Norman C Gerig, 87, of Albany, Oregon, passed away at the adult foster care home in Albany where he spent the last few weeks of his life.
He was born at home east of Albany, Oregon, only a short distance across the fields from where he spent the last 53 years of his life until his health required a higher level of care. His parents, Christian C. Gerig and Ida Ellen (Boshart) Gerig lived a humble farming life and raised their children to honor the Lord.
He attended Lakeview School and Griggs School. After eighth grade, he worked on the family farm rather than seeking higher education.
He married Sara Ellen Mitchell on March 27, 1960, at Fairview Mennonite Church in Albany, Oregon. From this union were born one daughter and one son.
Most of his working career was spent in tire sales and service, including tire recapping and brake service. Supplemental income was provided by raising elephant garlic for several years. Providing blank audio cassette tapes and tape duplication services, with an emphasis on church and ministry-oriented needs, was a home business for Norman and Sara for many years. After retiring from tire sales and service, he had short-term jobs until finding more long-term, part-time work at Smith Seed Services in Halsey, Oregon, where he worked until he was nearly 83 years old.
Any time that a steam locomotive was in the area, he would be sure to see it. Of particular pull to him was the haunting whistle. As a child, he was known to climb onto the roof to watch the steam locomotives that would pass some distance away. In 2009, he and his two children traveled to Havre, Montana, to travel alongside as much as possible the SP 4449 steam locomotive back to Oregon. The SP 4449 has the distinction of being one of the locomotives used to pull the American Freedom Train around the nation while the USA was celebrating its bicentennial in 1975-1976.
In his later years, Norm loved to pass many hours traveling the world virtually on YouTube. He would take complete train and truck trips across entire states and countries, even developing opinions about the road systems in various locations.
He was known for his easy-going, amiable personality.
Living a life pleasing to the Lord and faithfully attending church were priorities. It was difficult for him in 2020 when both COVID-19 and failing health prevented him from attending regularly. He remained dedicated to reading from Scripture daily until he was no longer able.
He is survived by his two children, Ellen Gerig and Stanley Gerig, both of Albany; brothers Clarence (Doris) Gerig and Dean (Nadine) Gerig (both of Albany); and sisters Ruth Birky (Lebanon, Oregon) and Laura Rhodes (Longview, Washington).
Norm was preceded in death by his wife, Sara Ellen (Mitchell) Gerig; his parents; sisters Evelyn Gerig and Hazel Eby; and brother Irvin Gerig.
A viewing will be from 5-8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26 at AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home. A public service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, at Fairview Mennonite Church in Albany, Oregon, with interment following at Fairview Mennonite Cemetery. If attending, please observe COVID-19 mask-wearing guidelines from the CDC and Oregon governor.
Contributions in Norman’s memory can be made to Heralds of Hope, Inc.; PO Box 3; Breezewood, PA 15533-0003.
AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home is handling the arrangements (www.aasum-dufour.com).
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