Obituary: Father Gary Norman

Father Gary Norman

Father Gary Norman

Father Gary Norman, a senior priest of the Diocese of Yakima, who was being treated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center following an auto accident and subsequent stroke Jan. 22, died on Jan. 31, 2024, at the medical center. Diabetes and heart trouble contributed to his death.

Father Norman was 79 and had been living in Prescott, Arizona, since his retirement in 2014, helping occasionally in the local Catholic parish and preaching in parishes throughout the United States, on behalf of the organization Food for the Poor.

Father Norman was born Jan. 22, 1945, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Dorothy and Percy Norman. He was educated in Catholic schools. During a career in the fashion footwear industry, he owned his own successful business.

Responding to the call to priesthood, he studied at the Toronto School of Theology in 1987-88, then Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corner, Wisconsin, from 1988 to 1994. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Francis George, O.M.I, in Yakima on June 29, 1994.

In the Diocese of Yakima, Fr. Norman served as a parochial vicar at Holy Family Parish in Yakima from 1994 to 1996, and at Christ the King Parish in Richland from 1997 to 2000. He served as pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Ephrata from 2007 to 2010 and as parochial administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Waterville from 2010 to 2014, where he had time also to pursue his hobby of weaving and caring for his beloved cats Levi and Malachi.

Outside the Diocese of Yakima, Fr. Norman served in the Diocese of Juneau in 1996-1997, where he could use his skills as a private airplane pilot to minister to his widespread flock. He also served in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings in 2000-2003, the Diocese of Sacramento in 2003-2006, and the Diocese of Las Vegas in 2006.

Father Norman’s other interests included playing the guitar, ceramics and camping.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

The Diocese thanks all those who worked so diligently these past few weeks to help Fr. Norman. In particular, we would like to note Dr. Lane Lerner, an intern at UC Medical and the other medical personnel who cared for him, Fr. Ron Combs, medical center chaplain, as well as the staff at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Fr. Robert White from Food for the Poor, and Jim Wren, parish manager, as well as the staff of Sacred Heart Parish in Prescott.

The Vigil for Father Norman will be Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, at 6:00 p.m., at Saint Paul Cathedral in Yakima, with Msgr. Tom Champoux preaching. The Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, at 11:00 a.m., also at Saint Paul. Bishop Joseph Tyson will preside. A Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery (1405 S. 24th Ave., Yakima), with a luncheon immediately after. Please RSVP possible, for the luncheon to the Cathedral Parish, (509) 575-3713 or parish@stpaulyakima.org.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Diocese of Yakima Priest Retirement Fund, (P.O. Box 2189, Yakima, WA 98907) or Food for the Poor (6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073).

Brookside Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.brooksidefuneral.com.

Information provided by the funeral home.


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