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Obituary: Norman Earl Witherbee

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Posted at 12:46 PM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 14:46:13-04

Norman Earl Witherbee passed away on April 29, 2024 in Bozeman, MT at the age of 90.

He was born on July 29, 1933 to Glen H. and Laura Studley Witherbee. Although his birth certificate states Frazer, MT as his place of birth, Norm loved to tell any who asked that he was born under Fort Peck Lake. The damn was just starting to be built which would soon flood out the family homestead. At that time, the family moved to Glasgow, MT where Norman was raised with his four older brothers.

Norman joined the Navy in 1951, where he served on the USS Missouri battleship and the USS Oriskany aircraft carrier during the Korean War and was honorably discharged in 1955.

On July 22, 1956, he married Donna Taylor in Havre, MT. From that union, they were blessed with three children, Cheryl, Marlys, and, Wyatt. The couple divorced in 1974.

Norman was active in the First Presbyterian Church in Great Falls, where he led the high school youth group for several years and was active in the Mariners Club. He also served as an elder for several years.

A hard worker, Norman tried his hand at many things, but it was ultimately in the car business where he found his passion. It all began in the mid-1960s at Frontier Dodge in Great Falls.

In 1974, he moved back to Havre where he worked as the sales manager at Hi-Line Auto Center. Over the next several decades Norman was the sales manager of dealerships in Hamilton, Lewistown, Great Falls, Helena, Ohio and Washington.

Norm finally returned to Helena where he found his soulmate in Myrna Swan and the two of them opened the Car Corner used car lot in Helena.

Norman and Myrna loved to go on drives just to see where the road would take them. The road often led to the Gold Coast of Oregon and the Seattle area to visit family.

In 2022, Norman moved to Bozeman to be closer to his daughter.

Norman was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Myrna; son, Wyatt W. Witherbee; brothers, Chelmer Witherbee, Walter Witherbee, Bruce Witherbee and Lester Witherbee. He is survived by his daughters Cheryl (Darby) Minnick of Bozeman and Marlys (Bruce) Flathers of Havre; Grandsons Nathan Minnick of Bozeman; Ethan Flathers of Norfolk, VA; and Evan Flathers of Spokane, WA; Granddaughter Natalie (Mike) Hixson of Bozeman; and Great-Granddaughters Enya Hixson, Skye Hixson, Shay Hixson, and Estella Minnick all of Bozeman.

The family thanks the staff at the Springs Living, especially the assisted living care staff! Also, many thanks to Stillwater Hospice, Cornerstone Caregiving, and the VA Homebased Primary Care team! Dad’s quality of life was so much better because of your help!

At Norman’s request, there will be no memorial service. Interment will be in the Fort Harrison Veterans’ Memorial Wall in Helena, MT. Memorials may be made to Stillwater Hospice of Bozeman (www.stillwaterhospice.com/donations) or to the charity of one’s choice. Arrangements are being handled by www.dokkennelson.com