NORMAN FRANCIS PATRICK SUTTORP
January 19, 1949 – December 17, 2020
It is with profound and irrevocable sadness that the family announces the passing of Norman on December 17, 2020. After a short battle and with his family by his side, he peacefully left us all heartbroken to mourn our incredible loss of a wonderful Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother and Friend. He leaves behind a legacy of a strong, close family that will forever cherish our memories with him.
Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life will take place at a later date when we can all come together to share memories of his wonderful life.
Norman was born in their family home in the middle of a snowstorm to Henrietta and Bernard Suttorp on January 19, 1949. With only the help of the neighborhood ladies, Norman came into this world a fighter and with great strength. He was a devoted son and from an early age had an affinity for fixing anything. From a young age, his father taught him farming and equipment repair. Sadly, his father died much too young in 1965, and throughout his life, Norman missed him. Bernard was a kind man and this would be a trait that Norman would emanate throughout his life as well. Norman loved his mother dearly. They shared a special bond and he was always there to help her, visit, and spend time with her. He was right by Henrietta`s side till she passed away in 2002.
Norman shared his childhood with and will be missed by his 5 siblings; Bernard (Linda), Robert (Patsy), Ralph (Faith) Lawrence (Enid) and Joanne Schreyer and their families. Norman had a lifetime of fun memories with his siblings; growing up on the farm, visiting Tante Lena and their many cousins, shared Christmas dinners, summer BBQs and raising their children together. A Suttorp gathering was lively and loud when they all got together. Debates would always arise, each brother just as stubborn as the other but would always end in good spirits. Sorry Lawrence, Norman always said he didn’t want to see the Maple Leafs win another cup in his lifetime, well he got his wish. Uncle Norman is fondly remembered and missed by his many nieces and nephews.
At 18 years of age, Norman met the love of his life, Patricia (nee Matychak) age 16, while visiting a restaurant in Beausejour during the town fair. It was love at first sight for Norman and on their second date he declared his love for her. People might have thought Norman liked long walks, but the truth was he was frequently walking 12 miles out to Green Oak just to spend time with Patricia during the early days of their relationship. Two years later they married with 600 invited guests to help celebrate their union. Norman loved a good party and everyone was always invited to share a laugh or meal with him. In September 2020, they celebrated 50 years of marriage and renewed their vows in a small ceremony with their family present. Due to Covid-19 rules at the time, we were very fortunate to be able to celebrate, even if on a much smaller scale than we had hoped. At 18, he declared his love to Patricia and he was true to his word. He loved her all the days of his life and left this world while holding her hand tightly. While the pain of losing him seems unbearable, his legacy of love lives strong in those that love him dearly.
Norman was predeceased by his parents-in-law; Bernice and John Matychak. Both who loved and accepted Norman as another son. John and Norman had a special bond and frequently could be found in the fields together, fixing equipment or tending to the animals. True to his nature, Norman was always the first to help when work needed to be done and he would literally give the shirt off his back if someone else needed it. When John passed away and Bernice moved to the town of Beausejour, Bernice spent much time with Norman, Patricia and their family; going out to the lake, visiting in the city or playing Bingo with the grandkids.
Norman will be missed by his brother-in-law Clarence (Cindy) Matychak, his sisters-in-law, Diane Holigroski and Beverley Foerster (Mory) and their families. Predeceased by his brothers-in-law, Bob Foerster and Richard Schreyer many years ago and only recently, 2 months ago, Lorne Holigroski. We know they are all reunited again and catching up on old times and fun memories. They needed a fourth player for a game of crib and Norman would be happy to join them.
Norman and Patricia were blessed with four children; Charlene, Kevin, Kimberly and Clayton. Norman developed a special bond with each child and will be deeply missed. Favorite family memories include so many good times, like summers camping at Dogtooth lake, swimming and fishing. Even more fun when his brother Ralph and his family would join in and enjoy the time together. Visits on the farm, taking the kids for tractor rides, endless games of cards, acres of gardens to tend too and even teaching everyone how to butcher for their supper. Undoubtably though, a good portion of their family life included spending it at ice rinks, as each child played ringette or hockey throughout their childhood. Norman was always there coaching and cheering loudly. He was incredibly proud of each of his kids. This same trait that he continued to bring to the Manitoba ice rinks when all his grandchildren played hockey.
Norman was the first person his children called when ANYTHING broke, he could fix almost everything and even when he couldn’t do it himself, his famous catch phrase, “I’ll tell you what you need to do” covered the rest. Norman was a millwright by trade and spent many years working at Canada Packers followed by two automotive service garages before enjoying a well-deserved retirement. Although, he loved working with his son Kevin the most at his garage and after retirement, was found there more often than not.
Charlene will miss the lake time with her father. There, Norman was happiest and most at ease; beside a camp fire sharing stories with his family or at the BBQ making his delicious pork steaks for everyone to enjoy. Norman instilled strength and independence in Charlene, but she always knew she had a father she could depend on when she needed him.
Of all his children, Kevin shares the most traits with his father; in looks, mechanical aptitude and fun spirit. To be missed most will simply be the time they shared together. The days his father spent at the shop helping Kevin at work or simply keeping him company. His excitement was his latest project, building the Tiki Bar together. Norman was happiest with dirty hands, holding tools and fixing anything, a bond that Kevin shared with him from a young age.
Kimberly shares his optimistic spirit, that no matter what life has to challenge you, things will always get better. She will miss his kindness and willingness to always help others and lend a hand. Norman was a card shark and could play crib better than most, a game Kimberly enjoys today thanks to him. She will miss celebrating life’s victories with him. He was always her cheerleader that believed she could do anything.
Clayton shares some of Norman’s best qualities; generosity and the love for a good party with friends and family. Frequently seen at a family get together standing with their arms on each other’s shoulders with the biggest smiles. Everyone was welcome to join them, share a story, a drink and a laugh. Clayton will miss their weekend breakfast feasts or even their frequent lunches that they often shared.
Norman will also be greatly missed by the family of each of his children. Norman developed wonderful bonds with each of his in-law daughters and sons. He became a proud Grandfather to their children. Tom (Charlene), Chris (Kimberly), Neela (Kevin) and Marcy (Clayton) will always hold a special place in their heart for Norman. Norman cheering proudly at hockey games, his willingness to help with any problems, and ‘can do’ attitude will be a void felt by each of his grandchildren.
Emily his first born, that he lovingly nick named ‘Squeak’ was grandpa’s girl through and through. Norman loved all animals, but only Emily could help him persuade Pat to get a puppy while Emily was living with them. They all bonded even more so when little Pennie came to join them. Some of his happiest moments at home were ones shared with Emily. Norman was so happy to meet Emily’s boyfriend, Nolyn, when he came into her life. He was a very proud grandfather when they recently bought their first home together, even if it meant he would miss having her and Pennie with him every day.
Norman cheered on grandsons, Dominic and TJ, through hockey games, football games and most recently in Cadets. Flying with Dominic when he got his Flight License and time with TJ at the lake will be most missed. Attending the Remembrance Day Ceremonies where he saw his grandsons participate meant so much to him and he could not have been prouder.
Mason and Grandpa shared many car rides to school, getting up early and making a stop at Tim Hortons for an apple fritter and hot chocolate. Norman loved his Christmas displays and Mason enjoyed helping him put up his amazing lights these last few years. Most of all, Mason will miss their shared love of history and the many conversations that ensued. William will miss his cheering voice at hockey, his biggest fan that would talk strategy on how to get even better on the ice. William, named after his grandfather (William Norman) also shared with his grandpa a love of animals and dogs.
Rio and Kairo, will miss spending hours at the Tiki Bar together and family BBQs. Grandpa loved to watch them both play hockey. No-one was prouder of Rio when their team won the Cities and no-one cheered louder than when Kairo, scored a goal. Norman thoroughly enjoyed his world travels with Rio and Kairo, getting to enjoy many trips over the years. Kairo may be his youngest grandson but he shares with Norman the same mischievous twinkle in his eye when he knows he is about to do something to stir up a little good-hearted trouble.
Norman was also blessed to extend his family out to his Step-Grandchildren and will be missed by Amy, Hailey and Keyan as well. Also through the growth of his family, Derian, Tristen, and Jordynn held a special place in Norman’s heart and spent almost every family holiday together for the last two decades. They too will miss his jokes, hugs and smiles. Norman loved his grandchildren immensely and believed the best in each one of you. So if ever you wonder if there is something you just are not sure you can do, know that he believed you could find strength in this belief.
Norman was lucky to enjoy many travels in his lifetime. He enjoyed his trip to Disney World with Kim, Kevin and their families, seeing his grandsons light up at the sight of Mickey! His favorite park was Animal Kingdom and we were all lucky enough to enjoy a late dinner there and by the time we left had the park to ourselves to explore for just a little longer. Norman loved thrill rides and one of his favorite Disney stories to tell was also when he got to visit with his brother Ralph and Faith and he was able to talk him into trying one of the roller coasters!
He toured most of Canada and a large part of the United States. He enjoyed escaping the winter with his wife for a month-long trip down south. Some of his favorite trips with his wife included a boat cruise with his brother Ralph and wife Faith. Driving out west to visit his brother Robert and wife Patsy. Also, a trip out east with his sister-in- law Diane and her husband Lorne. They all shared many laughs and memories during these trips. His favorite trip though was his one to Germany where he got to meet his extended family and see his Father’s homeland. He had always hoped to go back their again one day.
Norman developed a special bond with the Kati family, with Dr. Arvind and Nancy becoming the family you get to pick for yourself. Many hours spent simply sitting together sharing life stories, a good meal and a lot of laughs, meant so much to all of them. They had a lot of great memories to share with many trips, boat cruises, every holiday and even seeing Disney World together. Cynthia and Joey were also a part of the family that enjoyed a good conversation with a lot of laughs. Norman will be missed greatly by all of them.
A special place in his heart was also being a member of Little Britain Schutzenverein, a German Club founded 91 years ago that his Father and Uncle were founding members of. Every year Norman would be excited to bring his family and spend the weekend celebrating German culture and family. He was crowned King 2 times but was most proud when he got to watch both of his sons be crowned King at the celebration. He taught all of his kids to target shoot and frequently still a Suttorp wins the target challenges. He loved calling the races, getting all to join in and he and his son in law Tom were fierce horseshoe competitors. Those who knew Norman knew he loved healthy competition and his weekends at Schutzenverein brought out some fun times in all of us around him.
Norman was a natural athlete that loved every sport. His greatest joy was coaching hockey and ringette for his children`s teams in the St.Vital and St. Boniface/ Southdale Divisions. He had a vested interest in every child on his team and took tremendous pride in watching every child improve, but most importantly, it was to have fun. He swam, played hockey, baseball, curled and taught his children how to shoot a basketball as well as target-shoot. Forty years ago, he lost the ability to play the sports he loved when he was involved in a tragic accident that almost cost him his leg. However, like all times in his life, he persevered through this difficult challenge to keep going and found his enjoyment of sports through his children and grandchildren. The doctors told him after his accident he would not walk again, but being the strong and determined man he was, he proved them wrong. He walked his daughters down the aisle on each of their wedding days and danced at each of his children`s weddings. He kept dancing, right till his 50th Wedding Anniversary which was celebrated just 3 months before he left us.
Norman loved life and had the most positive outlook even in the face of adversity. He always saw the good in people and everyone was always welcomed into his home. His legacy is a family that through his example, love each other unconditionally and will always be there to support each other.
Gone too soon, no one was ready to say good-bye. You left this world the same way you came into it, strong and fighting, right till the end. You showed us all such grace even when faced with your own mortality. It was you that comforted us in the end, just as you had throughout your life. Your children, while heartbroken, will always know we were blessed to be able to say everything we needed to say to you. We know how much you love us, and how much we love you. “Love you, Kid”
Norman loved Patricia the longest and the most. There are few words that can be used to describe how it feels to lose ones soulmate. 52 years they shared; they relished in the good times, endured through the challenges and loved each other through every moment. No one could make Patricia smile like Norman. Just recently, she found a hand-written note by Norman in his wallet that said, “Patricia. I love you then, I love you still, I always have, I always will.” She will forever miss your hand to hold, but you will be in her heart till you are reunited once again.
Thank you to all those that sent heartfelt messages to him in his last few weeks with us. While he was not able to respond directly in the last few days, each message was read to him and we know he heard them all and appreciated your kind words. The family would also like to thank all of our amazing family and friends that have reached out to us in our time of sorrow. Words seem unable to describe how lost we each feel without him in our lives. We had only 4 weeks to prepare for his passing but we needed a lifetime. We missed being able to grieve with you in person and celebrate his life together, but the amazing generosity shown by you all through your kind words, calls, messages, flowers, meals, gift cards, fruit baskets, treat baskets and donations made in his honor, all helped to light a small part of our world that has gone so dark. For those who reached out to us with medical advice, to help us down the correct path, thank you. We were so blessed to have him in our lives and so blessed to have you love us as you do.
We will be planning a celebration of life for Norman at a later date when we are able to come together, share stories and revel in his life. If you would like to make a donation in Norman’s memory, the family would be touched to see one made to the Winnipeg Humane Society as Norman had such a strong love for animals.
ETHICAL DEATH CARE
Cremation & Life Celebrations
530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg
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