The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jun. 15, 2024

Susan Kathleen (Springer) Norman

Susan Kathleen (Springer) Norman, 75, of Van Wert, and Haines City, Florida, passed away peacefully Thursday, October 12, 2023, at Adams Woodcrest in Decatur, Indiana, after a decades long fight with multiple sclerosis. She was a devoted and loving wife, mother, daughter, and grandmother.

Susan was preceded in death by her parents, Meredith and Ernestine (Goble) Springer and brother, Rex.

She is survived by her husband, Dennis; children, Kimberly Prater (wife of Jacob), Kristy Vanderlip (wife of Mark), and Jennifer Hardy (wife of Claude); sister, Audrey McClure (wife of Robert), and brother-in-law, Earl Norman. She is also survived by six grandchildren, Cora, Calvin, Neil, Margot, Henry, and Willa.

Susan Norman

Born on June 7, 1948, Susan grew up on her family’s farm in Van Wert County and earned her bachelor’s degree in education at the University of Indianapolis. Inspired by the Mary Tyler Moore Show, she set out on her own after graduation. She moved to Dayton where she began her teaching career at Tipp City Schools.

On September 14, 1974, she married the love of her life, Dennis. They were fortunate to have met when his brother noticed Susan struggling to get her car door opened on a very cold night. After their efforts proved futile, Dennis came over to help. They struck up a quick friendship that grew into a wonderful 49 year marriage, renewing their wedding vows in her final days.

Together they raised three children, moving back to help with the farm after the tragic passing of her brother, Rex. Though they loved their time in Dayton, they both knew the fields, barns, woods, and excellent schools of Van Wert County would give their children the best kind of start in life.

Susan taught at the Marsh Foundation until her retirement in 2003, earning her master’s degree in education along the way. She held a deep love for children and education, with a particular calling for advocate and care for her Marsh kids. She fiercely loved her students and cherished all of the friendships she found amongst the Marsh Foundation teachers and staff. She was proud to come from a long line of educators and even prouder that two of her daughters followed in her footsteps.

She was a devoted mother to her daughters, keeping her calendar packed with their activities. The role of mother meant an assortment of job titles. She was a 4-H Club leader, a Sunday School teacher, a timer at swim meets, a cross country camp chaperone, her kids’ best cheerleader, and more.

Perhaps most of all, she loved being a grandmother. She was smitten with her grandkids, watching them play in the pond and surprising them with presents. Every holiday meant a special card in the mailbox from grandma. She adored pinching cheeks and giving big hugs.

Susan will greatly be missed. Her family will be forever grateful for the compassionate and wonderful care she received at Adams Woodcrest and from Heart to Heart Hospice.

She had asked that no formal services be held. Arrangements are being coordinated by Cowan & Son Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Van Wert.

Preferred memorials: your favorite teachers and/or school.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 10/13/23 at 12:19 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries