Norma Jean Austin Jenkins

Published 2:47 pm Thursday, July 20, 2023

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It is with profound sadness, we announce the passing of Norma Jean Austin Jenkins, a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend to all whose lives she touched, on Tuesday, July 18, 2023. She left us while sleeping peacefully at her home in Metairie, Louisiana. She was in her 90th year.

During her 90 years, Norma Jean lived a long and fulfilling life. Not only did she witness the incredible changes in her world, she also lived a life most can only hope to have.

Norma Jean was born in Loranger, Louisiana on June 11, 1933. She was one of twelve children born to Celia HS Galloway and Hardy E. Sharp. She grew up in Lee Road where she met the first love of her life, Clyde Austin. They were married August 13, 1948, and together they raised a beautiful family.


She was the beloved mother of Gwenda Stein, Paul Austin, Barbara Austin, the late Donna Landrum, Georgia Witt, the late James Austin, and Desiree Austin. She was the grandmother of Mechelle Magee, Bregette Magee, Stormy Austin, David Stein Jr., Derick Stein, Dawayne Stein, Dustin Stein, Dara Neal, Shane Austin, Michael Lahti Jr., Felicia Lahti, Richard Ciuzio Jr., and Dominic Ciuzio. Not to mention the great grandmother to many. She loved her family deeply. She loved raising her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

After 46 wonderful years together, the first love of her life was laid to rest on April 25, 1995. Soon after, the Lord saw it fit for her to find the second love of her life, Colorado. Norma Jean packed her bags and moved to Hartsel, Colorado to work on a buffalo ranch at the youthful age of 63. She fell in love with the land, people and morning sky. She loved to ride horses, camp, go on trail rides, and explore the mountains. Norma Jean didn’t know it then, but the Lord had more in store for her than she thought. During her time in Colorado, she found the third love of her life, James “Jim” Jenkins. They were married August 19, 2000. They lived a few more happy years together in Colorado before moving back home to Louisiana. Then on October 11, 2009, Norma Jean laid the third love of her life to rest after 9 loving years.


The last 6 years Norma Jean has lived her best retired life with her granddaughter Mechelle, Chris Martinez, and two great grandsons, Ashton and Shilar Reid where she was deeply admired, adored, and cared for.


Her retired life was full of joy. Norma Jean loved to garden, paint, draw, thrift, collect hundreds of knick knacks, search for places to display all of her knick knacks, word finds, westerns, Sam Elliot and all her Sphynx cats. Most of all she loved going to church. She was a member of New Life Pentecostal Church.



A celebration of Norma Jean’s life will be held at Poole Ritchie Funeral Home on Friday, July 21, 2023, beginning at 2:00 p.m.