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Mrs. Norma Lea Mihalevich (Anderson), age 90 years, of Crocker, Mo., passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 5, 2010, in Springfield, Mo.
Norma Lea was born on August 1, 1919, in Laquey, Missouri, the daughter of Ora and Laura Anderson. Norma Lea was united in marriage September 6, 1941, in Dixon, Mo. to Dr. John A. Mihalevich who preceded her in death in 2008. Norma Lea loved and was devoted to her family, religion and community. She was active in the Crocker Baptist church, church circle, choir and sang in a church trio. She promoted and supported public health initiatives through her involvement in the Pulaski County Hospital Auxiliary and Lake Ozark Home health care agency. She also promoted the value of public libraries and was one of the founders of the Kinderhook Regional Library and was instrumental in bringing a public library branch to Crocker, which was named on her behalf. She was an active member of the Crocker PTA and served on the Crocker R-II School Board for 48 years. In 1985, Norma Lea was recognized for having "significant contributions to Missouri public education" as a "Pioneer in Education." In her service, she was elected to Executive Committee of the Missouri School Boards Association, served on several additional committees promoting public education, and was awarded a meritorious service award by the Association. Norma Lea was an active member of the Crocker community, serving as mayor of the City of Crocker for 24 years, where she provided leadership in securing grants, acquiring matching funds and municipal bonds to improve water, sewer, and public safety. The Crocker Community Park, Frisco Park, and Frisco Museum were developed during her tenure. She helped organize the first Crocker Labor Day celebration that later turned into the Railroad Days Festival. She was humbled by the naming of the Frisco Park to "Norma Lea's Frisco Park." Upon her retirement, she was honored by the Crocker community for her service. She received many recognitions for her service, including Senator Kit Bond reading a resolution honoring her on the floor of the U.S. Senate and U.S. 4th District Representative, Ike Skelton did the same on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Norma Lea is survived by four sons and their spouses: Dr. John A. Mihalevich Jr. and Susan Mihalevich of Springfield; Donald M. and Carol Mihalevich of Springfield; Robert P. and Jane Mihalevich of St. Louis; and J. Rick and Connie Mihalevich of Jefferson City; one daughter and son-in-law, Jenny L. and Tony Smith of Jefferson City; one sister, Marjorie Bandy of Nixa and brother, Earl Anderson, of Williamsburg Kansas. Norma Lea was also blessed with 11 grandchildren (and their spouses): Jay, Mark (Helen), Matt (Katie), Donny (Winnie), Michael (Kate), Amy, Andrew, Aaron and Bryce Mihalevich and Laura and Anna Smith; and six great-grandchildren: Palmer, Phillip, Mason, Millie, and Gabriel Mihalevich; and a host of other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and three sisters, Mildred Rollins, Neva Ramsey, and Beulah Walker, and one brother, Roger Anderson. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 9 at the Crocker Baptist Church in Crocker, Mo. Burial services will follow at the Crocker Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday in the Long-Kloeppel Funeral Home in Crocker, Mo. In lieu of flowers, the family would request that donations be made to the "Norma Lea and Doc John Crocker High School Scholarship Fund", c/o Community Foundation of the Ozarks, 425 E. Trafficway, Springfield, MO 65806-1121.
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