Norma Harriman


A lifetime resident of the Williamsburg area, Norma Harriman passed away at the Woodland Villa Nursing Home, Long Sault, on Monday, January 28, 2013.  She was 85. 

Norma Ella Harriman was born on November 1, 1927, at the family farm on Lightning Street. She was the daughter of Frank and Evah Merkley, nee Saddlemire.

Born prematurely, Norma was delivered by Dr. Locke, and was nurtured for the first few months of her life by her paternal grandmother, Ella Merkley. 

Norma grew up on the family farm with her elder sister Joyce and her younger sister Virgie. She attended elementary school at S.S.#11, a one room school on Lightning Street, and secondary school at Morrisburg Collegiate Institute. 

After graduation, she worked as a waitress at Woods Restaurant in Williamsburg. 

Norma and her family were devoted members of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, and it was there that she met her future husband, Emerson Harriman. 

Norma and Emerson were married November 24, 1945, and together they raised three children Burrill, Brenda and Craig.  

Other than one year spent on Emerson’s family farm at Riverside Heights, they lived their life together on the Merkley farm on Lightning Street.

Norma always remained active at St. Peter’s. She taught Sunday school and sang in the choir. She was a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Women (ELCW), and enjoyed being part of the ladies quilting group. She was actively involved in all church activities. 

Norma enjoyed socializing with her many longtime friends and neighbours. She was always ready and willing to extend a ‘helping hand’ to anyone.

Emerson and Norma took short trips, but their biggest trip was to visit Emerson’s family in California in 1968.

Unfortunately, on March 23, 1969, Emerson suddenly passed away; however, Norma and her family continued the farming operation. 

Norma enjoyed her grandchildren Kelly, Kari and Jodi who spent plenty of time at “Grandma’s house. She loved them greatly.

When her sisters, Joyce and Virgie, returned to the Williamsburg area upon their retirement, Norma really enjoyed their added companionship with many a visit and cups of tea. 

Norma was a devoted mother and wife and loved life on the farm. She was happy working in her kitchen making meals and just as happy outside helping with barn chores and gardening. She loved her animals, always tending to the cows, the dog, the goat and many cats. 

Norma’s health began to fail in 2007, and subsequently she became a resident at Woodland Villa in Long Sault.

Norma is survived by her children Burrill of Williamsburg, Brenda (Gordon) Meek of Williamsburg and Craig (Lauren) of Williamsburg and by her sister Virgie (Bill) Kurschinski of Williamsburg.  

She will be fondly remembered by grandchildren Kelly Meek, Kari Meek, Jodi Thompson and great-grandchildren Ethan, Owen, Chloe and Sawyer. She is also survived by nieces and nephews.  

Norma was predeceased by her husband Emerson and her sister Joyce Patterson.     

Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg, on Wednesday from 4-8 p.m.  Funeral service was held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Williamsburg, on Thursday, January 31st at 11 a.m., with Rev. Norine Gullons officiating.  Interment followed at New Union Cemetery, Williamsburg.  

Pallbearers were Ethan Meek, Owen Meek, Ian McGillis, Alan Casselman, Robert Whitteker and Bruce Garlough.  

Donations to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church or Dundas County Hospice would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.

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