Born On: September 03, 1942

Passed On: May 04, 2019

Norma Jean (Calkins) LaVasseur

Norma Jean (Calkins) LaVasseur, age 76, passed away suddenly in her home on Saturday, May 4th, 2019 in Muskegon, MI. She was born on September 3rd, 1942 in Muskegon, MI to her parents, Stuart and Hazel (Gannon) Calkins and graduated from Muskegon High School.

On June 25th, 1960 she married her high school sweet heart, George Andrew LaVasseur. They celebrated 58 years of marriage and remained best friends and faithful lovers until the bitter end. They did everything together including having some kids of their own, and adopted many more through foster care. Her older sister, Lenora (Calkins) Sargent is still alive and missing her younger sister dearly, especially during garage sale season. Norma was also very close to her friends Dale and Margaret Humphreys. They enjoyed playing cards together.

In the early years of Norma and George’s marriage they had 4 kids; Lisa (Brian) Smith, Eric (Manne) LaVasseur, Kathy (Scott) Babbitt, and Mark (Pam) LaVasseur. When those kids were all grown up Norma decided she wanted to help pregnant teens learn how to take care of their kids instead of get abortions. That led into a full 25 years or more of foster care and 7 adopted kids. Those kids are Susan LaVasseur, Adam LaVasseur, David LaVasseur, Kimberly (Jesse) Bastin, Noelle LaVasseur, Barbara Beugnot, and Amanda LaVasseur. Even in her golden years she wanted to continue to be a mother.

Norma is also survived by as many as 17 grandchildren and at least 3 great grandchildren and she mothered many more foster children throughout her years. Norma just wanted to make the world a little bit better, even if that didn’t always work out. She also spent many years breeding dogs, first pure bred Siberian husky’s and then later on pure bred Border Collies. Throughout the years she had many different pets of her own too. According to her wishes, she has been cremated and the immediate family will be holding a private celebration of her life spent with us.

If anyone would like to send flowers please instead consider giving to your local animal shelter or the American Humane Society. Losing Norma was very sudden and too close to Mother’s Day. Many people will miss her and we’re thankful for the impact she made while she was with us. We love you mom!


4 thoughts on “Norma Jean (Calkins) LaVasseur

  1. Margaret "Peggy" Humphreys

    My last post wasn’t enough to share my appreciation for Norma as a friend. We became friends when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had the surgery and underwent chemotherapy at the Cancer Treatment Center in Illinois. Our daughter was eleven years old, and Susan LaVasseur was her friend. We asked, and Norma agreed to take care of Megan while I had chemotherapy. We became friends, and we started playing cards together when they still lived on Gay Street. Norma provided a good shoulder to cry on from time to time; she was a genuinely compassionate person. She was very generous when it came to cooking and sharing food with whoever came around at supper time. When a child did something bad, she always forgave that child and didn’t browbeat him or her. She was willing to give people the benefit of the doubt; she wanted to believe in people. She asked for little in life. She even allowed her children and grandchildren to stay with them when she was ill and could have used some needed rest. As George’s health deteriorated, she found it increasingly difficult to care for him as her own poor health deteriorated. She did a lot for family, and it distressed her not to be able to do more. She believed in God and angelic assistance, and she practiced kindness and hospitality. We will miss her so much! Rest in peace, Norma.

  2. Nolajean Wood

    I am truely sorry for your loss. I, as a foster child was greatly impacted by the love and guidance norma and her family showed me. She will be greatly missed.

    1. Kathy

      You will be loved for the rest of my life mom. I miss out long talks. I love you and am so proud you were my

    2. Margaret Humphreys

      I am sorry for your loss. It is my loss, too. For many years, my husband Dale and I played euchre with Norma and George. I would like to be notified of when you are holding her memorial service, and Dale and I would like very much to attend, with your permission.

      Norma was a wonderful friend.


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