Norma Dee Boss Cressler was born December 29, 1933 to Orval and Mary Elizabeth Boss in Nucla, CO. She was the youngest of four children. Her mother died when she was three years old.
The Depression years were upon them and her father traveled to find work. She lived with her grandparents and aunts for a few years and later with her father and brothers.
She was a hard worker all her life, helping in her family home and marrying at the tender age of 14 (almost 15). She met Harley, the love of her life, at the “Flat Tops” in Naturita, CO in the summer of 1948. They were married November 17, 1948 in Aztec, NM.
Because she was so young, her aunts, uncles, and father tried to stop the marriage, but after all was said and done, they let her be and the two were happily married for 68 years at the time of Harley’s death.
Norma and Harley lived in California the first year where Julie was born in 1949, but moved back to Colorado when she was six weeks old.
They lived on the home place of Ollis and Myrl Cressler for a while, with Harley farming and mining in the area.
David was born in Cortez, CO in 1950.
They lived in a tent in Cottonwood below Blanding one winter while Harley was mining. Everyone said Julie and David would die of pneumonia, but they were healthier than those in town because they were not exposed to everything.
They lived one or two winters in Long Park, UT and Egnar, CO, with Harley working in the mines or hauling ore.
Allen was born in 1954 in Cortez.
About this time, they homesteaded 160 acres on Summit Point, UT, moving there on Julie’s fourth birthday. They would spend summers clearing the land of sagebrush and trees, plus picking up lots of rocks and sticks.
Diane was born in Monticello in 1957 and Gene in 1958 while living on the Summit Point farm. They would move out in the winters for Dad to work in the mines for a few years, then it was too much trouble moving kids and schools, so Norma stayed home during the winters while Harley batched out during the week.
Norma worked right along beside Harley clearing land, driving tractors, and farming, while also tending house and family and all the household chores. She was a mother of five kids by the age of 25.
Julie made the comment she still couldn’t keep up with her when she was in her 80s doing yard work and such.
Norma raised her family with meals of meat, potatoes and gravy. Breakfast was always pancakes and eggs. Diane recalls she tried to feed us rice or oatmeal as a treat on Sundays, but we just wanted our pancakes. We hardly knew how to cook a meal without potatoes.
She was a good cook, enjoyed cooking, and could feed visitors a wonderful meal without notice. Seems it was usually Spaghetti.
Norma taught her daughters how to can fruits and vegetables and always had a nice cellar full of food. Harley would go to McElmo Canyon and bring home a pickup bed full of fruit, melons, and veggies, plus we had a fruit peddler that would come out to the house. He knew he could always unload his truck there.
Norma liked to sew also, and each year for the rodeo she made matching shirts with pretty inset yokes and cuffs. Usually she made matching dresses for herself and the girls for Easter.
They didn’t get electricity at the farm until about 1961. Their first home burned to the ground about that time, then they built a new modern home with running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity. They lived in the shop while building the house, later adding a basement for the boys to sleep in.
They lived at the farm for about 25 years, then moved to Cahone, CO and farmed there for a few years until finally settling on Summit Ridge in 1980.
They retired at an early age and went to Niland, CA and Yuma, AZ in the winters for 25 years or more.
Harley and Norma furnished the house with furniture they made. Norma was very crafty and did all sorts of craft work, wood work, tole painting, built bird houses, crocheted, sewed, made jewelry, pencil drawings... just about everything.
She sold and painted with Tri-Chem paints for many years, making many pretty things.
She bowled on a bowling league for 30 years. She also enjoyed being a member of the Summit Ridge Women’s club.
Norma was baptized in the Dove Creek, CO Baptist Church as a young wife and mother and was always a member of the Lighthouse Baptist Church while living in Dolores, CO.
She loved the Lord in her quiet way and spent many hours studying about her Lord and Savior. She tried to instill Jesus’s love into her husband’s and children’s lives. She provided and cared for them with all her heart.
Norma is preceded in death by her husband, her mother and father, three siblings, a son-in-law, and one grandson.
Their five children gave them 13 grandchildren, 26 great-grands, six great-great-grandchildren, one grand son-in-law, several grand-steps, and a host of nieces and nephews.
She will be sorely missed, but this last year was not a good year for her, and we all know she’s better at home with our Lord.