Norma Jean Derr, 95

Published 1:33 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Norma Jean Derr, 95

Norma Jean Derr, age 95, of Austin, Minnesota, passed away on Monday, July 31, 2023, at Mayo Clinic Health System Austin. Norma Jean was born April 9, 1928, to William Holzer and Martha (Holien) Holzer in Ossian, Iowa. She spent her childhood there and graduated high school in Ossian, Iowa. After moving to Austin, she married Robert Harold Derr on November 30, 1946, at Queen of Angels Catholic Church.

They built their forever home in southeast Austin and together they had a daughter, Debbie. Later Jean added grandmother of Adrian, Kira, and Josie to her various titles. Jean loved her role as homemaker, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Jean will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Jean loved to cook and bake and had a few specialties such as “rolling pancakes” and “cheesy spaghetti” she shared with her family quite often. She enjoyed playing games, especially scrabble and gin rummy. She loved watching movies in the theater and also at home and had a large collection of some of her favorites she watched multiple times. Visiting with friends and family who would stop by was a definite highlight for her as well.

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Drawing was one of Jean’s hidden talents and she would often make sketches of unsuspecting family members. She and Bob became proud cat owners to Maynard, George, Julio, Juan and Satchel over many years and they brought great joy to both of them. She took many photos of everyone (and was also in many photos) and put them in various albums for friends and family to see. She was very organized and kept meticulous records and took pride in remembering and sending out birthday cards to a great number of family and friends.

Survivors include her daughter, Debbie Bure of Austin, Minnesota; three grandchildren, Adrian (Pam) Wagner of Eagan, Minnesota; Kira Wagner of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Josie (Maggie) Bure of Austin, Minnesota; five grandchildren, Kylie, Benjamin, Emily, Makayla, and April; sister, Audrey Mara of Prairie du Chien, Wis. She was preceded in death by her parents, William Holzer and Martha (Holien) Holzer; and sister, Lorraine Schneberger.

A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 10, 2023, at Worlein Funeral Home Chapel in Austin. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service on Thursday. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Austin. Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at