Helena- Norman Eugene Van Ness Sr., 73, passed away at his home on Aug. 1, 2019. He was born on Sept. 26, 1945 in Fremont to the late Marvel M. (Burmeister) and Harold D. Van Ness Sr.
Norman was a 1963 graduate of Gibsonburg High School. On Oct. 29, 1966, in Gibsonburg, he married the love of his life, Victoria Pressler, who survives.
Also surviving him are his children, Norman E. (Shannon) Van Ness Jr. of Gibsonburg and Amy J. Black of Springfield; grandchildren, Alexa Victoria Black; step-grandchildren, Nolan (Amber) Baum and Charlene Baum; step-great-grandchildren, Corey Baum, Ava Baum, Alivia Baum and Dillon Herron; as well as his sister, Jean Roepke, of Elmore.
Norman is preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Harold Van Ness Jr. and Jessie Allen.
Norm and Vicki enjoyed raising their children and participating in their many activities as they grew including sporting events, horse shows and family gatherings. They enjoyed living in their country home and worked hard to make it a warm and welcoming place.
Norm took great pride in his work as a Steel Fabricator for Apex Metal Fabrication in Toledo where he was employed for 40 years. He deeply regretted having to retire from his extended “Work Family” and the great friendships he made there.
He was a member of the local dirt racing community as he, along with his Father and Brother, fielded race cars through his youth up into the early 1970s with some of the area’s best drivers piloting their machines. Their contributions landed the three of them in the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame in 2015...a proud moment for him in recent years.
But, perhaps, his greatest source of pride was his amazing Granddaughter Alexa Black.
Norm was there for so many of her accomplishments as an Equestrian and as an amazing young member of her community...including her Championships at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, her formal recognition at the Ohio State House for said Championships, on up to her recent journeys onto the stage in her school plays. So much of his world revolved around Alexa and her path to becoming an impactful adult.
He also cherished visits from his extended Step-Family of Children and Grandchildren and delighted in their enjoyment of catching fish from the pond on his property.
Those who knew Norm will remember his big heart, his bigger opinions...and the ability he had to make a huge impact on those around him. He will be missed dearly, and remembered well.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at the Sandusky County Sportsman’s Club, 3950 SR 600, Gibsonburg, Ohio on Saturday, August 17, 2019 from 1pm to 5pm. Family and friends are invited to attend.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame or the Ohio Quarter Horse Foundation Scholarship Program, 6325 Quarter Horse Drive, Columbus, OH, 43229. Both are 501c3 organizations, so donations are tax deductible.