Feb. 23, 1950 – Feb. 8, 2018
Norma Forbes died at Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 in Homer, Alaska.
Norma’s six-year battle with melanoma ended 15 days before her 68th birthday, the family wrote. Surgery, radiation and years of infusions and other medication and treatment weren’t able to kill her cancer, but they weren’t able to kill her spirit either.
Norma passed away peacefully at her home beside her husband. Norma was never naive as to the perilous road she was on, yet traveled that road selflessly and courageously, without complaint, always maintaining her dignity and compassion.
Norma was born Norma McLennan on Feb. 23, 1950 to Helen Isabelle (Cheney) McLennan and Richard Grant McLennan in Presque Islem Maine. She grew up and graduated from high school in Ashland, Maine and went on to study art and design in Boston.
Norma moved to Soldotna, Alaska in 1977 and married Howard Forbes on New Year’s Eve 1979, “New Life’s Eve” for Howard. They moved to Homer, Alaska in 1990.
Norma is know on and off the Kenai Peninsula for her kind heart, endearing laugh and her vision for artistic design. She humbly entered the homes and hearts of many, with whom she became indelibly attached.
Norma called her business “The Decorator,” but as most people she ever worked with will attest, she was so much more. Norma had an eye and understanding for everything from the dirt work to the shingles, and in-between. The in-between included the scores of dear and loving friends she made along the way. She had a gift for leaving people’s homes, and lives, more beautiful than she found them.
Norma never allowed ego to get in her way, which permitted her to work with people and their ideas whether she necessarily agreed with all of them or not, trying to make thing work best for her clients. Norma’s passion for her work kept her working up until her very last days, but work for the most part was enjoying the camaraderie she cherished among her friends. Norma loved life and leaving her family and friends was her most difficult realization.
“Over the past 39 years, I’ve many times identified with the Clint Eastwood character ‘the man with no name,’ simply as ‘Norma’s Husband,’ a title I am so proud and grateful for, it will stay with me the rest of my days,” Norma’s husband wrote. “In addition to this most honorable title, Norma left me with two beautiful daughters, Angelia (along with granddaughter Birdi) and Alicia, both of whom possess much of Norma’s talent and character.
“Attempting to describe how much Norma will be missed always seems so inadequate, the hollowness that can come over one is like a rogue wave coming out of nowhere, without warning. I don’t have the words, and it’s pointless anyway, as Norma’s friends were special and unique individuals, and each will have their own personal feelings.
“Goodnight sweet lady, best friend, champion of selfless compassion, diligent mother and wife, love of my life. We miss you so!”
Norma was preceded in death by her brother, Grant; and her father, Richard.
Norma’s immediate family members that survive her are her husband, Howard Forbes; daughters Angelia and Alicia; granddaughter Birdi; mother, Helen; brothers Richard and Dale; and sisters Nancy and Nola, in addition to many other loving, caring relatives and extended family “whom I am not going to try and name here for fear of leaving someone out,” Howard wrote.
There will be a celebration of life from 1-4 p.m. May 12 at Land’s End Resort in Homer.