Norma was born Feb. 22, 1932, to Rudolf (Rudy) and Rubye Steinacker in Kansas City, Mo. Norma, the youngest of three, spent her childhood on a farm in Parkville, Mo.
She graduated from Parkville High School where she played the saxophone in the band. Norma graduated from Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa) in Cedar Falls in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in education with a major art and a minor in music.
Norma started her teaching career as an art teacher in West Des Moines, Iowa. She subsequently taught in New Mexico, Japan and the Denver Metro Area before retiring from Taylor Elementary in Palisade, Colo. in 1997. Norma taught elementary students in Crownpoint, N.M. on the Navajo Reservation early in her career. She took a sabbatical to teach English for two years (1986-1988) at Shokei Women’s Junior College in Sendai, Japan. Norma taught many subjects and grade levels, but she especially enjoyed teaching second grade.
Norma married Robert (Bob) Carskaddan Bishop on Nov. 30, 1958, in Parkville. Bob, a retired professional photographer, is known for his postcard photographs. They met in Denver when Bob made a print for her in his darkroom.
Norma, who was a lifelong learner, was involved in several organizations, including the Mesa County Retired Teachers Association (MCSPERA) and the Colorado School and Public Employees Retirement Association (CSPERA). She was also a member of the Grand Mesa Macintosh Users Group (GMMUG), Western Colorado Bonsai Society, High Desert Orchid Society and the Colorado Mountain Club.
Other memberships included the Colorado National Monument Association, The Art Center in Grand Junction, Western Colorado Botanical Gardens, the Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Art Museum and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
She enjoyed gardening, reading, traveling, music, art, ceramics, basketry, stained glass, calligraphy, botanical illustration, archaeology and genealogy. Norma was proud of her Swiss heritage. In addition to the saxophone, she played the piano, flute and handbells. Her pets over the years – a rabbit, birds, dogs and a pony – brought joy to her life.
After moving to Grand Junction in 1969, Norma was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and the First Congregational Church UCC.
During Norma’s retirement, she was a board member at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, N.M. She was a volunteer master gardener with the Colorado State University Extension Office in Mesa County. She traveled to Poland in 1998 where she briefly taught English. Other travels with her adventurous spirit included Ecuador and a number of countries in Asia and Europe. She was generous with her time as a volunteer.
Norma was preceded in death by her parents Rudy Steinacker in 1967 and Rubye Lillian Whiteaker Steinacker in 1951; her sister Marian Louise Fine in 2009 and brother-in-law Quentin Fine in 2012; her brother-in-law Leonard Stanford Pani in 2005 and sister-in-law Mary Bishop Pani in 1958; her father-in-law Jerome Bishop of Muscatine, Iowa in 1980 and her mother-in-law Marie Barry Brenizer also of Muscatine in 1991.
Norma is survived by her husband Bob and her daughter Laura Bishop of Grand Junction; her brother Warren Ray Steinacker (Linda) of Glen Mills, Pa; her nieces Elaine Scott (Sid), Cincy Borne (Hank), Sharon Steinacker, Eileen Fine, Sheryl Fine (John Lewis) and Marilyn Fine (Craig McCracken); her nephews Doug Stanford (Adriana), Jay Pani, John Pani (Carolyn Mervis) and Tom Pani (Suzanne); and a number of great nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 230 East Ohio St., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60611.
The family will receive friends from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., Thursday, November 3, 2016 at Meyers Northland Chapel in Parkville, MO. Funeral service will immediately follow at 2:00 p.m., at the chapel. Burial will be at Walnut Grove Cemetery in Parkville. Memories of Norma and condolences to the family may be shared at meyersfuneralchapel.com. Arrangements are being made by Meyers Funeral Chapel Northland in Parkville and Callahan-Edfast Mortuary in Grand Junction. A memorial service will be held at a later date in Grand Junction.