Norma Jean Bechtel
Age 96, of East Canton was called home to be with her Savior on August 28, 2023. The only daughter of Ralph and Alice Coy, Norma Jean was born February 13, 1927 on the family farm in Robertsville, Ohio. As a young girl she attended Robertsville Grade School and then graduated from Minerva High School. She briefly attended The Ohio State University until she met her future husband.
On March 7, 1948, Norma Jean married Donald K. Bechtel to whom she remained lovingly married for nearly 53 years until his passing in February of 2000. Together they raised four children: Diane, Marsha, Lynn, and Kevin. It was during this time that Norma Jean returned to school at Malone College and completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Education and became a fifth grade teacher in the Louisville District. She then completed courses at Akron University to earn a Master of Education Degree in Reading to become a reading specialist, a position she also held in Louisville District, and the position she held until she retired from public education.
While Norma Jean proudly held many roles in her life; daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother – she also remained active in the community. Professionally, she was an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, the society for women educators, for many years. She was also a member of the Robertsville Grange, and a lifelong member of Christ Memorial Church in Robertsville where she served as a Mission Board member and was active in the women’s Guild and other various committees.
To those who knew Norma Jean, they knew her as someone who could sew, and who had a green thumb, growing beautiful flowers and plants. To those who knew her really well, she was a woman who loved her family deeply and fiercely and who had great pride in all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They also knew her as a woman of tremendous faith who never shied away from an opportunity to share the gospel and proclaim the awesomeness of her Lord and Savior. She would often ask people if they had a seat on her “bus” to glory and use that as her opportunity to witness to them – something she continued to do until the day she was able to board the bus and take a seat herself. Heaven gained a tremendous prayer warrior and her family, a guardian angel.
Norma Jean is preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Alice Coy; brothers, Franklin A. and Merle E. Coy; her husband, Donald Bechtel; and grandson, Todd A. Michaels.
Those left behind to cherish her memory are her four children and their spouses: Diane (Edward) Michaels, Marsha (Chris) Smith, Lynn (Dave) Schaeffer, and Kevin Bechtel (Doug); her grandchildren: Kara Michaels, Emily (Paul) Cherry, Jason (Jaime) Smith, Krisha (Steve) Schupp, David L. (Jennifer) Schaeffer, and Carolyn (Benjamin) Seibert; and her beloved great-grandchildren: Makayla, Hannah, Alivia, Abigail, Grayson, Theaden, Evelyn, Lane, Luke, and Henry.
A private family committal service will be in Robertsville Cemetery with Terry Bailey officiating. Memorial donations in Norma Jean’s memory may be made to the charity of your choice. Fond memories may be shared online at www.sandersfuneralhomes.com.