Norma Joy Litchfield Brooks, 91, of Amarillo, died Saturday, December 19, 2020.
Services will be at 1:00 P.M., Wednesday, December 23, 2020 in Llano Mausoleum Chapel with Dr. Murray Gossett officiating. Burial will be in Llano Cemetery. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Norma Litchfield Brooks was the first-born child of Leila (Glisan) Litchfield and Verl D. Litchfield, arriving April 29, 1929 in Higgins, Texas, where she graduated as Valedictorian of the class of 1946, from Higgins High School. Called to be a teacher, Norma later received her B.S. degree from WTSU in 1963 and earned her M.S. degree from WTSU in 1968. She enjoyed a successful career as a classroom teacher for AISD teaching first grade and mentoring student teachers for WTSU.
Norma married Wayne Brooks September 7, 1946, in Higgins. They were together for 57 years, raising three daughters, Gail, Sue and Teresa, having nine grandchildren, nine great-grands and two great-great-grands. Norma and Wayne were members of First Presbyterian Church of Amarillo. Wayne was a 40-year employee of the Texas Highway Department. Norma was an active member of Zeta Delta Chapter, Delta Kappa Gamma International, Amarillo League of Women Voters and Amarillo Retired Teachers Association.
As the eldest Norma helped her mother at home until she began working for wages at age 14 at numerous jobs in Higgins including Post Office clerk, clerk-typist for lawyer E. C. Gray and typist for Sansing Income Tax Service, but her most important job was telephone operator. Through her switchboard she helped families during Word War II flung apart all over the world keep in touch. Norma worked the night shift after attending school during the day. While her father was in the Army at Fort Hood in the Tank Destroyers, she and her mother ran the movie theater on weekends. The family had no car so she walked miles per day. Norma’s pen pal was the later famous Audie Murphy through a quirk of fate. Wayne and Norma met the day he returned from the Merchant Marines and were never apart thereafter. They married and moved to Canadian, Borger, Dumas and then Amarillo over the years. Norma continued to work for Bell Telephone in Borger, for Brown and Root, Inc. at the Phillips Plant near Dumas and for Boys Ranch typing envelopes at home as she reared her family. Then she completed college and taught 26 years for AISD where she loved every one of her 600-plus students and monitored their progress through life whenever possible.
After retirement, Norma pursued other interests and learned new skills including quilting, crocheting, collecting Depression glass and fishing. Wayne and Norma continued traveling and camping with their friends until Wayne passed in 2003. Then Norma went to Alaska in 2006 and to Israel in 2010, a highlight of her life.
Norma’s abiding passion was teaching her world the joy of reading. She was an avid reader of historical fiction and biography and of current fiction on the bestseller list. Norma possessed an extensive library, sharing her books with family and friends. As she gained age and experience, Norma began to write in a travel journal, chapters of family history for her younger siblings, short stories of her adventures for her children and grandchildren, and inspirational letters to them from their “Mema.” Norma felt truly blessed to have lived through such historic times as The Great Depression, The Dust Bowl Days, WW 11, The Bicentennial, the space age and The Millennium, all of which she remembered vividly.
Norma was preceded in death by her wonderful mother, Leila Litchfield, the guiding force in her life, and by her father Verl D. Litchfield. Norma was predeceased by her loved and loving husband, Wayne Brooks, by her beloved daughter, Teresa Faris, her brother Don Litchfield and her sisters, Nona Gray and Jony Thomas. Norma was also predeceased by her great-grandmother Matilda (Tuley) Bader, her grandparents Frank and Emma (Bader) Glisan, her grandparents George and Elizabeth (Plunkett) Litchfield, all of whom she knew and loved in real time.
Norma is survived by two daughters, Gail Kennedy and husband Mike of Paris, Texas, and Sue Diggs of Lubbock, Texas; by one brother, Dale Litchfield of Canadian, Texas; by three sisters, Gaydean Bucher and Verna Beth Morrow of Canadian, Texas; and Carole Appel of West Plains, Missouri. She is also survived by her beloved grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren and by special nieces Wanda Clark, and Cheryl Underwood and nephew Dennis Wayne Williams. Norma’s grandchildren are Seth Prince, Sara Russell, Keely Kennedy, Kristin Kennedy, Kyle Kennedy, Marissa Faris, Keegan Faris, Kara Faris, and Jakie Diggs. Her great-grandchildren are Alycia Trapp, Ashleigh Birgess, Logan Russell, Breckan Russell, Haylie Prince, Kendyl Prince, Colt Prince, Charlie and Arlo Faris, and Kynley Faris. Her great-great-grandchildren are Logan Trapp and Declan Trapp.
Contributions to KK125.org, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, P.O. Box 12581, Austin, Texas 78711, would be appreciated or if you wish to Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758540, Topeka, KS 66675-8540.