JILL GLASER NORDEN
FELIX AARON NORDEN III (Bill)
Jill Glaser Norden, 78, passed away in her sleep on February 19, 2015; her husband of 56 years, Felix Aaron Norden III (Bill), 85, followed two days later, on February 21, 2015. Born in the Chicago area, Jill and Bill Norden had made their home in Kansas City since the mid-1960s, sharing their house most recently with their beloved dogs, Bo, Puff and Bucky.
After an early career as a second-grade teacher, Jill chose to dedicate her life to numerous civic activities and caring for her home and her family. With energy to spare, Jill contributed to her community in a range of capacities, from chairing the public television auction, volunteering with AFS and working for the International Visitors Program, to acting as a docent at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Arts. Jill also worked part-time for several years at Halls on the Country Club Plaza, where she enjoyed her time with co-workers, chats with customers, and, of course, the prodigious shopping opportunities that came with the employee discount. She loved all crafts, experimenting with weaving, jewelry-making and creating miniature scenes, as well as playing Rummy Cube, backgammon and Words with Friends with her children and grandchildren, and bridge with her friends. Family time was always first for her, and she was never happier than when the house was filled with her children, grandchildren, children’s friends, multiple dogs (who also counted as family), and, of course, her husband, Bill, always the center of her life.
Bill Norden achieved a life-long dream when he became the owner of Fairbanks Scales in 1988. Fairbanks became even more special to him when his son, Rick, joined him more than twenty years ago, sharing business decisions, daily lunches, and an exceptional friendship and partnership that enriched his life enormously. Also known as Mr. Wonderful, King Pa and Grumpy Grandpa, Bill was well-known and loved for his biting humor, perpetual bad jokes, and the warm heart that lay not far under the surface. At home, he was the ultimate handyman; the Prairie Village home where he and Jill raised their three children essentially doubled in size over the years, as he added an entertainment room, office, train room, sunroom, bathrooms and bedrooms, all with his own hands. He loved gardening, creating elaborate flower, herb and vegetable gardens, as well as fish-ponds (though he wasn’t particularly good at keeping fish alive).
Above all, both Jill and Bill treasured family, home, the dogs and one another. They enjoyed the symphony and the theater, Monday burger night with friends at Charlie Hooper’s, and loved traveling, taking trips to New York for the theater, a safari in Africa, tennis trips with Carriage Club friends to La Jolla, and a very special Caribbean cruise with the whole family, celebrating their 50th anniversary.
Jill and Bill Norden are survived by three children, Meg Lewis (Rick), Deborah Norden (Frank Bright), and Richard Norden (Britton). They also leave nine grandchildren, Austin Proll (Elizabeth), Allison Vance (Andrew), Sarah Lewis, Jillian Lewis, Meghann Norden-Bright, Rebecca Norden-Bright, Taylor Norden, Meredith Norden and Medill Norden. Jill also leaves her sister, Joyce Frehling; her other sister, Janice Ebert, passed away in 2014. Bill Norden is survived by his sister, Barbara Adelsdorf and her husband, John Adelsdorf.
A memorial service to celebrate their lives will be held on March 5th, at 3:00 pm at St. Andrews Episcopal Church with a reception immediately following at the Kansas City Country Club. In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations to the Great Plains SPCA, Kemper Museum of Art, St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation, or a charity that is important to you.