Norman L. “Norm” Breiner, age 91 of Dubuque, Iowa completed his earthly journey on July 7, 2019, at home surrounded by his loving family. To celebrate Norm’s life, a Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. at Steeple Square, 101 East 15th Street, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001 with Pastor Jack Redmond officiating. Family and friends of Norm’s may gather to visit prior to the service from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Steeple Square. Burial will be in the Center Grove Cemetery in Dubuque. The Tri-State Cremation Center is humbly serving Norm’s family.
Norm was born on January 18, 1928 in Dubuque, a son to Frank and Cleo (Topp) Breiner. Norm was blessed to spend his entire earthly life on the family farm on Mud Lake Road. He had purchased it from his father in his early years and was proud to witness it now continue on through the 4th generation of family with his grandson. Norm has built the legacy which he leaves behind with his beautiful bride, Donna M. Kenniker, whom he had met on a blind date, faithfully by his side the entire time. The devoted (and sometimes intentionally agitating) couple were blessed with 4 wonderful children together, and 3 months ago celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary hand in hand. Norm had built the house he raised, nurtured and protected his family in for generations with his own hands. They humbly spend the first 12 years creating their lives together in the basement until they could afford to get the main floor built for the growing family. Norm had earnestly worked the farm while also working full-time in factories over the years. He began at Farley and Loetcher and A.Y. McDonald’s before finally investing over 32 years of his working career at John Deere Dubuque Works. Norm eventually retired in 1985, and was honestly conflicted about releasing his final grip on the radial drill in W Building, but he also knew and appreciated that there was another young man out there who could raise his family right behind him and he would now have more time to enjoy his family and farm which were waiting for him at home
Now those who knew and loved Norm, also know that he was so much more than a loving family man and devoted employee. He gained such a wealth of wisdom throughout his life that anyone who was willing to listen could usually find a path to the right direction to head in any situation which arose in their own personal or professional lives. Cutting the grass at Melody Mill during the day was surely more rewarding in the end than the fun they’d regularly have there in the evening. Opening his home to 22 foster children over the years was a gift more precious to them than any pretty box with a bow could ever compare to. Spending time in an orphanage as a child developed an empathy for others which never faded. Almost losing the farm during some rough years early on would bring about a stronger than steel work ethic, an understanding that personal responsibility and honesty will always carry the day, paying your bills on time and avoiding credit will lead to real prosperity, everyone does not have to agree with you (although it’s a lot easier if they just would), and always make amends whenever possible (and yes, paying your union dues in pennies one time can be neatly tucked into a grey area on that one).
Norm was also a quiet man of faith, virtue and integrity throughout his life. He loved his Lord and Savior and had attended church at St. Matthew’s for many years. He eventually found himself feeling closer to God in his daily life and began to live his faith as an example through his words, thoughts and actions and attempted to knowingly share the love he knew with all those around him. Norm raised his family to believe in the Holy Trinity, follow the 10 commandments as a common rule and always follow the golden rule; for he understood that when you set your life upon these three basic foundational principles, the world outside simply cannot shake your house any more than you allow it to. He sadly had become quite discouraged (grumpy may actually be the correct word there) with some of the directions the world has been moving in, but he also understood that some things must necessarily take their course and that allowing the Lord to have control is quite often the hardest battles we’ll ever have to fight in this world. Norm was a simple man who gratefully lived his life with immense depth also. The sounds of the love and lessons his voice has carried tenderly, but authoritatively throughout his 91 years will continue to reign quietly in the minds of those he adored, respected and befriended. We will never be able to mend the tear in our hearts Norm has left behind today, but we also appreciate that our pain wouldn’t exist as it does if he had never been in our lives, so our tears now flow with thankful honor for the one who makes them so. Thank you, Norm for playing your role so perfectly among us and we pray that you are now enjoying the greatest family reunion you’ve ever experienced with not a single care in the world to cause you any pain!
Those left behind to cherish the memory of Norm include,
his loving wife of 70 years,
Donna Breiner, Dubuque, Iowa;
his 2 adored daughters,
Pamela “Pam” (Frank) Schumacher, Cape Coral, Florida,
and Candace “Candy” (Bill) Kelly, Dubuque, Iowa;
his 10 grandchildren,
Jason (Tricia) Schumacher, Dubuque, Iowa,
Eric (Polly) Schumacher, New Virginia, Iowa,
Brian Schumacher, Des Moines, Iowa,
Sarah Schumacher, Indianola, Iowa,
Wil (Ashley) Kelly, Dubuque, Iowa,
Tiffiny Kelly, Dubuque, Iowa,
Darcy Kelly, Dubuque, Iowa,
Matt (Mandy Wallace) Kelly, Cedar Falls, Iowa,
Melody (Bobby) Coyle, Epworth, Iowa,
and Travis (Nikki Maiers) Breiner, Guttenberg, Iowa;
his 17 great-grandchildren,
Dylan (Kelsey) Schumacher, Abigail Schumacher, Jacob Schumacher, Kyla Schumacher, Ian Schumacher, Skyelynn Schumacher, Addison Schumacher, Everly Schumacher, Parker Wallis, Vanessa Kelly, Shaylynn Kelly, Owen Kelly, Mallory Siegert, Jayden Siegert, Carson Siegert, Kennedy Coyle and Devin Coyle;
his 4 great-great grandchildren,
Lydia Kelly, Echo Bown, Ellie Bown and Enzo Schumacher;
his adopted sister,
Sherrie Snook, California;
along with countless nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.
Norm was preceded in death by his parents; his sons, Norm “Butch” Briener, Jr. and Gary Breiner; his brother, Gerald Breiner; and his sisters, Millie (Bruce) Randall and Eunice (Robert) Bauer.
Norman’s family would like to thank Dr. Cao, Dr. Whalen, and their nurses, along with the nurses and staff at Hospice of Dubuque for all of the wonderful care and support they have provided to Norm, and his family.
Online condolences may be shared with Norm’s family at www.tristatecremationcenter.com
101 East 15th Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001
July 13th, 2019 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Celebration of Life
101 East 15th Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001
July 13th, 2019 at 4:00 PM