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In Memory Of Our Poets

Norma Jean Somerset (Welch) (Johnson) (1924-2017)) - Class Of 1943

Norma Jean Somerset Welch Johnson, 92, of Montgomery, AL, died October 17 after a brief illness. She was predeceased by her parents, Clyde and Minnie Clyde Somerset, her brother, Clyde Somerset, Jr., and her two husbands.

Born in Troy, Alabama, Norma Somerset attended Sidney Lanier High School and Howard College where she earned a B.S. degree in Business. She married Wallace Welch, who helped her raise their one child, Amanda. Norma nursed Wallace through an extended illness after a 26-year marriage and then fell in love with family friend Harold Johnson. She embraced his family as her own. Norma then nursed Harold through a lengthy illness following another 26-year marriage.

Norma was a charter member of Heritage Baptist Church, formerly Clayton Street. An accomplished artist, Norma thrilled churchgoers with her famous chalk talks. She loved her church and adored her friends in the Faith Sunday School class, even though she never was really comfortable with all that contemporary music! She loved to make custom greeting cards and send them to her friends and family.

Norma served as a teacher and then a guidance counselor at Robert E Lee High School for 23 years, shaping the lives of countless young people. She was elected to the Lee High School Hall of Fame in recognition of her service.

Norma is survived by her daughter Amanda Welch Borden and son-in-law Lee, daughter Linda Bartholme and son-in-law Rich, and son Tommy Johnson and daughter-in-law Taci. Her grandchildren are Joe Borden (Michelle), Adrian Borden, Derek Johnson (Leigh), Keith Johnson (Missy), Casey Westbrook (Trey), Derek Ruud (Kate), Lindsey Gamble (Travis), Kim Millhouse (Paul), and Kelly Wiggins (Tony). She is also survived by her niece Connie Manoliu (Gary) and nephew Scott Somerset (Karen), as well as 25 great-grandchildren and one great-nephew. Norma loved every one of them.

Visitation with the family will take place at Leak Memory Chapel in Montgomery on Saturday, October 21, at 9:00 am. The funeral will be at 10:00 am, followed by a graveside service in Greenwood Cemetery. Norma's grandsons will serve as pallbearers, and the deacons of Heritage Baptist Church will serve as honorary pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to Heritage Baptist Church. 

Published in the Montgomery Advertiser on Oct. 19, 2017.