Norma Van Housen

March 16, 2021
Norma Van Housen

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Norma Van Housen of Williamsburg, Va. passed away on March 16th 2021, aged 92.

Norma was born on May 23, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York to parents Eleanor and Anthony Morello. In their home Jesus always came first, with family, cooking and music as a close second.

Music was especially important. Young Norma counted many accomplished musicians in her family, including her parents and grandparents. Her grandfather had a special love for the Italian opera Norma, her namesake.

Norma followed in her father’s footsteps by enrolling in summer programs at the Julliard School, and she even performed at Carnegie Hall both vocally and on keyboard.

She’d continue her musical studies by enrolling in Providence Bible College at age 17, and eventually become a professor there. She enjoyed sharing her knowledge of music with students and even performed on a local radio show during this time.

It was at Providence Bible College that Norma would meet her future husband, Charles “Buzz” Van Housen. Buzz was also a talented musician who played trumpet and sang with a beautiful baritone voice. He would later join the Coast Guard and in 1950 the two were married.

When Buzz completed his time in the Coast Guard, the pair would move to Long Island, New York, along with Norma’s parents and many other family members.

Norma and Charles would go on to have three children named Cheryl, Grant, and Vanessa. These three grew to love music just like their parents and performed at family, church, and secular events.

Norma taught private piano lessons for over 30 years, and was also the lead organist, pianist, and vocalist in multiple churches. She and Charles continued to share their passion for Jesus, family & music until Charles sadly passed away on January 24, 1981.

Norma would never remarry, and for the next 40 years carried the torch alone, ensuring her 7 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren would understand the values that colored both her marital and post-marital life.

Norma, Charles, and family also loved to travel. Norma and her mother Eleanor were some of the first Americans to visit China after it opened up in the seventies. She rode camels in the Sahara desert and donkeys in Italy, and even brought Bibles to the faithful beyond the Berlin Wall.

For Norma’s children, one of the best parts of her overseas journeys were the foreign instruments she would bring back. They had a special love for the steel drums from Trinidad and the koto from Japan.

One of the children’s greatest memories was a road trip across America in the summer of 1966. Together with Norma and Charles, they visited places like the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Mt. Rushmore, the Sequoia Forest and, of course, California’s Disneyland.

Some of Norma’s favorite pastimes were playing the piano, cooking, studying the Bible, and spending time with family.

Norma is preceded in death by husband Charles in 1981 and daughter Cheryl in 2012. She is survived by her son Grant and his wife Karen, her daughter Vanessa and her husband Peter, along with 14 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Although Norma’s loving smile, quick wit, energy, music, and love for Jesus will be missed…the family rejoices in her going home to Jesus!

Till we meet again…

Favorite verse – Psalm 100

Favorite songs – “I can only Imagine”
– “How Great Thou Art

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Williamsburg Chapel located at 3899 John Tyler Highway, Williamsburg VA., 23185

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  • March 18, 2021
    Gail Nash says:
    Rejoicing with you all knowing that we will see dear Norma again some day!!! I met Norma in Precepts Bible study at the Chapel back in 2003 and have been blessed to know her as a sister in Christ! She was an incredibly special lady and I thank the Lord for putting her in my life! Prayers for all who will miss her, until you are together again.

  • March 20, 2021
    Sharon Schwartzlow says:
    She was a member of Community Bible Study and I was honored to be her group leader a few years ago. She was such a faithful servant and added so much to our Bible studies. She was an amazing lady and she will be missed. I was blessed to know her.

  • March 20, 2021
    Jane Hanson says:
    Norma was a lovely and gifted woman who I got to know through singing in the choir at the chapel. Her NY accent took me home to my own family roots when we would chat and I know she is rejoicing with the saints now in her new heavenly home. Praying sweet memories and comfort for all her family.

  • March 23, 2021
    Kate Rennie says:
    Norma was simply a wonderful woman. I got to know her more recently through a small group at the Williamsburg Community Chapel. We bonded over our Long Island, NY backgrounds. She was a delight to know! I will definitely miss her warm presence.

  • April 07, 2021
    Sharon Nickerson says:
    I knew Norma from church and Bible study. Such a dear woman who loved Christ, and her family. She was kind and alway thought of others first. I will miss our encouraging conversations as we encountered each other in the community. Her light shines bright!