Billy Norman, age 73 of Spearfish, went home to heaven on Monday, November 16, 2020. With his loving wife by his side, Billy died at the Spearfish Canyon Healthcare Center.
A funeral service was held on Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 at Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche. Interment was held in the Black Hills National Cemetery, with full military honors.
Billy Harlan Norman was born August 3, 1947 in Sterling, Colorado. He was the son of Vyrl and Patricia (Guildner) Norman. At a young age, Billy moved with his family to Belle Fourche, where he graduated from high school in 1965. During the Vietnam War, Billy served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1968. These were hard years, challenging years, heroic years, but years that would change his life due to Agent Orange. Billy was proud of his military career. He was highly decorated with the Air Medal and 10 Oak Leaf Clusters. He risked his life many times, serving as a Door Gunner in Huey helicopters. Coming home, he met Sandra Wagner at a Friday night dance in Spearfish. They were united in marriage on September 1, 1969. To this union was born Jami, their eldest daughter, and twins, son named Randy and daughter named Chipper.
In 1977 the family moved to Alaska. It was a 13-day drive to get there. Billy worked real estate there and he and Sandy owned Fish Creek Sales, a mail-order catalog business for the Bush communities of Alaska. During their time in Alaska, Billy enjoyed racing snow machines (snowmobiles). The Iron Dog Race was by far his favorite time of year. This 1200-mile race was something he really loved, and he was a 5-time contestant. In 1990 the family moved back to Belle Fourche SD where Billy took over the family farm and Norman Gravel Sales. He also was a land developer. The following year he was united with his son Todd McLaughlin, who quickly became part of the family.
Altogether, Billy and Sandy lived in 29 different places. It has been a life filled with wonderful memories and adventures. But suffering from the effects of Agent Orange caused Billy’s life to change significantly over the past 10 years. He was cared for by his wife for many years, before things became so difficult that he had to be admitted to the Spearfish Canyon Healthcare Center in 2019. Together they enjoyed 51 years of marriage.
Billy was a good friend to many people. He was a hard worker and he will be remembered for living life to the fullest. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Billy is survived by his wife, Sandy of Spearfish; daughters, Chipper (Evert) Hill of Rozet WY, Jami Norman of Anchorage AK; sons, Randy (Tauna) Norman of Big Lake AK, Todd McLaughlin of Palmer AK; 10 grandchildren, Megan “Candy”, Patricia “Buttons”, Alex, Chris, Shane, Mason, Dillyn, Kain, Chaka, James; 6 great grandchildren, Trenton, Sawyer, Aurora, Orion, Cattleya, and Nova. He is also survived by his sister, Lane (Don) Keil of Spearfish; brother, Mitch (Xiang) Norman of Albuquerque NM.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his mother-in-law, Kay Wagner; and infant brother, Randall.