Norma Reeser

Norma Delila Reeser, 103, of Sweet Home, died June 26, 2023.

She was born Dec. 4, 1919, a cold and snowy day in Oregon, weighing 3½ pounds as the first child of Alvin and Barbara Ella Hamilton. Her parents kept her warm in a little shoe box behind the wood stove.

She met Harvey Reeser at church. He said she would glance at him but turn away when he tried to make eye contact. They married on April 12, 1942.

The Reesers had four children, Stanley, Sharon and Mary Lou, and baby daughter Barbara Emma, who was born Oct. 17, 1957, but died two days later. In 1959 the family welcomed son Robin Eugene Reeser, adopted at 6 months old through Holt International, which placed Korean children with American families.

The Reesers lived most of their lives in the Foster/Sweet Home area and were well known residents of that area. They built a big brick house which was moved, damage-free, to another Foster location to make room for the Foster Dam.

In 1984, they did a senior citizen version of backpacking around the world for three months.

At 91 years old, Mrs. Reeser decided to “retire” because her perfectly manicured home, yard and garden was getting to be too much to maintain. She moved to the Mennonite Village in Albany in 2011.

After a dementia diagnosis, she became a member of the caring family at Harmony House Memory Care in Salem.

Mrs. Reeser had faith in God and was an active member of the Mennonite church. She was a loving parent, caring for foster children. She participated in the Linus Project, which provided handmade quilts for children in stressful situations as well as other Christian activities. She was honored for her Linus Project participation by the Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce during an annual celebration for outstanding community citizens.

Mrs. Reeser is survived by four children, Stanley and daughter-in-law Eunice Reeser, Sharon and son-in-law Richard Marrs, Mary Lou and husband Allan Merrill, and Robin Eugene Reeser; eight grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and special foster daughters Bonnie and Lisa.

She was preceded in death by the love of her life, husband Harvey Reeser on Aug. 5, 1997; and four siblings.

A funeral service was held July 1 at New Life in Christ Fellowship (formerly Sweet Home Mennonite Church), with burial at Gilliland Cemetery preceding the service.

Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.