Norma Lee Petker Steward February 16, 1933-June 6, 2013
Norma Steward, a resident of Bakersfield, California for most of her life, passed away on June 6, 2013, in the presence of family members who cherished her.
Norma was born in Bakersfield on February 16, 1933, to Thomas Leo Petker and Rosella Bergen Petker. She has an older brother, Robert Petker.
Norma married Harold Gene Steward of Wasco, California, on July 31, 1953. They were united in marriage for 56 years until he passed away on December 9, 2009. Harold and Norma have three children, Jan Eileen (1956), Thomas Scott (1958), and Cindy Lynn (1968). Norma’s grandchildren include Andrew Steward, Jessica Meek, Daniel Steward, Justann Meek, Billy Wolfe, Tiffany Wolfe, and Samuel Meek. Her grandson, Ryan Steward, passed away unexpectedly on December 15, 2012. Her family also includes her son-in-law Richard Wolfe, daughter-in-law, Carole Steward, and son-in-law, Dave Meek.
Norma was employed as a secretary for the Superintendent of Schools office for over thirty years. She worked in the office of Migrant Education and gained fulfillment by being a support to others. She was a dedicated employee to all of her supervisors and associates. Norma was very musical and loved to sing, principally the old hymns of the faith. She played piano from a young age, and also began playing the electric organ in her adult life. She was an accompanist with the piano and organ in many church settings. Harold and Norma attended Fruitvale Community Church (now River Lakes Church) and then Laurelglen Bible Church, throughout the many years of their married life.
Norma was a loving, caring, and compassionate person, and would help anyone in need, particularly her family. She enjoyed supporting others and would quietly and humbly perform her tasks so that others would be well served. Norma also maintained a vibrant spiritual life and was a faithful prayer warrior. The number of people she prayed into God’s good graces will not be known on this earth, yet we are certain she is receiving her reward in full now in the heaven of eternity.
Norma battled ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease) for the last few months, and possibly years, of her life. It was disheartening for her family to watch her decline during this time as she lost much of her vital physical functioning. Nonetheless, she approached her illness with such a positive attitude and rarely complained. She often told others that even if she died she knew where she was going, to heaven with Jesus. She is a genuine example of approaching adversity with the joy of the Lord.
In lieu of flowers the family would like to suggest that all donations be made to the ALS Association, at the following address: Golden West Chapter, P.O. Box 565, Agoura Hills, CA, 91376; or donate online at webgw.alsa.org.
A memorial service will be held at River Lakes Church on June 28th, 2013, at 11:00am, with reception following.