It is with great sadness that the family of Norma Jean Gatz announces her passing on September 7th, 2018 at 9:15 pm. Mom was born July 23rd, 1926 in Lincoln, Nebraska to Floyd E and Hilda Marie (Miller) McCarty. She joined her sister, Lois Lee (McCarty) Reina and welcomed Mildred Ann McCarty and Floyd (John) B. McCarty to the family in subsequent years. Shortly after her birth the family moved to Falls City, Nebraska, where they made their home.
Mom attended Falls City High School and left to work at the Douglas Bomber Plant in 1944 building B29 bombers during WW II. She met and married Jack Morgan in 1946. They had two sons, Michael Kent Morgan and Jack Scott Morgan. Jack died in 1959 while they were living in Kennewick Washington.
In 1961 Mom moved back to Falls City and married Maynard E. Smith. They had two children, Shari Lynn (Smith) Cooley and Mark Shannon Smith. Maynard died in 1964. In 1978 Mom married Vernon T. Gates, who would be her lifetime companion of 36 years. Vernon died in 2014.
Mom worked as a telephone operator, in retail and many Falls City kids will remember her as the North School lunch lady back in the 70’s with her best friend Mickey Piper. Her most cherished role, though was being a Mom, she devoted her life to us and always encouraged us to live our best lives. She was a doting grandmother to her five grandchildren, Travis Morgan, Shelby and Dalton Smith and Mary and Jack Cooley. They brought her great pride and joy.
She loved her friends and was blessed with many from her bowling gals, her girlfriends at Wilderness Falls and in her last home at Falls City Community where she lived these last two months.
On Saturdays in the fall, she was watching Nebraska football in her Husker gear. She was an avid bowler and was on leagues in Falls City, traveling to many tournaments with her longtime teammates, Peg, Bonnie, Bev, Beulah and Mickey which including many National Championships.
Golfing was also a passion of hers and she spent many summer days at the Country Club playing the course.
Mom is survived by her children, Michael and Michele Morgan (Australia); Jack and Sherry Morgan of Lincoln, Shari Cooley of Overland Park, KS and Mark Smith and Jackie McClane, of Plattsmouth, NE and grandchildren, Travis and Shirley Morgan of Australia, Shelby Smith of Phoenix, AZ, Dalton Smith of Kearney, NE, Mary and Jack Cooley of Overland Park, KS and her brother Floyd B. McCarty of Pinole, CA, Brother in law, Rex and Virginia Jones, Sister’s in law, Margy Jones of Falls City, Delma Hollens of Wahoo, NE and Elizabeth Gatz of Chicago, IL. Mom was preceded in death by her parents, Floyd and Hilda McCarty, sisters, Lois Reina and Mildred McCarty and husbands Jack Morgan, Maynard Smith and Vernon Gatz.
Family will receive visitors at Dorr and Clark Funeral Home on October 5, from 7-8:00 p.m..
A graveside service will be held at 11:00 am on October 6, at Steele Cemetery with a luncheon for family and friends to follow.
Memorials to Family Choice in care of Dorr and Clark Funeral Home.