Cover photo for Norma Joy Rogers's Obituary
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1925 Norma Rogers 2024

Norma Joy Rogers

November 21, 1925 — January 22, 2024

Waterville

Norma Joy (Clipper) Spahr, Bailey, Rogers was the second daughter born to Gordon and Vera Clipper in Lake Benton, Minnesota on November 21, 1925, and passed away on January 22, 2024.  Norma’s family will host a Memorial Service at First Baptist Church in Waterville, MN on February 24, 2024.   Visitation will begin at 10:00AM and the service will be at 11:00AM with lunch to follow.  There will be a private interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

Norma attended a small country school close to her father’s farm and went to High School in Lake Benton, MN. She attended Northwestern Bible and Missionary Training School (currently University of Northwestern) in Minneapolis and graduated in 1948.  After college, Norma worked at Oak Hills Bible Institute in Bemidji preparing teaching materials for youth ministry.  While working there she met a young man, Richard Spahr, who had committed to serving the Lord as a missionary in Ethiopia and was furthering his knowledge of the Bible at Oak Hills.  Norma had a heart for missions and desired to go to either Nigeria or Ethiopia. Their brief interaction ended with the hope that they meet again. In 1952, she sailed from New York City for Ethiopia on a Dutch freighter with 12 other passengers – all of whom were headed to Africa to serve as missionaries. She reconnected with Richard in 1953 and on July 27, 1955, they were married in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Together they had three children, Deborah, Gordon and Mary Ann. One of the hardest ordeals Norma had to endure was sending her children away to boarding school. Travel was not easy in the early years of her mission work so visits were not often, but she trusted that God would care for them when she could not.

Richard and Norma served together under Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) in Ethiopia for over 40 years before retiring in 1993. They were involved in building mission housing, teaching in Bible Schools, church leadership training as well as hosting at the Mission Headquarters and boarding school. After retirement they served at Brookdale Covenant Church in Brooklyn Center as visitation pastor and volunteered with the Billy Graham Association answering telephones until Richard passed away in 1999. Norma continued to work in both areas and in Bible Study Fellowship until she moved to Sebring, Florida in 2002. While in Sebring she was involved in the community working with Good News Club in local schools and Meals on Wheels. She returned to Minnesota during the summer months and in 2005 she married Bob Bailey of Mound, MN. His children welcomed Norma into their family, and she quickly became Grandma to his grandchildren. Bob passed away suddenly after 6 months of marriage. In 2007 she married Bill Rogers, a retired missionary widower who also lived in Sebring, FL. Together they traveled all over the country to see all members of their combined families. Norma became Mom to Bill’s children as well and was dearly loved. Bill passed away in 2018. In 2016, Norma received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Northwestern in recognition of her years of faithful missionary service. Norma lived in Sebring until 2022 when she returned to Minnesota to live with her youngest daughter, Mary Ann in Waterville, MN.

Norma is best remembered for her enjoyment of life and being an excellent hostess. She loved God and loved people. She made friends quickly and easily and always displayed God’s grace to all. Her sparkle never wavered. Norma passed away in the Mankato Mayo Hospital after a brief illness. Our family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the medical staff of the hospital for the extraordinary care and compassion they showed to both Norma and her children as we held vigil by her bedside. Her dying wish was to go see Jesus.

Norma was preceded in death by husbands: Richard Spahr, Robert (Bob) Bailey and William (Bill) Rogers; her parents, Gordon and Vera (Van Duesen) Clipper; her siblings Marian (Clyde) Pricer of Fridley, MN, Gloria (Robert) Even of Elkton, SD and Keith (Marlys) Clipper of Verdi, MN and grandson, Zachary Spahr of Warrenville, IL.  

She is survived by her youngest brother, Vann (Leanne) Clipper of Hugo, MN; her children, Deb (Reed) Jorgenson of Sauk Rapids, MN., Gordon (Dawn) Spahr of Winfield, IL.,  MaryAnn (Paul) Eich of Waterville, MN; 8 grandchildren: Brock (Elizabeth) Van Dyke, Brooks (Stacey) Van Dyke, Katie Jorgenson, Tessa Spahr, Jordan (Jenny) Spahr, Kaleigh Jorgenson, Nathan Eich, Raelyn Eich and 8 great grandchildren: Jack Stein, Mason Van Dyke, Cyrus Van Dyke, Vada Van Dyke, Briggs Van Dyke, Jace Van Dyke, Delani Van Dyke and Amani Spahr as well as many loved step children and step grandchildren too numerous to name.

In lieu of flowers – Norma desired for memorial gifts to be donated to SIM, the mission she served with for over 40 years. Monetary gifts to SIM in her memory will be designated to the Durami Bible School in Ethiopia and to the SIM Sebring Retirement Village. Online memorial gifts with the designation “Memorial - Norma Rogers” can be submitted to SIM at www.simusa.org/give. Checks with “Memorial - Norma Rogers” on the memo line can be sent to SIM - 14830 Chote Circle, Charlotte, NC 28273.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Norma Joy Rogers, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, February 24, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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