517 E Washington St, Arma, KS 66712

HELEN VIRGINIA NORMAND September 7, 1939 - January 9, 2023

Date of Funeral

January 12, 2023

Helen Virginia Normand, age 83, Pittsburg, KS, formerly of Arma, passed away on Monday, January 9, 2023, at Via Christi Hospital, Pittsburg.  She was born September 7, 1939, at the family home north of Nevada, MO.  The youngest of three children born to James and Cornelia Tapp Rutledge, she was raised in Vernon County.  She attended one-room elementary schools through eighth grade and graduated from Nevada High School in 1957.  In 1961, she graduated from Missouri State University at Springfield with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.  While a senior she was named to “Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities”.  In 1987, Helen earned a master’s degree in education as a Reading Specialist from Pittsburg State University.

On a blind date in the summer of 1961, she met her future husband, Marcel Normand, Arma, KS.  He was an instructor at Fort Scott Community College, Fort Scott, KS and she had contracted to teach first grade in Nevada that fall.  After a whirlwind courtship the two married on June 23, 1962, at the First Christian Church of Nevada.  They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2022.  He survives at the home.  They lived in Fort Scott during their first year where Helen worked for Western Insurance Co.  In 1963, they moved to Arma where they made their home for over 50 years before moving to Pittsburg in 2017.  She taught kindergarten for two years until the birth of their first child.  After the arrival of another son and daughter, Helen remained a homemaker, a job she loved, while the children were young.  When they entered school, she worked in the family businesses-Normand Furniture, part time, and managed Normand Realty until 1980 when she re-entered teaching at Pittsburg’s St. Mary’s Elementary School.  Helen taught fourth grade there for a year, then returned to Arma’s Northeast Elementary and taught Title I reading until her retirement in 2001.

Helen was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of Arma from 1964, when the pastor, Fr. John Reinkemeyer, brought the couple into the Church after having been introduced to Fr. Reinkemeyer by Marcel’s longtime friend and high school classmate, Fr. Joseph Gorentz.  She was a member of St. Ann’s Altar Society where she served as President for ten years.  She co-chaired the annual Community Pantry for nine years with Nadine Jones of the Methodist Church-an inter-Church project to supply the area needy with Christmas gifts.  She also helped form the Adoration Chapel for St. Joseph’s.  Helen was known for her sweet, loving nature and kind heart as well as a devoted wife and mother.  Wisdom and humility were two of her greatest gifts.

Survivors include Marcel, her  husband of 60 years; two sons, Tim Normand and wife, Lisa, Pittsburg; Ty Normand and wife, Caryn, Frontenac; and one daughter, Teresa Lobb and husband, Chris, Lenexa; a sister, Christine Smith, Omaha; a brother-in-law, Richard Normand and his wife, Nancy Normand who is also her first cousin, Frontenac; Grandchildren: Grant, Garrett (Molli), Brett and Blake Normand, Pittsburg; Abby Asauskas and husband, Ryan, Lenexa; Shelby Normand, Pittsburg; T.J. Normand, Joplin; Tara, Adam, Ryan, Brandon and Ben Lobb, Lenexa; Great grandchildren: Echo Marie Normand, Maverick Marcel Normand and David Marcel Asauskas.  Also, deep affections were: an honorary special ‘granddaughter’, Annie Lobb Rajguru, Columbia; four step-grandchildren: Montana Cherry, Oregon; Jeff McClain, Pittsburg; Trey Dawson and wife, Brittany, Miami, OK; and Tyler Dawson, Nashville; Three step great-grandchildren: Caden and Alivia, Iola, KS; and Landen Dawson, Miami, OK; her many dear nieces, nephews and cousins and her loving caregivers Jaedyn Ore, Anna Townsend and Toni Cattone.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her parents-in-law, Marcel F. and Mary Normand; a brother, James Norman Rutledge, several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, January 12, 2023 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Arma with Fr. Josh Evans as celebrant and Fr. Lee Yoakam as concelebrant.  Burial will follow at the Pittsburg Garden of Memories Cemetery.  The parish Rosary will be recited at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at Bedene Funeral Home in Arma where the family will receive friends until 7 p.m.  Friends may call after 11 a.m. on Wednesday at the Bedene Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly suggests memorials to the Normand Scholarship Fund for St. Mary’s-Colgan at PSU or for Spiritual Masses for Helen.  These may be sent or left at the Bedene Funeral Home, 517 E. Washington, Box 621, Arma, KS  66712.


Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at 5:30 P.M.
Bedene Funeral Home
Arma, Kansas

Family will receive friend following the rosary until 7:00 P.M.

Mass of Christian Burial

Thursday, January 12, 2023 at 10:00 A.M.
St. Joseph Catholic Church
Arma, Kansas

Burial will follow at the Pittsburg Garden of Memories Cemetery.


  1. REPLY
    Pam Pollock, former student says

    I am so sorry for the loss of your lovely wife Helen. My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

  2. REPLY
    Darian Paul Dernovish says

    Mr. Normand,

    I am so sorry for your loss and I will keep you and your wonderful family in my prayers.


    Darian (Paul) Dernovish

  3. REPLY
    Dr. Michelle Martin says

    Dearest Marcel and Family,
    I am so saddened to learn of Helen’s passing. Please know that I am holding you all in the light, thoughts, and prayers. Helen’s life was one of service and kindness and her impact on others is a wonderful legacy she leaves behind. Many her memory be a blessing to all who knew and loved her. Sending you all my deepest sympathies.

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