Norma A. Shaffer

ROCHESTER – Memorial services for Norma A. Shaffer, 94, of Rochester, formerly of Pipestone, Minn., will be 11 a.m. Thursday, May 1, at the First Presbyterian Church in Rochester, and 11 a.m. Saturday, May 17, at the First Presbyterian Church in Pipestone. Lunch and visiting will follow the services.

Norma donated her body to the Mayo Clinic. A graveside service will be held at a later date. Norma died Thursday, April 17, 2014, in Rochester, Minn.

Norma Leah Ammann was born Sept. 5, 1919, in Neptune, N.J., to Frieda (Schneider) and Henry Ammann. She graduated from Asbury Park, N.J. High School in 1937 and worked in New York City. She applied to three universities and rode a bus across country to enroll in the University of Minnesota, sight unseen. Norma worked her way through college and earned her B.S. in food and nutrition science in 1941. After graduation, she worked at Betty Crocker Kitchens in Minneapolis. On Dec. 18, 1942, she and Harold K. Shaffer were married in Minneapolis. The couple worked with Harold’s parents on the Shaffer family farm during World War II, then returned to the University. Harold earned his B.S. in 1946 and Norma earned her M.S. in 1947. The couple lived in Owatonna for a year before settling on the family farm near Pipestone. They were dairy farmers.

Norma was active in the Presbyterian Church and the community. She was an ordained elder, and often served on the session (church board). She was a leader in the presbytery (district) and synod (region) working for the equality of women and men in the church. Norma advocated for education and life-long learning. She served as a member of the Pipestone School Board for 18 years, and was instrumental in creating the joint school/public library in Pipestone.

Norma is survived by son Kim (Jan) of Blue Earth, Minn.; daughters, Carol (Otis Laurberg) of Rochester, Minn., and Judy (Paul) Ruud of Fairfax Station, Va.; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and her sister, Marie Eberhardt of Mendham, N.J.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Harold; her sister, Ruth Howland; and brother, Ernest Ammann. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to First Presbyterian Church of Pipestone or Seasons Hospice of Rochester. Online condolences are welcome to