Veteran laid to rest | Mayerthorpe Freelancer


Norman Anger was 101 when he died May 15.

jpg, MF

If you asked Norman Anger what the secret was to living to be over 100 years old, he’d say “Eleanor.”

Norman died May 15 of natural causes at the Mayerthorpe Healthcare Centre at the age of 101. The war veteran and his wife Eleanor were together for 39 years and spent the last six years living at Pleasant View Lodge.

“People will remember his smile, the twinkle in his eyes and his great sense of humour,” said Eleanor, as tears welled in her eyes.

Living to be 101 is a rare feat and Eleanor wanted to share the story of Norman’s life.

“He worked hard all his life from the time he was quite young,” said Eleanor.

In his younger years, Norman drove a team sleigh hauling grain from North Star to Grimshaw, Alta. He hauled freight from the railroad to North Star. He worked as a labourer on farms and worked in a Yellowknife mine until the fall of 1939.

“The war had just broke out and they were asking for volunteers,” said Eleanor. “He and his brother Jack took the train from North Star to Grimshaw and joined the Armed Forces.”

Norman was 21 years old when he entered basic training in Grande Prairie. After training, he was sent to Winnipeg, where he was sent on several missions and took a driver maintenance and motorcycle course. In 1940, he was sent to Halifax and shipped off to England.

During his time in the military, Norman spent time in Scotland, North Africa, Italy, France, Holland and Belgium. When he was in Italy, Norman became a dispatch rider.

A dispatch rider is a military messenger, mounted usually on a motorcycle during the Second World War. They were used to deliver urgent orders and messages between headquarters and military units. Dispatch riders were especially important when telecommunications were limited or not secure.

Norman was stationed in Holland when the war was declared over. He spent a total of six years in the army. An excerpt from his book called The Life and Times of WWII Veteran Norman James Anger, released in 2018, Norman wrote about life after the war.

“During the six years that I was in the army, I was taught how to fight, and I fought in battles. Returning home after the war was not easy, if someone did anything or said anything wrong, a fight would be on. It didn’t’ matter who it was,” he wrote.

Norman spent his years after the war running a UFA, working construction, hauling water in the oilfield and moving vehicles around for a Volvo dealership out of Edmonton.
In 1981, Eleanor who was a single-mother of two young children and Norman who was a father of five met eachother in Edmonton.
“We became instant friends,” said Eleanor.
Norman wanted to date Eleanor, who was 25 years younger than him. She told him to find someone his own age and added that she had young kids. He never blinked and eye and said he raised five kids of his own and would help her raise hers.
“From then on we were a team,” she said.
In 1983, the couple moved to an acreage south of Cherhill where they farmed and Norman operated a water truck. As the years went on, the couple decided to move into a lodge. Norman moved into the Pleasant View Lodge in 2014 and when another room opened up in 2015, Eleanor moved in too.
A private burial was held in Edmonton.
“We plan on having a celebration of his life at a later date,” said Eleanor, adding the COVID-19 restrictions in place limit the number of people allowed to gather.
The celebration will be held at the Legion in Mayerthorpe at some point.
In the meantime, Eleanor is adjusting to life without Norman. She will fill her time remembering his laughter, smile and that twinkle in his eyes.
brmoore@postmedia.com

 



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *