Norma Morgan has lived her life with grace, showing enormous amounts of strength, faith, and care for others.

Following a childhood in Ames, she graduated from Spencer High School in Iowa and attended Iowa State College.

At ISC, Norma majored in journalism and home economics. While in college, she worked at "The Daily Student" newspaper and was on the student publications board, was president of her Alpha Delta Pi sorority house, and was a candidate for the yearbook's Bomb Beauty.

Norma married Harold John Morgan in 1946, and they had four children – Bob, John, Tom, and Cathy.

Her career began in 1962 with the Iowa State University Extension Service as a county home economist. Except for a year in Alabama, (where she taught for the Head Start Program in its first year of existence amidst racial tension in the South), this remained her career until she retired in 1988.

As a county home economist, she taught people about everything from estate planning to nutrition to energy conservation. She was known for seeing needs before they emerged as trends. Her area of specialty was family life and human development. Norma received many recognitions and awards for her work, including the Outstanding Iowa Extension Worker, the R.K. Bliss Award, and the Distinguished Service Award from the national organization of N.A.E.H.E. She also served as president of the Iowa Association of Home Economists and the professional organization, Epsilon Sigma Pi.

In the community, Norma served as well, devoting six years (two terms) on the Denison School Board. She was also active in her church and the American Association of University Women.

Her husband's health prompted her to enter the workforce at a time when most married women did not. Nonetheless, Norma was the source of love and strength for her children. With a full-time job that required her to often work nights and weekends, she was still there spending time with each child individually, present for all the school, church, and athletic events and providing unwavering love and encouragement. She even made it look easy.

Norma takes great pleasure in books and has a deep appreciation of beauty, whether found in her garden, nature, art, or music. She also is a loyal friend with a good sense of humor and fun.

For all of these reasons, I'm proud to have Norma (Shellito) Morgan represented on the Plaza of Heroines.

Submitted on 10/28/94