Norman Claude “Stormin’ Norman” Jenkins
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March 6, 1919 – Winnipeg, Manitoba
March 5, 2019 – Red Deer, Alberta
Norm passed away peacefully on Tuesday March 5, 2019, a few hours before reaching the age of 100.
He grew up in Winnipeg, MB, the youngest of 4 children. He graduated from Kelvin High School in 1938, started a trucking business with his brother Bert, and then began a career with Dickson Motors shortly afterwards.
In Nov. 1942, Norm joined the RCAF and served at aircraft overhaul facilities in Winnipeg and Montreal, QB. He mastered aircraft maintenance and was promoted to Inspector, achieving the rank of Sergeant. Norm was discharged in Feb. 1946. During the war years, Norm met Mary MacGregor, and they eloped in July of 1946 to marry in Minnesota. The first of three children, Wayne, was born on their wedding anniversary in 1949, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
They moved to Edmonton, AB in 1951, where Norm was recruited to help open the new Hood Motors GM dealership. He was an important part of the management team, as they transitioned to new ownership under Don Wheaton Chevrolet in 1964. He created a robust leasing division, a new concept at the time, retiring from the dealership in 1982. Norm remained active through the 1980’s as an independent consultant with the Federal Business Development Bank.
Norm acquired substantial design and construction skills during his life. In 1968, he purchased a country acreage outside Edmonton, and then designed and supervised the construction of the beloved Windermere home. The family enjoyed many years in this home until Norm and Mary, now in their late 80’s, relocated to Red Deer AB.
Norm was active throughout his life. He was an accomplished private pilot, and restored two small aircraft from the ground up. In spite of a modest income, Norm was able to provide a very comfortable life for himself and his family. He bought and restored several automobiles, often selling them at a profit. He did all of his own handyman and landscape work, including finish carpentry. Every project was met head on with imagination, determination, and frugality. It usually worked out.
Norm is pre-deceased by Mary, his wife of 65 years, son Wayne, parents Fred and Alice, brothers Tom and Herbert, and sister Ida. He is survived by his loving children, Terry (Viny) and Grant (Molly); daughter-in-law Vener, his grandchildren, Anthony, Taralyn (Michael), Jessica, Hayley and Sam; great granddaughter Charlie; and extended family in Canada and England.
The Piano Player
Norm will be remembered for his life-long love of music. As an accomplished pianist on his cherished Grand piano, reading sheet music or by ear he played hundreds of wartime tunes, all of the American Pop Standards and any tune requested simply by someone humming a few bars to him. During his and Marys annual Hawaiian vacation, Norm often stood-in for the house pianist over a break and entertained during Happy Hour at many piano bars on the islands. One of his favourite tunes was the memorable, We'll Meet Again with Mary singing alongside the Grand.