Norman ‘Norm’ Pelto
MARQUETTE/NORTH PORT, Fla. — Norman “Norm” Pelto, 82, of Marquette/North Port, Florida, died in Sarasota, Florida, on February 27, 2018. He bravely fought Parkinson’s disease for 30 years, while continuing to live his life to the fullest.
He will be remembered for his friendliness, energy and competitive spirit by all that knew him.
He was born January 17, 1936, in Calumet, to Edwin and Sylvia. Norm was raised in the Raymbaultown neighborhood near the Osceola mine. He was a 1953 graduate of Calumet High School and maintained a lifelong passion for the Copper Kings’ sport teams.
Norm married Sandra Heiser, of Marquette, in June of 1960, and they were together through 57 years of marriage. They had three sons, Michael (Kathleen), Stephan and Kenneth (Amber Guetebier). Norm enjoyed visiting his sons and loved spending time with his three grandchildren, Christine, Andrew and Henrik.
He is survived by his brother, Kenneth Pelto (Carol); sister-in-law, Carol Lundquist (David); brother-in-law, Jim Nebel; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brothers, Ernie, Carl and Raymond; and his sisters, Nancy and Carol.
After high school, Norm spent time in California with his brother, Ernie. In 1957, he joined the Michigan National Guard and spent six months training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. While in the Guard, he was called up during the Berlin Crisis and spent a year stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Norm enrolled at Northern Michigan University and graduated in 1963, with a degree in mathematics and a teaching certificate. Later, he would return to NMU in the summers to earn his masters degree. He taught for seven years in Racine, Wisconsin, before returning to Marquette where he taught at Bothwell Middle School and Graveraet Middle School. During his time at Graveraet, he served as a respected teacher, department head of mathematics, athletic director, basketball coach and assistant principal. During the 1980-1981 school year, he filled in as the assistant principal at the high school. Most of his 32-year career was spent teaching math to middle school students and coaching basketball, both of which he loved. He was particularly proud of his work with the advanced math class for eighth graders, going to great lengths to challenge his students and give them opportunities such as the Math Counts competition. In addition to his teaching and coaching roles, Norm also taught driver education for many years in Racine and Marquette.
Some of “Stormin” Norman’s great passions were competing in sports, cards and many other games. He lettered in track at NMU, running middle distance races such as the 880. He played numerous sports, including basketball and hockey well into his 50s, but his favorite sport was golf. For that game, he followed the rule of only playing on days that ended in a “Y.” On three separate occasions, Norm scored a hole-in-one, an achievement of which he was immensely proud. The fact that his sons were a bit jealous of this accomplishment made it all the better.
After retirement, he continued to coach basketball, help out as a substitute school administrator and he served as the President of the Marquette Golf and Country Club. In addition, he and his wife Sandy escaped the winters by traveling across the country before settling in North Port, Florida, in 2006. He returned to Marquette most summers and frequently played in the “Group Soup” at the golf course.
The family will receive relatives and friends at the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home on Saturday, June 23, 2018, beginning at 1 p.m. with a time of sharing at 3 p.m. This will be an informal time of sharing memories, refreshments and conversation.
Memorial donations in memory of Norm can be made to the Marquette Area Public Schools Education Foundation, 1201 W. Fair Ave, Marquette, MI, 49855, or the Calumet Public Schools CLK Foundation, 57070 Mine Street, Calumet, MI, 49913.
Condolences may be expressed online at swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com.