Norma Louise Swier, 83, passed away peacefully in her home in Ripon on the morning of Tuesday, August 3, 2010, surrounded by her loving family after a courageous battle with cancer.
Norma was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan to John and Nell Thomas. She attended schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1948 she married James Vermeulen and moved to California where she reared her four children. Norma married Edward Swier in 1982 and together they formed a large, loving family with their children. She became Grandma to a cherished generation of grandchildren. Norma worked at Simpson Lee Paper Company in Ripon as a secretary/administrative assistant. After retirement she spent many happy years traveling throughout the United States, Alaska, and Canada with her loving husband Ed. She was an active member of her church home First Christian Reformed Church of Ripon.
Norma was first and foremost a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She had many dear friends in the community and spoke with family and friends on a daily basis until 3 days before her passing. She was an accomplished cook and an avid reader. In her spare time she enjoyed sewing and doing needlepoint and embroidery. Her many works are cherished heirlooms for her family and friends. One particular gift she gave her children was a beautifully stitched testament to her faith. It reads as follows: “What is your only comfort in life and in death? That I am not my own, but belong body and soul, in life and in death to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.” She loved her Lord and found great comfort in the knowledge that God was in control of her life and future. Even though our hearts are heavy, we know she rests in the arms of her Heavenly Father where there is no suffering, or fear.
Norma is survived by her devoted husband, Edward Swier of Ripon; sisters, Marilyn (Otto) De Bruyn of Grand Rapids, Michigan and Phyllis (Byron) Carpenter of Grand Haven, Michigan; beloved children, Sue (Bill) Jamison of Ripon, Jim (Mary) Vermeulen of Oakdale, Tom (Rochelle) Vermeulen of Ripon, and Patti (Dale) Van Groningen of Ripon; stepchildren, Barbara (Peter) Sugia of Hughson, Helen (Steve) Landreth of Ripon, Phyllis (Jerry) Hiemstra of Modesto, Russell (Jeanne) Swier of Ripon, and predeceased by stepson, Walt Swier. Norma was adored by her 22 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins both locally and in Michigan, Florida, Texas, and Colorado.
Funeral arrangements by Deegan Ripon Memorial. Visitation is Sunday, August 8, 2010, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Deegan Ripon Memorial, 111 Palm Avenue, Ripon. Private interment will take place Monday, August 9, at Ripon Cemetery. Celebration memorial service will be held Monday, August 9, at 11 a.m. at First Christian Reformed Church, 305 Boesch Drive, Ripon.
Remembrances may be made to First Christian Reformed Church, Ripon, CA; American Cancer Society, 1604 Ford Avenue, Suite 8, Modesto, CA 95350; Community Hospice, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95356.
The family wishes to express their deepest appreciation for all of the support, prayers, calls, meals, and expressions of love shown in abundance to them during this time.
Saturday, August 7, 2010