Norma Lawrence

By The Mercury

Norma Lawrence, 86, of Manhattan, died Monday at Mercy Regional Health Center in Manhattan.

The family provided some of the following information.

She was born on Jan. 20, 1927, on a farm near Graymont, Ill. She was the daughter of Clarence “CW” and Stephana “Fannie” (Kalkwarf) Spaniol. She attended schools in Flanagan, Ill., and graduated from Flanagan High school in 1945.  Norma attended Illinois State University for two years. She then taught at a small country school in the Gridley Township near Dana, Ill., for a year. 

She was married to Kenneth Lawrence on Aug. 30, 1947.  After marriage she moved to Lincoln, Neb., and worked for State Farm Insurance.  In May of 1950 they moved to Manhattan.  Norma and Kenneth divorced in 1966.

Norma started to work for Kansas State University in the athletic department as an administrative assistant in 1967.  She retired in 2006 but continued to work with the sports information department for several years after that, doing various tasks.  Norma was an avid KSU sports fan.

In 1977 Norma became “Mom” to members of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity.  While there, two of her sons, Rick and Rog were active members.  She retired from there in 1991 but continued to keep in touch with several of the “sons” she gained while there.

She was a charter member of the Epsilon Sigma Alpha Sorority.  Also she was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Manhattan and the Order of the Eastern Star, where she earned her 50-year member pin. 

Norma is survived by her children, Lynn Steenbarger, Randal Lawrence and his wife Sara, of Manhattan, Richard Lawrence of Wichita, and Roger Lawrence of El Dorado.  Also, she is survived by her brother Lyle Spaniol and his friend Betty Ewen, of Bloomington, Ill., and her sister Arlene Crichton of Flanagan, Illinois; her grandchildren, Kristopher Kleiner and his wife Michelle, Kyrie Padgett, Keary Steenbarger, Kyle Lawrence and his fiancé Jeryka Lobner, and Kevin Lawrence; and her great-grandchildren, Emily Kleiner, Brooke Lawrence, Jordan Lawrence and Kalib Padgett.

Memorial services for Norma will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Chapel, with the Rev. Melanie Martin officiating.  Private inurnment will be held at a later date in Illinois.

The family will greet friends during a visitation from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at

Memorial contributions are suggested to the FIJI Run for Leukemia.  Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.

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