Norma Ione Gates Nichol

November 27, 1923 – September 23, 2020
Born 27 November 1923 and was Promoted To Glory September 23 2020. In her 97th year. Leaving to miss her so much, nephews and nieces in Tashkent, in the USA, in Canada and in Australia.
My treasured Aunty Norma was an ever cheerful, colourful and often endearingly naive individual.
She was born to a couple of American college graduates who hurried to Canada upon graduation to take up homesteading. Their education did not save them from losing everything but taught my aunt, her sister Doris Irene, aka “Dodo”, a lifelong love of treasuring everything and wasting nothing … especially their god given time.
My aunt, her sister Dodo and mother spent the great depression on prairie farms and ranches. Memories shared by her and Dodo in Australia, included my aunt trailing along behind her elder sibling, on prairie roads to school, commanding “wait for me Dodo!”
Aunty Norma was attracted to The Salvation Army, as a teenager in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. She was a Corps Cadet, a soldier, then became an accepted candidate and cadet of The Salvation Army’s Training College for officers, during the shortest session in the Canadian Territory’s history. There was a great need for officers during WW2.
She married a fellow cadet and they were posted to locations in the Canadian north to do the Army’s “work”. While in one such remote location, her husband deemed her ill enough to hitch up a team of dogs and “mush” her to a hospital. There her life was saved but she sacrificed her ability to have any children..
Later her and her husband adopted an infant boy in Calgary, naming him Russell. He later died as a toddler.
My sweet aunty was Army through and through and always welcomed the Christian imperative to share a witness, as simple as it was, of her Christian beliefs and thus she kept her little light shining.
My aunt adored Port Alberni and Vancouver Island and it was such joy when visiting her to see just how much pleasure this place and its people gave her.
Our family gives thanks to the Arrowsmith Lodge which provided a true caring home for her during her last years.
We also salute Major Hammelin who arranged a true Army send off for my aunt.
Aunty….life will never be the same, knowing your sweet voice is stilled here but please pass on to Dodo, that now that you have caught up with her……we’re also on our way.
A cherished song from The Salvation Army Song Book has a line ….” I’m a soldier bound for Glory, I’m a soldier going home….”

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