Audrey Norby, 93, Green Bay, passed away Wednesday, August 22, 2018 in her home at Woodside Manor 2. She was born July 24, 1925, in Winnebago County, IL to Edward Arthur and Ada (Walker) Birkett.
Audrey lived with her parents and siblings in Freeport, IL during her youth. She attended Union Grade School, Junior High, and freshman and sophomore years at Freeport High School. Audrey was a member of the First Methodist Church on Stephenson St. in Freeport. Her father, Art Birkett trained dogs as a hobby and she grew up helping him during her younger years. They performed at area community events with Art's dog, Sandy and his dog team. In seventh grade, Audrey began working with her brother, Berle for her parents in their South Side Dairy and family grocery store on Cherry St. where Art specialized in making ice cream. At the end of her sophomore year, during WWII, her parents closed their dairy store and moved to a small farm in South Beloit, IL.
Audrey briefly attended Beloit Memorial High School, and graduated from Hononegah High School, Rockton, IL. in 1943 where she was editor of the yearbook. She worked at McNeany's Dept. Store in Beloit following graduation and later was employed at the Beloit State Bank until her marriage to Helge Oliver "Ollie" Norby in Beloit, WI on October 28, 1950. Audrey and Ollie owned and operated a farm and strawberry nursery until his passing in 1975. While being a busy farm wife and mother to a special needs child she found time to serve on the Board of Directors of the Rock County Association for Retarded Citizens (currently Kandu) in the 1960's. Audrey was also active with the Special Olympics program in Beloit and later in Green Bay after she and her daughter, Julie moved to Green Bay in 1996.
Her husband, Ollie had died in 1975 and her good friend, Geraldine Burke introduced her to the Nazarene Church in Rockton, IL. Audrey and Julie loved going to that church during their time in Beloit. They also traveled throughout the US enjoying visits with relatives and friends. Audrey's family was most important to her. She and her sister, Joan helped out and cared for her parents as they got older. She was also very thankful to her daughter, Linda and son-in-law, John for filling in for Mom's love and care for Julie when she was no longer able to fully provide those functions herself. Audrey moved to Woodside Oaks in June of 2016 and subsequently transferred to Woodside Manor Assisted Living, where she made many friends and resided until her passing.
She is survived by her two daughters and son-in-law, Linda and John Stein, and Julie Norby, all of Green Bay; granddaughter, Emilie Stein; grandson, John Oliver "Ollie" Stein (Tricia); greatgranddaughter, Willow Grace; sister-in-law, Stella Birkett; and nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband, Audrey was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Bion Birkett, Berle Birkett; and her sister, Joan Padon.
Family and friends attended services at Woodside Nursing Home Chapel, 1040 Pilgrim Way, Green Bay, WI from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 24th, followed by the Funeral Service at 6:30 p.m. with Pastor Steve Apfel officiating. Burial took place at Eastlawn Cemetery in Beloit. Blaney Funeral Home, Green Bay, WI assisted the family. To send online condolences, please go to www.BlaneyFuneralHome.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Audrey's name to ASPIRO, 1673 Dousman St., Green Bay, WI 54303, a community based organization that helps people with disabilities live their best lives.
A special thank you is extended to the staffs of Woodside Manor and Unity Hospice, as well as Dr. Bozena Biernat and Dr. Peter Fergus, for their loving care and emotional support.