Norma Ann Lively

Published 1:38 pm Friday, September 6, 2019

In the wee hours of Tuesday, Sept. 3, as her husband of 57 years, Richard Lively, slumbered next to her, Norma Ann “Nana” Wilson Lively slipped into her final dreamland. She’s sitting on a new deck, swatting at late summer mosquitos, as she fills in Benton (her youngest son), her parents, Norman “Peg” and Avis Wilson, and her Aunt Clara Mae on the latest news about the family: Belinda’s grandbabies, Wade’s shop, Emily’s marriage, Hannah’s adventures in Missouri, Matt’s deployment, and what a nice young man Logan has become.

Norma loved the fellowship of family and friends. She was a true southern cook, so much of that fellowship involved food: Thanksgiving dinners complete with turkey and dressing, chicken and dumplings, and all the desserts; weekend gatherings around gumbo or chili; barbeques on the deck, where, after the meal, everyone would sit, rub their bellies and watch the birds and squirrels in the back yard.

In her younger years, Norma was the neighborhood mom who played kickball with the kids. She played to win, no matter what she was doing. On her first child’s due date, she scored 200 at the bowling alley. She filled every day with doing. She dressed hair, she played basketball, she waterskied, she painted, she beaded, she crafted, and she sewed the costumes for her daughter’s dance groups and little league cheerleaders. She created costumes for her grandchildren, made bears and porcelain dolls, baskets from pine straw and gourds. Like her father and her siblings, Norma was a little devilish. She might tease or trick or even tickle children until they were about to cry or pee themselves.

Norma will be missed by all who knew her, but she will be long-remembered for her skills and her baffling array of creations: burlap Santas, jellies, stained glass, artisan vinegars, butterflies from plastic bottles, crocheted hats and blankets, and so much more.

On Tuesday, Sept. 10, join her survivors — husband, Richard Lively; children, Belinda Graves (Brad) and Wade Lively; grandchildren, Emily McClintock (Sam), Hannah Graves (Stephen), Matt Graves, and Logan Gates; great-grandchildren, Callum and Jayda; siblings, Wayne Wilson (Anita) and Martha Nichols (John); and 20-plus nieces and nephews and their families — to remember Norma at Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home. Visitation is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and service will begin at 11 a.m.