Joe Allen Norman


Joe Allen Norman, 82, of Amarillo, TX peacefully passed away on August 8, 2021, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Memorial services will be at Southwest Church of Christ at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 12, 2021. Private interment will be at Memory Gardens Cemetery. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.   

Joe was born on June 2, 1939, in Frederick, Oklahoma to Jay Dennis Norman and Marjorie Lurine (Peter) Norman. The family lived in Altus, Oklahoma where they raised their two sons, Joe and Jerry. 

His father taught mathematics at Altus High School, and his mother was a homemaker and a teacher at Washington Elementary School. Joe, like other children of that era, learned to work hard at an early age. After school and in the summers, he worked at the United grocery store and on his uncle’s farm near Frederick. He enjoyed his time working for the Snell family at United Grocery Store in Altus and had many great stories of the hard work and lessons learned during that period of his life.

As he grew older, Joe participated in high school sports, most notably football. He loved to recollect the stories of his high school football days where he competed along with many of his life-long friends. 

While in high school, he was also a member of the band in which he played the cornet. In the spring of his sophomore year, while preparing to perform a cornet solo for a contest, he asked a friend and fellow classmate Susanna Mahan to accompany him on the piano. This quickly led to dating, and they were soon “going steady”.

After graduating from Altus High School in 1957, Joe and Sue both enrolled at Oklahoma State University and headed off to train to become teachers. They continued to date, became engaged during their sophomore year, and married on August 21, 1959. They continued to live in Stillwater for the next two years while completing college. 

Joe worked at a gas station and also in the parts department at the John Deere dealership in Stillwater. During that period, he developed his lifetime passion for everything OSU. Later in life, he could always be recognized by his OSU orange shirts, hats, shoes and almost anything else he could find that had the OSU logo. In addition, his cars could always be identified by the OSU alumni sticker.

Following college graduation in 1961, Joe and Sue both took teaching positions in Amarillo, Texas. 

He initially taught mathematics at Bowie Junior High School, and the next year he moved on to Amarillo High School, teaching first at the original campus on Polk Street and then at the new high school. He enjoyed 14 years of teaching algebra, geometry and other advanced coursework as well as being the head of the math department. He also sponsored the Key Club during those years. He developed many relationships with his students who later became his clients and good friends. He was a member of Amarillo Classroom Teachers Association, TSTA and NEA. 

Beginning early in his teaching career, Joe had a summer job working on the “extra board” for Santa Fe and Rock Island Rail Roads. He loved this work and always spoke fondly of riding trains from Sayre to Tucumcari.   

Upon moving to Amarillo, Joe and Sue joined Southside Church of Christ, which later became Southwest Church of Christ. Over the next 60 years, he served in many roles at Southwest including Bible class teacher, deacon, elder and most recently he and Sue were very involved in the Family Service Center providing clothing and household items to families in need of assistance in the Amarillo area. Christ and the church have always been the cornerstone of the Norman family, and to this day many of his most cherished relationships are those within Southwest.  

Joe and Sue had two sons, Jeff and John. Following their birth in the early 1960’s, Sue paused her career teaching to stay at home and care for the boys. As the boys moved into elementary school, Sue resumed her elementary teaching career. 

The next years were spent attending the boys’ sporting events, participating in church activities, boating, scouting, enjoying ski trips, and taking long car trips to national parks as a family.   

In 1976, Joe retired from teaching and began his second career in real estate when he started working for his close friend, Larry Brown, selling homes. After a few years, he began building homes and transitioned away from sales to construction, and in 1995 he formed Joe Norman & Company. He particularly loved building homes for families all over Amarillo and the greater Texas Panhandle. As time went on, he focused on building custom homes for clients. Many of these people were repeat customers or referrals from other loyal clients. His integrity was something that all of his clients appreciated and what kept them coming back as repeat customers. In addition to other professional organizations, Joe was a member of the Texas Panhandle Builder Association and served as president in 2000. More recently he met weekly with a small group of friends and colleagues for coffee and a time of prayer in his office. Joe retired from the construction business in 2016. 

As Jeff and John started their families, Joe quickly took on the role of Grandpa and loved spending time with his grandchildren. He and Sue regularly planned special vacations with the grandkids to the beaches and mountains from California to Florida. To celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, Joe and Sue hosted the entire family on a cruise to Alaska. He loved taking the grandchildren on learning adventures, and his grandkids loved him dearly.    

Much to everyone’s surprise, Joe purchased a Corvette late in life and got involved with the Amarillo Area Corvette Club where he enjoyed road trips and other gatherings until only a few years ago. One of his other hobbies, collecting vintage John Deere tractors, probably came from working on his uncle’s farm as a boy where he developed a love for tractors and other farm equipment. His John Deere tractors were a huge source of pride and enjoyment to him. He was a member of the Panhandle Antique Tractor Club and spent many fun weekends attending tractor events throughout the region.   

Joe was preceded in death by his father Dennis and mother Marjorie along with his younger brother Jerry. 

Joe is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sue, his two boys, Jeff and his wife Jill and their two children Jack and Sidney, and John and his wife Kelly along with their three girls Addison, Ashley and Alexis.  

We would like to thank the caregivers at The Reserve at Amarillo for the love and kindness they have shown him and our entire family.    

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to High Plains Children’s Home. 

31 Replies to “Joe Allen Norman”

  1. I remeber this great man for his leadership as a Deacon & Elder at SW Church of Christ. He and I worked together in the Benevolent Ministry for a little while and he had the heart and orginazational skills to lead it. I loved his boisterious laugh and oh how he loved his beloved Oklahoma State Cowboys. You will be missed. Prayers to Sue and Sons!. Ron and Gail

  2. Wayne and I will miss Joe dearly. Such a man of character and an example to us all.! His heart constantly looked to the needs and concerns of others. I’ll always remember a time when Joe asked me to describe a ministry in which I was involved. As I talked, I looked at him and there were big tears in his eyes. His compassion will always be a sweet memory. Love you, Sue.

  3. I first met Joe in the 5th grade in Wilson Elementary. He had previously gone to Washington but since his mother taught the 5th grade at Washington she felt it best that he come to Wilson. We were friends thru high school and our Class of 1957 really liked each other we kept in touch. We went on cruises, celebrated our 60th Days together, but more than anything we came back to Altus every 5 years to catch up. The girls always had a brunch or tea but the guys felt left out so we invited them to come. We compiled bios of our lives for our 50th Anniversary from Altus Hi. Joe and Sue were always there. I never heard him say an unkind word of anyone. His faith was lived. My sister and I last visited with Joe and Sue after the memorial of another of our classmates in Enid. He was the same ole Joe before the horrible Alzheimer came calling. Praise the Lord he is healed.

  4. I met Joe when I was in the 5th grade at Wilson Elementary School in Altus, OK. Joe had attended Washington and since his mother taught the 5th grade at Washington she felt it would be best that he not be in her class so he enrolled at
    Wilson. We were classmates and friends. Ours was a special class in that we liked each other and kept in touch. We went on several cruises and every 5 years we joined back in Altus to catch up. We celebrated our 60th birthdays together. I last spent the evening with Sue and Joe after attending the memorial service in Enid, OK for one of our classmates. Joe’s strong faith was evident in his daily living. I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone. He will be greatly missed. I’ll continue to pray for you, Sue.

  5. Joe and I served as Deacons at Southwest for a couple of years. I didn’t know Joe all that well then but we became friends. One of our first acts of our new position was to get rid of the ugly orange blazers Southwest had for the ushers. I didn’t want he liked osu orange so well. That is the color they were. It was a privilege to work with Joe. Our prayers are for the Norman family🙏

  6. Joe was an awesome man! He will be missed by all that knew him. Blessings to all of his family. I will see him in heaven someday.

  7. Peace be with you, Sue and family. Joe was such a fine example of integrity in all his pursuits, and has left a lasting legacy for all who have known him. We enjoyed playing golf and working with him for many years to create all those lovely homes. Prayers and hugs to you all!

  8. Sue, Jeff & John; so sorry to hear about Joe. What a great Christian example he was! Just immediately think of ya’ll leading the Benevolent center for many years when I think of Joe. LOTS of fond memories over the last 50+ years. Ya’ll are certainly in our thoughts & prayers. We love you. Dick

  9. I had both Mr. Norman as a geometry teacher & Mrs Norman for 5th grade & music. The Mahans were church friends. Altus allowed many friendships & I count these two families as part of my own history. Joe was a great man and leader. My love and prayers go out to Sue- who loved him through his journey Home.

  10. Sue and family, we rejoice with the angels in Heaven as they welcome Joe. Gary and I have enjoyed so much our friendships with both of you through the years, such as sitting near you at church and sharing our life groups. I remember one time leaving after life group going to one of Joe’s building sites and writing scriptures on the framework to bless those who would be leaving there. We have had such respect for both of you as you worked side by side for our Lord. We pray blessings for you and your children and grands. Our love, Gary and Judy

  11. Sue sorry for your families loss! Joe had to have been a great man because you only strived for perfection! Prayers for all of you!

  12. Dear Sue and family, Our prayers are with you. We know Joe was loved and will be greatly missed by all. Please accept our heartfelt condolences.
    Dian and Brian Steele

  13. Joe was my Geometry teacher his first year at Amarillo High. He was tough–and I got no special favors because I also knew him from church! I have known Joe and Sue for nearly 60 years thru church, business relationships and car events. I have always had the highest regard for them. I am saddened by Joe’s passing and pray for Sue and the boys and their families.

  14. I grew up in Altus, OK, with Susanna in the Methodist Church, & my my Uncle Aubrey Steele was a close friend of Joe’s dad, who taught me math in high school. Joe’s brother, Jerry, was also a friend of mine. Then later, Sue taught my oldest daughter, Cynthia, at Puckett Elementary in Amarillo. So our families have long been intertwined. I am so sorry to hear of Joe’s passing and will keep him, Sue, & their family in my prayers. What a wonderful example of a man he was! I hope that he will live on in his children & grandchildren. Much love, & I will remember him with a donation to the Amarillo Children’s Home. Judy Prescott Hale

  15. Such fond memories of Brother Joe Norman as my algebra teacher, Sunday school teacher, and friend at Amarillo HS, and Southwest Church of Christ

  16. I first met Joe 70 years ago in 1951 when my parents enrolled me in the 7th grade at Altus Junior High School. Over the years we became co-workers (United Grocery Store), teammates (Altus Bulldogs football team), but most of all good friends! We all will miss his presence in our lives. Sue, thank you for sharing him with us.

  17. This world has been blessed by the lives of the Norman family. What godly examples of love, benevolence, and compassion! How the angels must be rejoicing to welcome God’s child home.

    All our love and condolences to Sue and the family.

  18. Joe had such a huge impact on my life. He will be truly missed. Prayers go out to Sue, Jeff, John and their families.

  19. Dearest Sue,
    Sending my most sincerest condolences to you and your family. You and Joe have been so special to me over the years. I am so thankful for the road you two have paved for us with our Benevolence Ministry. I am thankful for the years we worked together. And I am always hopeful that we have made you proud and continue to do so within that ministry. Joe was a good man and I am thankful that he is whole and renewed and with our Lord. May God give you peace and surround you with family and friends and beautiful memories in the days ahead. Love, Misty

  20. Joe, Kelly, Addison, Ashley and Alexis, I am so sorry to hear about Joe’s passing. Reading his obit gave me insight to many things I did not know about him. We will be praying for each of you this week as you gather to celebrate his life and memories. Craig and Deb.

  21. I didn’t realize you and Joe knew each other so many years. What a blessed love story. My blessings and love to everyone

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