Norman LeRoy Luthy, age 89, of Aurora, passed away on Sept. 29, 2020 at Memorial Community Care in Aurora.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1 at the Westside Covenant Church in Aurora. Pastor Karl Larson will officiate. Inurnment will be in the Aurora Cemetery. No visitation will be held. All CDC guidelines will be followed and face masks are recommended. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Memorial Foundation, Inc., 1423 Seventh Street, Aurora, NE 68818. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.
Norman LeRoy Luthy was born on Oct. 1, 1930, in Aurora, to Roy and Hilma (Ortegren) Luthy and passed away in Aurora, on Sept. 29, 2020 at the age of 89.
He grew up in Hamilton County on his parent’s farm west of Aurora and graduated from Aurora High School in 1947. He joined the U.S. Army where he was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas from January 1952 until January 1954. Upon completion of his military service, he returned to work at the family farm. His parents moved into Aurora in 1954 after which Norm lived on the family farm.
He married Edith Bachman on Feb. 6, 1955 in Giltner, and they had three children, Susan, Greg and Jeff. Edith passed away on Jan. 29, 1991. Norm married JoAnn Parris Hansen on May 22, 1993. They made their home in Aurora.
Norm was very active in the Aurora community during his lifetime, and took great pride in the town and citizens of Aurora. He felt blessed to be a part of this community.
He was elected to the Aurora Board of Education in 1966, and served for 22 years, including as its president from 1979-1985. He received the Aurora Chamber of Commerce Public Service Award in 1989 for his tenure on the Aurora School Board.
Norm served on the board of the Myrl S. & Bessie Evans Mather Foundation from 1979 until he retired as its Chairman in 2014. He had so much pleasure in being able to help Aurora and Hamilton County with the Foundation’s financial donations for institutions that included the Aurora Memorial Hospital, Aurora Schools, the Bremer Center, and the Edgerton Center, among many others entities in the county.
Norm was a member of the Memorial Community Health Board of Directors from 1991 until 2012, serving as its President from 2001-2012. During that time he was instrumental in the development and building of the East Park Villa, the addition of the Wortman Surgery Center, and the renovation of the Aurora Memorial Hospital which included a new wing for specialty clinics among other enhancements. Norm cherished his time working with the hospital board, management and staff. He enjoyed his many visits to the hospital to attend meetings and check on the construction process. But his greatest pleasure came from routinely checking in with the hospital staff to see how they were doing as he genuinely cared about them. He visited the various construction sites so often that he was provided his own hard hat.
Norm was a 60-year member of the American Legion, a 50-year member of The Masons, and a member of the Husker Beef Club. He also contributed many hours helping to construct displays at the Plainsman Agricultural Museum along with his father, Roy Luthy. Norm, along with Roger Bamesberger, built a rotating pancake griddle that has been and continues to be used for various community pancake feeds.
His pride and joy was his family as well as his grain and livestock farm operation west of Aurora. Farming was always in his blood and, even while in poor health, he cherished the opportunities to be driven to the country so that he could see the farm and cropland.
He had two favorite hobbies. The first one was flying. He received his pilot’s license in the 1960s and enjoyed owning his planes which he flew from a runway he built in a cornfield just south of the family farm. His second hobby was walking. He could be seen walking in his fields when he lived on the farm, and he continued that exercise when he moved into Aurora. He was an avid reader.
He will be remembered for his quick wit and sense of humor and for his many “coffee stops” at Aurora businesses (especially at the Aurora Vet Clinic) and neighboring farms to check in and chat with friends.
He will be the first to say that it was always a team effort to make things happen but his passion, vision and forward-thinking mentality were the attributes he brought to the table each and every time plans were discussed and decisions made on the boards that he served on for the community. He felt blessed that he could contribute to his beloved town of Aurora.
Norm was preceded in death by his first wife, Edith Bachman Luthy; his parents, Roy and Hilma Luthy; infant brother, DeRoyce; sister, Darlene Roush; brother-in-law, Virgil Roush, daughter-in-law, Jill Luthy and in-laws, Fred and Pearl Bachman.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, JoAnn (Parris) Luthy; three children, daughter, Susan (Doug) Nelson of Indian Land, SC, son, Greg (Jana) Luthy of Aurora, and son, Jeff Luthy of Omaha; four grandchildren, Jessica (Justin) Clark of Central City, Britian (Kim) Luthy of Grand Island, Megan (Patrick) Simpson of Waxhaw, NC, and Jennifer Nelson of Indian Trail, NC; four great-grandchildren, Chancylor Scott and Max Clark of Central City and Taylor and Lauren Simpson of Waxhaw, NC. He is also survived by three nieces, Deborah (Carl) Tesmer of Grand Island, Diane (Don) Lewis of Centennial, CO, and Patricia (Rick) Johnson of Grand Island, along with their 9 children and 9 grandchildren.
He is also survived by JoAnn’s three children, Susan (Jim) Clifton of McLean, VA, Chris Hansen of Omaha, and Sandra (Randy) Nutzman of Lincoln; nine grandchildren, Nicole Mills of Elkhorn, Jon Clifton of Arlington, VA, Jackie (Joe) Daly of McLean, VA, Ryan Hansen of Grand Island, Danny (Kara) Hansen of Parker, CO, Stefanie (Jon) Urbom of Lincoln, Sara (Chris) Whitwer of Blair, Lauren Nutzman of Peoria, AZ, and Matt Nutzman of Lincoln; and 14 great-grandchildren.
The family would like to express their deepest appreciation to the management team and health care workers at Memorial Community Care for their incredible care, compassion, respect and love for Norm. We would also like to thank Pastor Karl Larson for his continuous visits, prayers, friendship and support during Norm’s health decline. All of you meant the world to our family.