Norman Herbert Storlie, 95, of Spring Grove died Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, at Tweeten Lutheran Healthcare in Spring Grove.

He was born in Black Hammer on April 16, 1919, to Alfred and Lena (Lien) Storlie.

He was one of 11 brothers and sisters.

He attended school at the Rauk School, District 69, which was just down the road from their farm and was close enough to the farm that they could go home for their noon meal.

The family made and sold sorghum and the family also operated a sawmill, which was created by using a Packard car engine and various other parts.

On Feb. 1, 1942, he was drafted and entered the Army and was assigned to the Army Air Corps. He worked as a member of the ground crew on B-25’s and A-20 medium bombers. He later became crew chief. He boarded the USAT Mariposa, which was a luxury line fitted for troop transport, at Angel Island in San Francisco Bay and arrived in Melbourne, Australia. From there he traveled to New Guinea, the Philippines and ended up in Okinawa as the war ended. He returned home as a staff sergeant.

After returning home, he helped his family build the large barn on the family farm.

In 1951 he married Alma Burmester and shortly after, they built their house in Spring Grove, where they had lived with their children, Carol, Craig and Diane.

He worked with Clarence Bjorlo and co-owned a furniture and flooring store with him in Spring Grove. He installed tile and linoleum flooring. He was an extremely creative carpenter and an artist with wood. He has built barns, houses, done remodeling, added additions, turned an old barn into a house and fixed, repaired and turned something old into something new. His basement was his workshop and after a full day of work, it was common for him to be ‘putzing’ or working in the basement on another project.

He was helpful and generous; he served on church boards, American Legion Post #249 and Sons of Norway and was a member of many other community organizations for years.

He enjoyed dancing, trail rides, fishing in his own boat he had built, gardening, auction sales, lefse-making and traveling with his wife.

In June of 2009 he participated in one of the Freedom Honor Flights, a one day flight from La Crosse to Washington, D.C., for 160 World War II veterans to see the World War II Memorial and other sites.

In the past few years, he was interviewed by Giants of the Earth about his military memories. One of the interviews includes his son, Craig, and adds many stories about his World War II travels.

In October of 2010 his wife preceded him in death. In the fall of 2012, he moved to Spring Grove Assisted Living and to Tweeten Lutheran Health Care in January of 2014 after some health issues.

Survivors include his children, Carol (Gerald) Geving of Mabel, Craig (Jill) Knueppel of Atlanta, Ga., and Diane (David) Lorenz from Elk River; five grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren; his sister, Doris Folkert of Plainview and two special four- legged friends, Benson and Murphy.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Kristin Louise Lorenz and many of his siblings.

Funeral services were held Saturday, Oct. 25, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Spring Grove with the Rev. Stephanie Frey officiating. Burial followed in the Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery.

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