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Juanita Blossom Gullickson

Juanita Blossom Gullickson
Juanita Blossom Gullickson
- May 27, 2017

Juanita Blossom Gullickson was born January 13, 1920, in Harding County on the family ranch near Reva. However, their address at the time was Strool, SD. Juanita arrived ahead of schedule and she was delivered by the county doctor, Doc Hodges. Her parents were Ernest Frederick Gullickson who was born in 1888 in Dakota Territory and Ida Oline Lien born in 1891 in Britton, SD. Juanita joined older brother, Gerald born in 1919 and would later gain another brother, Waldo, who arrived in 1924.

     Both Ernest and Ida had entered homestead claims as individuals and had lived in sod houses. Juanita’s family lived on the land homesteaded by her father. The ranch was run as the Gullickson Brothers Ranch but Juanita’s family lived there and tended to the daily maintenance. Their home never had electricity, indoor plumbing or running water and the family never owned a tractor. Juanita grew up on the ranch. Her first eight years of education were at Grand View School, a one room school house.  The first two years of high school took place at Sorum High School, a WPA school, where she lived in a dormitory. From there Juanita and her mother and two brothers moved to Spearfish where she finished her last two years of high school at Spearfish High. Her brothers entered college at the eighth grade.

     In 1938, after Juanita finished high school, her father’s ill health forced the family to move to Buffalo. For a while they lived in the Lutheran Parsonage. Juanita went to work in the County Court House. She worked part-time for the Draft Board, County Superintendent, Treasurer and Auditor, sometimes working for her uncle, Cliff Gullickson, who was the treasurer and auditor. While at the Court House she met Lloyd G. Norton who worked for the Register of Deeds and was also a child of homesteaders (Tracy and Christena [Wheeler] Norton).

     Lloyd left to join the Army Air Corps in 1942 and Juanita and her cousin decided to go to Seattle to find work in factories there. They got as far as Kalispell, Montana where a friend of her cousin lived. Juanita went to work in the office of the Equity Supply Company. She was still living there when Lloyd returned from Europe on a furlough. They were married June 21, 1945 in Baker, Montana.

     When Lloyd was discharged from the military several months later they began their life together in Kalispell. Airplanes was Lloyd’s life-long passion and he found work in Great Falls, Montana converting war planes from military to commercial use.

     Lloyd went to work for United Air lines in 1946 and he and Juanita moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming where their first child, Bonita, was born in 1947. One year later the family moved to Redwood City, California where their two sons, Leslie (1950) and Robert (1951), were born. In 1955 the family moved to Thornton, Colorado and in 1958 they returned to California, settling in Hayward, where they lived the rest of their lives.

     Juanita was a dedicated mother serving as a room mother, Cub Scout den mother, Sunday School and Bible School teacher, chauffeur, loyal member of the Little League cheering section and supervisor of all things involving homework. As a grandmother she cheered at the sporting events, clapped at music programs, ate campfire food with the scouts and beamed at graduations. In 1965 Juanita began working in school cafeteria first as a substitute and later as a cafeteria manager. She worked in the cafeteria for fifteen years. She also worked side-by-side with Lloyd as they built a cabin in the Sierra foothills in California.

     Lloyd and Juanita always enjoyed traveling and after retirement they enjoyed it even more. South Dakota was always a favored destination and those visits became more frequent as special events were celebrated-all school reunions, Labor Day, milestones for Buffalo, Harding County and family members. They had so much fun sharing time with family and friends in the area. They visited all fifty states, many more than once, and enjoyed special trips to Costa Rica, Norway and New Zealand.

     Juanita was a quiet woman with deep understanding of giving and sharing with others. She and Lloyd were charter members of their church in Hayward which they attended faithfully since 1958. She was a member of the Altar Guild, taught the young children and, for the last twenty plus years, she was a dedicated member of the Craft Group at Messiah. Here she could share her creative talents freely and generously. At 96 she was still crocheting lap robes and baby blankets to sell at the annual boutique. Juanita loved her family and enjoyed nothing more than spending time with them and listening to their chatter and stories.

     Juanita B. Norton, 97, of Hayward, CA, died as she has lived her life, quietly and without fanfare, on April 24, 2017, at her home in Hayward.

     Those left to carry on her spirit are her children, Bonnie (Tony) Sanchez, California; Leslie (Diane) Norton, Texas and Robert (Anne) Norton, South Carolina; grandchildren, Matt (Alix) Norton, California; Anthony (Andrea) Sanchez, California; Elizabeth Byrd, South Carolina; Jeffery (Pamela) Sanchez, California; Sarah Norton, Maryland and Brett Sinclair, California; great-grandchildren, Henry, Sadie, Cate, Maya, Grady, Delilah, Wynn, Sierra and many caring nieces and nephews.

     A memorial service was held in Hayward in May.

     Inurnment will be 12:00 p.m. on June 16, 2017, at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis with Pastor Kris Garlick officiating. Family and friends may gather at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis at 11:30 a.m. prior going to the cemetery.

     Condolence may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.



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