Jackie Lee was born to L.R. (Babe) and Vera June Norman on the snowy afternoon of November 21st, 1938, joining Morris, Stan, Jim and Bill, known thereafter as “The Norman Brothers.” As the youngest, Jack tried to measure up to the high standards and ethics he admired in his brothers. When he fell short, Vera June was quick to come to his defense: “Oh, no, not my Jackie Lee!”
Jack grew up in Spirit Lake running track, playing basketball and going fishing. He learned to caddy at Brooks Golf Club and golf became a favorite pastime throughout his life.
He married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Ann Meyers, and they had seven children: Julee, Jay, Lizabeth, Todd and finally the triplets, Douglas, David and Daniel. Their children kept the young couple busy, but Jack continued his love of golf, playing and winning many tournaments in the Midwest and three of his sons even became PGA pros.
Jack started the J.C. Penney manager training program and worked his way up to store manager and regional manager. A career highlight was winning a trip to New York to meet the company president for outstanding sales in his store.
A lifelong dream was owning a golf course, which Jack eventually accomplished when he bought Homestead Golf Course after his retirement from Penney’s. After extensive renovations to the layout and design of the course, it became a local family favorite named North Woods.
The most important decision of Jack’s life was when he and Barb felt the Lord calling them to the altar one Sunday morning at the Nazarene Church of Oskaloosa, Iowa. They answered that call and their lives were never the same again. In fact, Jack thought people could tell he had changed just by looking at him. As a result of Jack and Barb’s dedication to the Lord, all of their children accepted Jesus as their savior and many other lives were touched by their testimonies.
Jack was kind and giving, once taking off his leather jacket on the spot to give to a cold, homeless man on the street. His loving, positive attitude and sense of humor endeared him to his grand and great-grandchildren: Nick, AJ, Katie, Vance, Treyton, Kainen and Zaylie. What grandpa takes his 12-year-old granddaughter and her giggling friends to a Back Street Boys concert or plays endless games of Horse and shooting baskets with the boys? Jack did.
He passed away on June 12th, 2023, at Lakes Regional Hospital with his family close by. Preceding him in death were his parents, Leroy Ralph and Vera June Norman; his in-laws, Lou and Zeida Meyers; sons, Daniel and Jay; his son-in-law, Jeffrey Mitchell; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Morris (Mary Lu), Stan, Jim (Marney) and Bill.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Barbara; daughters, Julee and Lizabeth (Robert) Thomas; sons, Todd (Amy), Douglas, David (Marietchel); daughter-in-law, Jennifer; grand and great-grandchildren, Nick (Katie), AJ, Katie (Bobby) Woodworth, Vance, Treyton, Kainen, Zaylie; sisters-in-law, Teresa Norman and Dawn Luzzi, and nieces, nephews and friends too many to name.
Services celebrating Jack’s life was held on July 8th at the Spencer Family Church, 902 SW 5th St, Spencer, IA with a reception afterwards at the Spencer Golf and Country Club.
Turner Jenness Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.