Norman Dean Olk, 84, of Sheffield, passed away Wednesday, December 27, 2017, at Manly Specialty Care in Manly, Iowa.
He was born on September 20, 1933, in Hampton, Iowa, to Ike and Dagmar (Kibsgaard) Olk. Norman was the oldest in a family of six children. His family included one brother and four sisters. Norman was baptized on October 22, 1933 at Immanuel United Church of Christ in Latimer and confirmed on March 22, 1948, at Zion St. John Lutheran Church in Sheffield. He graduated from Sheffield High School in 1951. Norman was united in marriage to Eleanor Lubkeman on September 26, 1954, at Zion St. John Lutheran Church in Sheffield.
Norman enjoyed preserving the past and looking toward the future. His greatest love and enjoyment was his family, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He enjoyed feeding cattle, showing cattle at the Mason City fair, and restoring old farm machinery. Norman shared a favorite memory with his father when he was growing up. He and his father, Ike, travelled by train to take his 4-H calf to the Chicago stockyards. Over the years, Norman served on the church board, Burchinal elevator board, and was on the board of the Cattleman's Association. Norman was also a 4-H leader for several years. He enjoyed music. Norman was a drummer in the school band and was asked to sing at many weddings when he was younger. In later years, he sang with the choir at their retirement community in Arizona. Norman loved the big bands, especially Glen Miller and the song "Stardust". He spoke of fun and happy memories of events he attended at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.
Norman and Eleanor spent many winters in Arizona and made many new friends. In retirement, Norman enjoyed playing golf, shooting pool, and having coffee with friends. Norman and Eleanor began their life together farming just outside of Sheffield. In the next few years, Norman worked three jobs to support his wife and family of three children. He farmed, drove school bus, and work at the I-H Implement. In 1962, Norman and Eleanor moved to Clear Lake and farmed a total of 50 years. In 2001, they retired and returned to Sheffield.
Norman is survived by his wife, Eleanor Olk of Sheffield, son Michael (Mary) Olk of Clear Lake, daughter Darla (Dave) Stack of Waverly, and daughter Brenda (Tom) Zickuhr of Wichita, Kansas. His grandchildren include Karen (Thad) Meyer, Stephanie Olk, Stacie Olk, Marissa Olk, Carter Olk, Lisa (Brian) Rupp, Jonathan (Lindsay) Stack, Kathryn (Matt Rogers) Zickuhr and Benjamin Zickuhr. His great-grandchildren include Ella, Spencer and Lauren Meyer; Brylee, Ethan and Jackson Rupp; Maya and Kendall Stack. He is also survived by his sister Donna (David) Joens, sister Iva (Stan) Griep, brother Larry (Emma) Olk and sister Barbara (Jim) Long, along with many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Delores Meyer.
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I first met Norman in September of 1975 when I was going to NIACC in Mason City.... I worked for Eleanor and him after classes each day and on the weekends. I enjoyed his shiny International equipment and he became somewhat of a second father to me at that time he had a passion for farming and raising beef cattle.... I had many enjoyable times with Norma, Eleanor, and Mike farming your family has my sympathy and God bless....... sincerely, Doug Schueler
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