Norman Oldenburg

A celebration of life service for Norman Paul Oldenburg was held Dec. 3, Burley Funeral Chapel. Private family inurnment preceded the services at Maple Leaf Cemetery. A reception for family and friends followed at the Whidbey Golf & Country Club. Norm died Nov. 28, 2002, at Home Place Special Care Unit, Oak Harbor, following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

Norman P. “Norm” Oldenburg was born July 6, 1915, at the Oldenburg family home on North Whidbey Island, near Cranberry Lake. He was the fourth son of pioneer residents John Gustav and Cressie Elizabeth (Beckwith) Oldenburg. Norm attended Oak Harbor Schools and graduated from Oak Harbor High School Class of 1933. As a high school student, he drove the school district’s North-end school bus.

Mr. Oldenburg went to Washington State College (now WSU) and received his degree in Business Agriculture. He was instrumental in establishing the Farm House Fraternity at WSC. He was married to the former Helen Collins of Steptoe on Feb. 3, 1940, in Clarkston.

Norm began work for the Farm Credit Administration, living and working in Everett, Yelm and Lynden. He was a veteran of World War II, serving with the U.S. Army in the Philippines. After the war, he returned to his work in agri-business.

In 1950, Norm established Oak Harbor Furniture Store, first on the water side of Pioneer Way, across from Fakkema Ford and then moving to its current location on Midway Boulevard in 1953. He was also a founding member of Island Savings, now know as Pacific Northwest Bank. Norm helped start and develop Whidbey Golf and Country Club.

Mr. Oldenburg was a member and past president of Whidbey Golf and Country Club and the Oak Harbor Rotary Club; a 10-year member of the Oak Harbor School Board; a member of the Skagit Valley College Board; an active member of the Navy League and a member of the Little League Baseball Association. He was the first ever recipient of the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award. He was a long time member of the First United Methodist Church of Oak Harbor.

Helen Oldenburg passed away in 1976. In 1977, Norm was married to Dorothy Shannon in Wenatchee. He continued work in the furniture business until 1979. He and Dorothy enjoyed a winter home in Arizona for a time, but settled for their home at Long Point in Coupeville, where they remained until Norm’s health failed.

Norm was a very active golfer and a member of the Left Handed Golf Association. He played in Left Handed tournaments around the world with his four brothers Wilbur, Al, Cliff and Herman. These tournaments took them to places like Australia and Hawaii.

Mr. Oldenburg is survived by his wife Dorothy of Coupeville; by four children and their spouses: Ann and Ken Basher of Seattle; Bill and Joyce Oldenburg, also of Seattle; Todd and Paula Oldenburg of Oak Harbor and Jack and Anne Oldenburg of Everett, and by two stepchildren: Nancy Shannon of Seattle and Brian and Shari Shannon of Oak Harbor. One brother, Herman Oldenburg of Ukiah, Calif., and sister Ruth Oldenburg Kirk of LaConner, nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren also survive. He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers Clifford, Wilbur and Albert.

Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Medical Affairs Development, University of Washington, Box 3582200, Seattle, WA 98195-8220. Arrangements are by Burley Funeral Chapel. This obituary is at

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