|(Thursday - December
17, 2020) - Norma (Romagnoli) Simone was born on November 2, 1923, in
Iron Mountain, the daughter of Tulio and Ada (Spigarelli) Romagnoli.
After a long and fruitful life, she left this world on December 16,
She was raised at 802 N. Milwaukee Ave. in an Italian
community. Norma spoke fluent Italian as a young girl. She attended Iron
Mountain high school and graduated Valedictorian of her class in 1941.
Due to her advance skills and knowledge, Norma was able to skip a grade
and graduate a year ahead of schedule. She proudly received the American
Legion Award in high school for her patriotism and leadership. She
served as editor of the Mountaineer newspaper and also tutored several
of the football players to keep them eligible to play. Too young to
follow her brothers Henry and Wally in the Navy during WWII, Norma
decided to attend business school and work as a secretary for Penny
Andreini Heating & Oil after high school graduation. She volunteered in
the Civilian Air Defense Drills in the U.P. before entering the Navy. In
November 1942, at the age of 19, Norma enlisted in the U.S. Navy. She
asked the enlisting officer if she could spend the holidays with her
family before being shipped out. In January 1943, she completed basic
training in Cleveland, Ohio, and became a WAVE in the Navy specializing
in communications. After serving in California, Norma was sent to
Honolulu, Hawaii, and served there during WWII from 1943 to 1946.
In Hawaii, along with making numerous life-long friends, Norma met
her future husband, Nicholas John Simone from Astoria, Queens New York,
who was also a sailor. They married in May 1947 and lived in New York,
where their two daughters, Candy and Cathy, were born. After several
years in New York, Nick and Norma moved back to the Midwest and resided
in Aurora, where they owned and operated the Double N Bar and Supper
Club from 1950 -1960. Their son Nick Jr. was born during this time.
Their next adventure was to dive into the insurance business in
1960. They moved to Iron Mountain, where they purchased the Frank Morett
Insurance business and later, Norman LaFave Insurance Agency. The Simone
Insurance Agency has been located on Stephenson Ave. in Iron Mountain
since that time. Their youngest son Paul was born in Iron Mountain, and
both Nick Jr. and Paul and their staff run the agency today. Norma had a
strong work ethic and a loyal commitment to the insurance agency. She
worked there well into her 90's as office manager. Norma was thrilled
when her granddaughter, Ellissa Simone Howe, joined the business eight
years ago, making it a three-generation family agency. Norma & Nick
enjoyed attending the annual insurance conventions, where they
reminisced with their lifelong friends.
Norma served as
president of the PTA when her children were in school and was active in
the local Zonta International Club, The Business & Professional Women's
Club, and The Paisano Club.
Proudly serving her country during
WWII at a time when few women listed in the military made Norma a member
of "The Greatest Generation." Along with her granddaughter Christina
(Simone) Caliebe, she took the Honor Flight to Washington D.C., where
she and her fellow WWII veterans were honored and thanked on behalf of a
Norma was a member of the U.P. Navy WAVES and
regularly attended reunions and kept in touch with her fellow
Norma remained a lifelong member of Immaculate
Conception Catholic Church, her childhood parish. Family, friends, and
Iron Mountain were dear to her heart. Never wanting to leave the U.P.,
she often called the area "God's Country". Her greatest passions were
her Italian heritage, Italian cooking, and family. She loved to
entertain her loved ones, setting a beautiful table with her finest
china and crystal. Upon visiting her at her home, one would often find
her baking and listening to Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, or Lawrence Welk.
She would watch old black & white movies until the wee hours of the
Norma was a thoughtful and generous grandma who loved
to send "care packages" to her out-of-town family members. She never
missed a special occasion with her far-reaching packages of cards,
gifts, and homemade baked goods. When family came to town, along with
wonderful homemade meals, Norma would treat them to a dinner at her
nephew Dwight Romagnoli's Supper Club. You could often find her enjoying
a walleye dinner there on Friday nights.
Norma was an avid
sports fan and enjoyed watching the Green Bay Packers, the Tigers, the
Yankees and Big 10 sports. She always rooted for the underdog!
She leaves behind her four children: Candis (Mykle) Jacobs of Peachtree
City, Georgia, Cathy (Dr. Bruce) Main of Marysville, Washington, Nick (Jeana)
Simone and Paul (Sheri) Simone, both of Iron Mountain; 10 Grandchildren:
Dr. Mykle (Ashli) Jacobs, Nicole (Derek) Duiser, Jeff (Laura) Main, Cari
(David) Main, Christina (Scott) Caliebe, Dr. Nick (Christina) Simone,
Elissa (Randall) Howe, Abbie (Logan Tarleton) Simone, Eric (Brandon)
Simone Haner and Chelsey (Justin) Taylor; and 15 great grandchildren.
She also leaves behind her nephews Dwight Romagnoli and Bob Simone who
always said that Norma was their favorite aunt.
preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Nick, her parents Tulio
and Ada Romagnoli, and brothers Henry and Wally Romagnoli.
private family service will be held. Msgr. James Kaczmarek will
officiate. Burial will be in Cemetery Park, Iron Mountain.
Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Carmelite Monastery or
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
The family wishes to
thank the wonderful, caring staff at Freeman's Convalescent Home as well
as Norma's compassionate caregivers Jana LaPoint and Mirela Brandusa.
Norma lived a long, full life and has now gone to be with the Lord. She
was loved and will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
You may leave a condolence or tribute for Norma's family online at:
The family has chosen Jacobs Funeral Home and Cremation Services of
Iron Mountain to honor Norma's legacy of life.