Memorial tribute to Kathy A. Norman Sept. 26
By Susan Johnson
A memorial ceremony in tribute to Kathryn A. Norman, daughter of retired Rockford Park District Director Webbs Norman, will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, at Searls Dog Park, 4950 Safford Road.
Kathryn Norman was born July 25, 1964, and passed away Dec. 31, 2008. The location to honor her was chosen because she cherished the quiet times she spent at the dog park with her beloved dogs, Biko and Darby. She deeply appreciated the natural beauty of the parks and trails and found joy in watching dogs romp and play off leash. She instilled a spirit of camaraderie, greeting all with a warm smile. She valued her dog park friends and served as a passionate advocate for the parks, championing their ongoing development and the importance of bringing dogs and their owners together.
Jay Sandine will be master of ceremonies. Reflections will be given by the following people: Paula Christensen (co-founder of dog parks); Kristine Cohn (past Winnebago County Board Chairman and personal friend); JB and Lani Ferguson (Canine Corners Advisory Committee members); Cheryl Baldwin (on behalf of the Norman family).
Canines and their companions are invited to join the Webbs Norman family for a short walk in the woods, and gather for a special memorial tribute to Kathy. Refreshments will be served after the program, including a sampling of Kathy’s favorite desserts.
Kathy’s love of the woods and trails of Searls Park is shared by her many friends who saw the need to expand the park to include this natural area. A memorial statue and bench have been placed along the trail in Kathy’s memory as a reminder to stop and enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature around us.
Her father, Webbs Norman, said,
Thanks to the generosity of over 100 donors, the Park District has been able to double the size of Canine Corners Dog Park located in Searls Park. It was Kathy’s favorite park area, and especially her two Burmese mountain dogs, Biko and Darby. One weighs 150 pounds, and the other weighs about 130. They will be at the dedication on Saturday morning. She took them to the park virtually every morning and every evening to both exercise and socialize both her dogs and herself. She thought so much of the friends she made at the dog park who will have a very active role in the program on Saturday. We as the Norman family hope that many will come to join us on Saturday morning. I can assure you that you will enjoy the program as well as the wonderful refreshments that the staff of the Park District has prepared for everyone’s enjoyment.
From the September 23-29, 2009 issue
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