Dr. Norman Wesley Grigsby passed to his eternal life on December 20, 2020, at the Veterans Administration Community Living Center after a prolonged illness. He had been a resident of Amarillo the past 23 years.
In the interest of safety due to Covid 19, a private service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 23, 2020, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel.
Norman was born on January 2, 1929, to Harvey Wesley Grigsby and Versie Savage Grigsby at the family home on Route 66 in McLean, Texas. He was a true child of the depression moving with his family to Littlefield, Texas, Albuquerque, NM, and Phoenix, Arizona as his father sought employment. The family soon returned to McLean where Norman graduated high school. Upon graduation he joined the U.S. Army. While he was waiting to deploy to occupied Japan, he became very ill but was still shipped to Japan. He became even more violently ill and upon arrival in Japan he was taken to a hospital which was a converted department store in Yokohama, Japan. He was later diagnosed with Rheumatic Fever and returned to Brooks Army Hospital and later the VA in Amarillo. He lived with the effects of the disease his entire life. After recovery he enrolled and graduated West Texas College (WTAMU) with a B.A. in 1951.
November 22, 1950 he married his high school sweetheart VonDell Hommel. On November 22, 2020, they celebrated 70 years of marriage.
In 1953 Norman answered what he called “His High Calling” to become a Methodist minister. He graduated from Perkins School of Theology, SMU with a Master of Theology degree in 1957. He served Methodist churches in Westway, Texas, Wildorado, Texas, Valley View, Texas, St. Lukes, Quanah, Texas Follett, Texas, organizing pastor, Kingswood, Amarillo, Texas, Gruver, Texas, Means Memorial, Andrews, Texas, First United Methodist, Dumas, Texas, Grace, El Paso, Texas, First United Methodist, Odessa, Texas, St. John’s Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Norman retired from the active ministry in 1993. After retirement he served on the staff at Central United Methodist, Albuquerque, New Mexico and interim Senior pastor, St. Paul United Methodist Church, Amarillo, Texas. As well as serving the local church he also served on many committees of the Northwest Texas and New Mexico Conferences. He also served on the Jurisdictional Council on Finance and Administration and Secretary of the Executive Committee of the South-Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. In 1985 McMurry College, Abilene, Texas awarded Norman a Doctor of Divinity degree recognizing his accomplishments as a church leader and excellence in local church growth. His congregations were always appreciative of his hard work, his positive messages, and the integrity he displayed in the administration of the churches. He took great pride in the fact in the 40 years he served he local church he led his churched to raise all conference and denomination apportionments. During his tenure as a local pastor, he led the building of three parsonages, the entire church at Kingswood, and the complete sanctuary remodels at First Odessa and St. John’s. He was very active in the communities he lived serving as PTA officer in two communities, a county child-welfare committee, President of the ministerial alliance in four different communities, Citizens Advisory council Andrews ISD, and an officer in multiple Rotary and Lions Clubs. In 1983, he was honored by the Ector County Bar Association with the Liberty Bell Award for his program of divorce recovery.
One of his great joys in life was a decades-long endeavor of building a summer cabin the mountains of Eagle Nest, New Mexico. He saw manual labor as a great stress reliever. It gave him a great sense of accomplishment.
Norman was preceded in death by his father Harvey Grigsby, mother Versie Grigsby Collie, brother Charles Marvin, sister Dorothy, and a brother Eddie.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, VonDell of Amarillo, son William Wesley and his wife Myrna of Abilene, Texas, son Mark Hamlett of Amarillo, granddaughter Dr. Michele Grigsby Coffey and husband Skip Cook of Jackson, Tennessee, grandson Brian Wesley Grigsby of Abilene, Texas, granddaughter, Kelsey Miller and husband Jason of The Woodlands, Texas, sister-in-law, Suzanne Grigsby of Dumas, Texas, and several nieces and nephews.
A family graveside service will be held at the Hommel family burial plot in the Alanreed Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Thomas Creed Veterans Community Living Center for the care they gave Norman these last 4 ½ years.
Memorials can be made to the endowment fund of St. Paul UMC, Amarillo, Texas, or a charity of your choice.
Use this link to livestream the service: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwxCSdC9KKslSEh3MxAy1pA/featured?view_as=subscriber