Her violin is silent, but her melody lives on within all those she touched and loved.
Norma Iris Reitz was born on Dec. 30, 1923, to Irvin and May Hoy in Billings, and died peacefully on Nov. 1, 2008.
Norma graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1941, where her motto upon graduating was "haste makes waste." She continued on with her education at Rocky Mountain College and graduated from Montana State University, Bozeman, in 1945, with a degree in nursing. Norma and her nursing friends then decided to travel the country and practice their nursing skills. They went to Arizona, California, finally ending up in New York City.
In New York City, Norma met a handsome musician, Cleve Reitz, whom she fell in love with and married six months later on May 21, 1949. They returned to New York City, where their first child, Claudia, was born.
They decided that the big city was not for them and returned to Billings, where their four sons, Steven, John, Sandy and Charlie, were born.
Norma was a learner, nurturer, traveler and free spirit. She was strong, independent, loving and creative. Norma appreciated all the arts, especially music, painting, dance and the beauty of nature. Norma paid attention to life: enjoying a bird in flight, a friendly smile, a child's inquisitive mind, a beautiful flower and a gentle touch. She inspired our loving family and taught us how to be strong, independent and sensitive to the world around us.
Norma and her high school girlfriends, Lorraine, Amy, Miriam, Norma and Liz, started a sewing club in the '50s, which has continued to meet once a month for the past 60 years. Throughout her years, she also cherished her nursing friends, her "Peach Fuzzy" friends from New York and the many friends that she met throughout her life's journey.
Norma is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Cleve Reitz. She is also survived by her children, Claudia Reitz, Steve Reitz, John (Sheri) Reitz, Sandy Reitz, Charlie (Teri) Reitz. Norma leaves behind eight grandchildren, Claire, Wells, Megan, Joel, Cody, Tyler, Ryan and Ashley Reitz, whom she dearly loved as their own individuals. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Doris Hoy, and many cousins, especially her closest cousins, Jean Olson and Eleanor Martin.
Norma was preceded in death by her parents, Irv and May Hoy; her brother, Harold "Buck" Hoy; and her many aunts, uncles and cousins, especially her beloved Aunt Fay.
The family would like to thank Dr. James Burke and his staff for their loving care during the past 10 months, along with Rocky Mountain Hospice.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Scottish Rite Language Clinic, ZooMontana or charity of one's choice.
Smith’s Downtown Chapel is in charge of arrangements.