Norma M. Vihlen, aged 96, of Homestead, Florida, unexpectedly but peacefully passed away at 11 p.m. on April 20, 2022 in her home of 59 years.
Norma was born in Miami, Florida, to Emma and Norman. She was raised in Sharon, Massachusetts, where she attended Sharon High School, participating in school plays, basketball, and tennis. She was a member of the National Honor Society as well.
As a teenager she was an exceptional tennis player who at one time was number 1 in Massachusetts for 16-18 females. In 1943, she also won the Women’s National Indoor Doubles tennis title with Shirley Fry.
She attended Oglethorpe University in Atlanta on a tennis scholarship and became a member of Kappa Delta sorority.
She also met and later married fellow Oglethorpe student Fred Vihlen with whom she eloped. On June 3, 1944, they were married in Cambridge, Massachusetts before Fred went to war. On February 11, 1945, they had a second formal wedding in Salt Lake City, Utah. They were married for 68 years until Fred’s death in 2012.
Norma was an avid golfer who won the Redland Club Championship more than once. She was also a passionate player of tennis, ping-pong, puzzles (especially crossword) and bridge. She was a fisherwoman and a hunting companion to her husband.
A fierce competitor in all things, at 96 she was still mowing the lawn and playing 9 holes of golf, scoring her final two par-3 birdies two weeks before her death.
She was an accomplished piano player who often played pop songs from the 40’s to serenade her husband and family.
She told others that she had had a wonderful life, and indeed she did!
Norma was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her son Fredrick (Ricky).
Norma is survived by four children Eric, Robert David, and Jane (Morse); her sisters Sylvia and Diana; her 11 grandchildren and her 12 great grandchildren.
A “Celebration of Life” to honor her and to share stories and memories will be held for family and friends on June 11, 2022, at Redland Golf and Country Club from 4 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to the American Heart Association.