Norma Kathryn Lapham, 86, of Tecumseh, loving mother, “Grammy,” sister, aunt, and friend, passed away peacefully March 6, 2019, at the Hospice of Lenawee home.
She was born Feb. 11, 1933, in Grosse Pointe at the home of her aunt, the daughter of James and Alma (Laforest) Boxrud. She attended St. Paul on the Lake Catholic School in Grosse Pointe Farms through eighth grade and graduated from Brooklyn High School in 1951. She studied at Siena Heights (College) University, pursuing her passion in art, especially painting.
On July 6, 1957, she married Herbert R. Lapham at St. Joseph Shrine in the Irish Hills. Herb and Norma made Tecumseh their home and raised eight children there. They leave behind a legacy of summer vacations with their growing family around Michigan and the U.S., weekend jaunts to the lake, Sunday afternoons at Island Park, and summer nights at the drive-in or lying on blankets in the backyard, watching shooting stars. They also spent many days with their children, hiking and picnicking at Hidden Lake Gardens, which held a special place in their courtship.
Norma enjoyed drawing and painting, was an avid reader of the Bible, and lived her life by the word of God. In addition to art, Norma loved working in her garden. She enjoyed moving rocks, and planting flowers, trees, and shrubs of all types to create natural spaces in her yard. Many people will remember seeing Norma jogging around the community in virtually all kinds of weather, as well as walking her Golden Retriever in the neighborhoods on the north side of Tecumseh. Norma encouraged her children to excel in school and in life and was very proud of all of them and their accomplishments. Besides her devotion to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Norma’s grandchildren and her dogs, Remington and Lando, were the great joys of her life.
Norma is survived by seven children, Renee (Bill) Collins of Adrian, Catherine “Kate” Lapham of Saline, Lisa Heusted of Otisville, Kristin (Jim) Garrison of Onsted, Anne Micol of Indianapolis, Richard Lapham of Livonia, and John Lapham of Onsted; a beloved stepdaughter, Rhoda (Tom) May of Wauseon, Ohio; six grandchildren, Kevin (Abby) Micol, Sean Micol, Morgan and Meghan Lapham-Hailes, and Aubrey and Sam Garrison; step-grandchildren, Lisa (Tim) Watterson, Jeff Collins, Dustin (Chelsea) Garrison, Tiffany (Andrew) Newman, Ginger (Todd) Warner, Chad (Amanda) Heusted, Eric (Chelsea) Heusted, Michelle (Andy) Knipfer, and Michael (Jan) May; two sisters, Carol Bennett of Clinton Township and Ricki Boxrud of Canton; two brothers, Daniel Boxrud of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and James (Liz) Boxrud of Miss.; and a sister-in-law, Margaret Martin of Ann Arbor. Also surviving are many nieces and nephews alongside a host of dear friends near and far, including those from her church family and her neighborhoods on Gove Court and Pontiac Trail. Norma touched the lives of many people in her 86 years and she will be profoundly missed. Norma was preceded in death by her devoted husband, Herb in 1990; a beloved daughter, Carol Lapham, in 2002; and a cherished son-in-law, Steve Heusted, in 2018.
Cremation has taken place. The funeral liturgy was held Monday, March 11 at 11 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Tecumseh with Father Daniele Criscione celebrating. Visitation was on Monday until the time of the service. Burial of the cremains will take place at a later date.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Hospice of Lenawee home as well as the nurses and physicians of the ProMedica Bixby Critical Care Unit for their kindness and compassionate care. Those desiring may make a donation in Norma’s memory to Hospice of Lenawee. Arrangements are under the care of J. Gilbert Purse Funeral Home, Tecumseh. Condolences to the family may be made online at www.pursefuneralhome.com.