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Henry Alvin Norum

Henry Alvin Norum

Henry Alvin Norum died peacefully on April 10th, at the age of 99 in Napa. Henry was born February 1, 1919 in St. Paul, Minnesota to Andrew and Bessie Norum.

While attending public schools in St. Paul he enjoyed playing tennis and chess and always held a job. In 1937 Hank entered the University of Minnesota, studying chemical engineering and pre-med. He graduated from medical school in 1943. In 1944 Hank moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for his residency at Milwaukee County General Hospital. There he met his future wife, Patricia Solveson.

In 1945, he began active duty in the US Army fulfilling his ROTC commitment. He was assigned to serve as Chief of Surgery on the hospital ship, the USS Comfort, in the South Pacific. Following his discharge in 1947, Henry and Patricia were married in Nashotah, Wisconsin.

In 1951, they moved to Minneapolis and joined a surgical practice that he was involved in until 1954, then found their home in Fargo, North Dakota. He worked in surgery at the Fargo Clinic, helping it grow from 80 doctors to more than 425 during his career there. Henry felt he practiced medicine during the Golden Years'... beginning in 1940, with very few tools to work with until penicillin became widely available in 1942. He enjoyed practicing hands-on surgery for 44 years, and retired at the time mechanical devices and laparoscopy became the vogue.

In 1985 Henry and Patricia retired to the Monterey Peninsula in California. They valued their many friendships, and enjoyed years of golf and tennis. Travel was always important and they visited Cuba in 1950, and later visited Alaska, the UK, Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia, Hawaii, Mexico, Central America, the Middle East, Africa, India and New Zealand.

Henry will be remembered for his kindness and compassion. He loved his family and always kept abreast of what his grandchildren were doing so he could counsel, congratulate and feel connected. He graciously funded the college education of his grandchildren. A friend once began a poem for his birthday "They say that Henry Norum was the master of decorum".

Henry is survived by his wife of nearly 71 years, Patricia, his son, Paul Norum (Rebecca Walker), Bellingham, Washington, and daughters Mary Beth Norum (Mary Jane Franus), Mt Shasta, California, and Sara Euser (Jack Euser), Napa, California, as well as seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Bessie Norum, and his sister, Grace.

A service will be held at the Meadows of Napa Valley on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at 2:30 p.m.