Norma B. Arndt
1922 - 2018
Long time Napa resident, educator and business woman Norma Blaylock Arndt passed away peacefully August 14, 2018 at her home in Napa, California at the age of 96. Most recently she was proprietor of Nor-Mar Fabrics and Gifts at 1327 Main St in Napa, from which she retired in 2014.
She was born Norma Blaylock on July 11, 1922 in Randolph, Mississippi to Orson and Ora (neé Bishop) Blaylock, who had three children, including Norma's older sister, Zona, and younger brother, Orson Jr., who were raised by their mother following their father's early death in 1933.
Norma graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Teaching from the Delta State Teachers College in Cleveland, Mississippi, then went on to earn her Master’s degree in Home Economics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Norma met her future husband, Harold Arndt of nearby Van Vleet, Mississippi, at church where he was singing in the choir. They married in 1950. Norma and Harold settled in Napa in 1956, after visiting Norma's sister Zona there the previous year. Norma and Harold worked hard together. They were a real team with each one excelling in complementary areas. As Norma once said, “the harder we worked the luckier we got.”
Norma worked for the University of California Extension Services as a teacher of teachers in home economics, a position she held for 34 years.
Norma opened Nor-Mar Fabrics and Gifts at 1327 Main St in Napa on May 1, 1985. Norma was an advocate of education and during the 29 years the store was open, she provided scholarships to 14 college students. Over the years she provided many hours of hands on training in retail sales, sewing, alterations and customer service to scores of young women and men.
A member of the Soroptimist International of Napa since 1959, Norma served as president from 1963 to 1964, and was its longest standing member.
Norma is survived by her nieces and nephews and their children, and her many friends and those her life has touched. She is predeceased by her husband Harold, her siblings and her parents.
Norma was a very wise woman who inspired you to do your best; you knew that you were privileged to be in her presence. She was a kind and gracious person who welcomed all without regard for societal boundaries. She took care of everyone she knew and enriched the world with her actions. Norma was also a force to be reckoned with - a strong woman, a problem solver, always working towards finding the best solution no matter what the situation. Her native grace and civility were a model for all of us who miss her greatly. Norma is now at peace.
Friends and family are invited to her funeral service to be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 18, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church , 1333 Third Street, Napa, with Norma’s dear friend Dr. Harriet Nelson officiating. A reception at the church will follow the service. Interment will be at 2:00 p.m. the same day at Napa Valley Memorial Park, 2383 Napa Vallejo Highway. Visitation will be from 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Friday at Treadway & Wigger Funeral Chapel, now on the grounds of Napa Valley Memorial Park.
Donations may be made to the Soroptimist's Live Your Dreams fund (Soroptimist International of Napa, P.O. Box 614, Napa, CA 94559) or to the charity of one’s choice. Treadway & Wigger Funeral Chapel is serving the family and friends may share memories at treadwaywigger.com
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