Norma Tipsword, a spirited, intelligent, and wise woman, passed away peacefully on April 4, 2023, in HSHS St. Anthony's Hospital in Effingham with loved ones by her side. Born on March 3, 1923, in Lawrence, Kansas, she was the daughter of Jesse and Maudie (Dimpel) Phillips. Norma's long and fulfilling life was marked by her dedication to her family and her passion for education.
Norma's life was filled with love and family. She first married George "Bub" Elwin Brown, who sadly preceded her in death during World War II. She then found love again with James Benton Tipsword, and they shared many years together before his passing on January 10, 2021. Norma was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend to many. She is survived by her grandchildren, Georgia Brown of Effingham, Phillip (Donna) Brown of Decatur, Heather (Vic) Jenkins of Springdale, Arkansas, Blane (Carolee) Gordon of Stauton and Jamie Watson of Shelbyville; great-grandchildren, Hilery Brown, Karissa Hankins, Kaleb Brown, Houston Brown, Seth McMurray, Gabi Nielson, Claudia Watson, Cade Watson, and Chloe Watson; seven great-great-grandchildren; daughter-in-law, Diana Ward of Arkansas; special niece, Cherie Swank, faithful companion, Annie, and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents and husbands, Norma was preceded in death by her children, Phillip Brown, and Diana (Larry) Gordon, and grandson-in-law, Wesley Watson.
Education played a significant role in Norma's life. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Education from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston and her Master's Degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Norma then dedicated her career to teaching in the Beecher City Schools, where she was a beloved educator for many years. Her commitment to education extended beyond the classroom as a member of the Retired Teachers Association.
In addition to her work as a teacher, Norma was an active member of her community. She was a proud member of the Eva Casstevens Post 535 American Legion Auxiliary in Beecher City. Her involvement in this organization allowed her to give back and contribute to the well-being of her community.
Norma's interests were diverse, but she always found joy in the outdoors. She especially enjoyed tending to her yard and spending time with her loved ones. Her passion for nature and her love for her family created countless memories that will be cherished by all who were fortunate enough to know her.
In the end, Norma Tipsword's life was one of love, dedication, and joy. Her impact on her family, her students, and her community will not be forgotten. As we remember her, we celebrate a life well-lived and the lasting legacy she leaves behind.
A memorial service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, in Lockart-Green Funeral Home in Beecher City with Pastor Woody Moore officiating. Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. until the time of service. A private family burial will take place at a later date. Memorials may be given to the donor’s favorite charity. Lockart-Green Funeral Home in Beecher City is assisting the family.
Family and friends are invited to light a candle or share a story at www.lockartgreenfuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Norma (Phillips) Tipsword, please visit our floral store.
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