Norma Lea Holland Petersen

Honored by:The Scheve Family (Ray, Ron, Judy, Jen)
Brick location:O:6  map

This memorial to a wonderful lady and a special friend of our family is being given by the Scheve family.

Norma Lea Holland Petersen truly loved life and lived her life as a love story. It all began August 25, 1925, in rural Marion County, Iowa. Norma was the middle child of James and Mary Holland’s three children. While growing up, she was active in Fairview Christian Church of rural Marion County. Norma was also a very involved 4-H member. One 4-H project that Norma was proud of was a chair that she caned. The project was selected to go to the Iowa State Fair where she received a blue ribbon. Norma loved going to the Marion County Fair and the Iowa State Fair; especially if one of her grandchildren was competing.

Education was very important to Norma. Norma first attended a small country school and later Pleasantville High School. After graduating from Pleasantville High School, Norma went on to become a Cyclone. Norma was so proud of Iowa State University that some thought her blood was cardinal red and gold. While at ISU Norma did something few women can claim, she was housed in a fraternity, yes, a fraternity. It was during WWII and the military had taken over the ISU dorms so some of the women had to be housed in fraternities. Norma graduated from ISU in 1946, following a family tradition that Norma was very proud of. Both of her parents had graduated from ISU as well as her older sister, Betty Dop, and later her brother, Jack Holland. Yes, Norma truly loved ISU.

The next chapter of Norma’s love story is how she went on to teach Home Economics and Science at Elk Horn, Iowa, a small Danish community in western Iowa. While teaching there, Norma went to a church sledding party and met the love of her life, Folmer Petersen. As a teacher, she had a reputation for being very strict. Norma failed a student in one of her classes. Later the boy’s family thanked Norma for doing that, because it helped straighten out his life. Norma also became the first principal at Elk Horn Community Schools. While living in Elk Horn, Norma was also a 4-H leader.

Norma and Folmer were married on June 24, 1950, at Fairview Christian Church. They enjoyed 66 years of marriage. To this marriage were born four children. They lived and farmed seven years in the Elk Horn area before moving to Marion County. Norma was always by Folmer’s side, helping on the farm. There was also the time that Folmer was hurt and in the hospital for over 50 days. Norma stayed with him at the hospital the entire time.

Norma and Folmer loved to travel together. They visited Hawaii several times and took over 20 cruises together. While the children were growing up, family vacations were an important part of every summer. When at home, Norma loved to cook and have large family gatherings to celebrate birthdays and holidays.

As the grandchildren got older, Norma loved taking them to ISU Legacy Days. Many times she would take some of their friends along. Norma was very proud of ISU and hoped that some of these young people would follow in her footsteps. They did.

Norma was a 37-year survivor of breast cancer. She was a proud supporter of the Des Moines Race for the Cure. For eight years, she was a member of the Pink Honor Roll, which is made up of the top 100 fundraisers.

Norma and Folmer had season tickets to the ISU football games and went until she was 87 years old. Everyone knew not to call when any ISU ball game was on TV because Norma wanted her full attention given to cheering on the Cyclones.

Norma passed away on October 10, 2016, and we know that she is now in heaven cheering on the ISU Cyclones.