Norman Edward Smola, 85, of Stillwater, died Friday August 11, 2023, while working on the farm he loved. Services will begin 10:00 a.m. Friday, August 18, 2023 at the Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Burial will follow in Fairlawn Cemetery. Strode Funeral Home and Cremation is in charge of arrangements.
Norman was born to Eddie and Leona Smola (Nee Hill) and raised in rural Kingfisher, county, Oklahoma. He attended Big 4 Consolidated School for 12 years. His interests included math, science, playing basketball and trapping for furs in his spare time.
Norman graduated from high school in May 1956 and went on to Central State at Edmond then on to Oklahoma A&M. Norman graduated with a degree in forestry in 1961 and worked as a State Staff Forester from 1961 until his retirement in 1994. His first position was in the Poteau field office. He was promoted and transferred to Hugo, Oklahoma, in 1965 and later promoted again and moved to Stillwater in 1973.
Norman married Jane Mueggenborg of Kingfisher, on April 30, 1960 and the couple enjoyed 63 years of marriage before his passing. They raised five sons and Norman passed along his love of nature, the outdoors, hunting and fishing to all of his sons. The family spent most summer weekends camping, fishing and water skiing at Pat Mayse Lake near Paris, Texas and along the Glover River in the Kiamichi mountains while they lived in Hugo.
In 1983 Norman and Jane purchased a 60-acre farm northeast of Stillwater, where they enjoyed an enormous garden, working the land, grafting pecan trees, gathering pecans and walnuts in the fall and watching the abundant wildlife. Norman stocked one the ponds with catfish which became a great source of good times and fond memories for his children and grandchildren. Following his passion for forestry Norman established a 'cut your own' Christmas tree farm on a portion of the property and ran that successfully for several years. Norman and Jane moved from their home in town to the farm in 2001, where they enjoyed 20+ years of gardening, farming, entertaining their children and grandchildren at this special place of peace and tranquility.
Norman was passionate about Oklahoma State Athletics and was a season ticket holder for football, basketball, and wrestling for decades. He and Jane were long time members and very active in the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church where Norman was a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Norman was predeceased by two sons, Paul and Vince.
He is survived by his wife, Jane; three sons, Doug, Don and Ed Smola; eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters, Karen Wirt and Barbara Bollenbach.
The family requests that those wishing to honor Norman's name do so by making donations to alz.org.
Condolences may be emailed to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by
visiting www.strodefh.com .