Norma Jean (Omta) Friend was welcomed into the arms of her Heavenly Father on February 12, 2018. Norma was born in Sunnyside, Washington on June 30, 1932 to Dutch parents Derk and Augusta (Oord) Omta. Norma was the sixth of twelve children, and enjoyed growing up in a lively home surrounded by loving parents and many siblings. She attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan before teaching in Manhattan, Montana. Norma returned to the Yakima Valley to marry Nick Friend in Sunnyside, WA on June 30, 1955. They bought their Emerald Road farm in 1956 and raised various crops including peonies, gladiolus, and cherries. Norma taught for a short time at Sunnyside Christian School before becoming a full-time homemaker to her children. Later, she worked as a paraprofessional at Washington Elementary School in Sunnyside for twenty years. Norma enjoyed working outside, writing, organizing family genealogy, keeping in touch with family, Bible Study, and her weekly coffee and lunch times with the “ladies.” She was a faithful and lifelong member of the Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church. She lived her life in quiet service and enjoyed volunteering over the years: 30 years as bulletin secretary at the CRC church, 25 years as GEMS Girls Club leader, worker at SCS Thrift Shop and also quilting for Project Reach Out. Her life was a blessing to many and she had a compassionate heart for those who needed a visit or a helping hand. She was a true Proverbs 31 woman.
Norma is survived by her children Nick (Cathy) Friend. of Grandview, WA, Judy (Ron) Boersma of Gresham, OR, Nanci (Jim) Campbell of Sunnyside, WA, and Jim Friend of Central Point, OR. She is also survived by her dearly loved grandchildren Brian Boersma, Michelle (Nick) Hunt, Melissa Boersma, Anikka, Reese, and Natalie Campbell, as well as two great-grandchildren, Owen and Porter Hunt. Also surviving are her brothers Richard (Marjorie) Omta, Jim (Gail) Omta, Byron Omta, and many special brothers and sisters-in-laws. Norma was preceded in death by her husband Nicholas, parents, brothers Martin, John and William Omta; and sisters Angel Omta, Irene Michael, Rose Katte, Wilma Lightfoot, and Winifred VanHill.
Viewing and visitation will be held on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 from 4:00 PM-8:00PM at the Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside, WA. Graveside Service will take place on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 1:00 PM at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens. A Memorial Service will be held following the Graveside Service at 2:00 PM at the Christian Reformed Church in Sunnyside, WA. Those wishing to honor her memory please contribute to the Sunnyside Christian School or the Charity of your choice. Those wishing to sign Norma's online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Homes in care of arrangements