Norman Gene Prange

Norman Prange passed away on May 21, 2024 in Mesa, AZ at the age of 89. 

Norm was born on October 10, 1934 in Holland, Nebraska to Gerrit and Jennie (Wieskamp) Prange.  His mother, Jennie, fell ill and passed away 3 months later in February 1935.  Gerrit, unable to care for an infant, put Norm in the care of Dick and Marie Meinen.  Norm grew up on a farm tending animals and helping with the field work.

Norm met Dorothy Docter at church – CE (Christian Endeavor) in 1950.  When Dorothy moved to Iowa with her family 1952, Norm soon followed.  They were married on July 1, 1954 in Boyden, Iowa. They were blessed with 6 children, Lynnette, Rick, Shawn, Kurt, LaRae and Joel.

Norm worked most of his career as a carpenter, often working long hours into the night. Dorothy would make dinner and pack up the kids and travel to the worksite so they could have a family meal together.  In 1980, Norm and Dorothy started a new venture, building a roller skating rink (Roller Roulette) in Sheldon, Iowa.  It was not only used for roller skating, but hosted many wedding receptions, Christmas parties, church groups, and meetings for various organizations.  The business was sold to their daughter and son-in-law, LaRae and Gene, in 2000. Norm and Dorothy finally retired, enjoying their summers in Iowa, and winters in Arizona. In 2021, Norm and Dorothy permanently moved to Arizona.

Norm enjoyed many trips over the years fishing, hunting and camping, traveling to Yellowstone, the Black Hills, Canada and Minnesota. He hunted in Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana. Norm and Dorothy traveled on cruise ships and camped in Alaska. He enjoyed his wood-working projects making board games and other helpful items around the house. He loved playing cards, shooting pool, assembling jigsaw puzzles, playing shuffleboard, and being a prankster. 

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 69 years, Dorothy, and children Lynnette (Lyall) Vagts, Rick Prange, Shawn Smith (Randy Roberts), Kurt (Lora) Prange, LaRae (Gene) Schettler.  Eight grandchildren: Kyle Vagts, Darin (Nikki) Vagts, and Evan Vagts, Haley Prange, Phillip Smith, Keith Prange, Neil (Holly) Schettler, Craig Schettler, and (Jason Vande Vegte). Eleven great-grandchildren Shane, Tucker, Brooklynn, Braden, Brock, and Jayden Vagts; Allison, Kylie, and Leah Vande Vegte; Alexis and Jonas Schettler. Sister-in-laws Shirley (Ken) Baartman and Ardith Docter, and many nieces, nephews and friends.

Norm was preceded in death by his son, Joel Prange, granddaughter Kristi Vande Vegte, parents Gerrit & Jennie Prange, brother and sister-in-law Glen (Henrietta) Prange, sister and brother-in-law Ruth (Harold) Zweerink, foster parents Dick & Marie Meinen, foster sister Thelma Essink, father and mother-in-law Martin (Everdene) Docter. 

His love for family was always forefront, as he truly cherished every moment with his children and grandchildren. He will always be present in our hearts and greatly missed.

Cards and condolences can be mailed to Shawn Smith at 16356 W. Cameron Drive, Surprise, AZ  85388