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Norman (Norm) Stevens

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Norman (Norm) Richard Stevens, 74, passed away on Friday, September 15, 2023.

Norman (Norm) Richard Stevens was born to Richard and Billie Stevens on July 26, 1949 in Des Moines, Iowa. Norm’s brother, Larry, was born six years later in 1955, giving Norm his first troublemaking sidekick. Norm grew up on the southside of Des Moines where he attended Park Avenue and Lincoln High School until 10th grade. With a move to Urbandale, Norm transferred to Urbandale High School and graduated in 1968. His transportation had also graduated from a bicycle to a motorcycle at that time.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in December 1969 and was stationed stateside with the NSA. His tour of duty also took him to Germany and Thailand. During his time in the service, his daughter Melissa was born in 1971. He received an Honorable Discharge on December 13, 1972.

Norm was first introduced to Melinda when they were children and Melinda would bring jewelry repair work from Roger’s Jewelry to Norm’s dad’s repair shop. This could have been the end of their story, but after leaving the Army, Norm had returned to working with his dad and in 1976 he became the person bringing the repaired jewelry back to Younkers, where Melinda worked in the jewelry department. During these visits, Norm, with his purple AMC Javelin, finally convinced Melinda to go out with him on a date and they have been together ever since.

Norm and Melinda were married in October of 1980. They had a stillborn son, Melvin Richard, in 1982. Marcus followed in 1983 and Aleisha in 1986.

Norm loved all forms of artistic expression. Whether it was music, photography, paintings, sketches, or any other visual art form, he would surround himself with it as much as possible. He was an avid reader and would spend hours in bookstores searching for new inspiration, art, and drinking a lot of caffè mochas. Norm loved to travel and his favorite cities were Chicago and Florence, Italy, which we believe was mostly about the art museums, the creative silk ties, and the variety of coffees available.

Professionally, Norm was a fine arts photographer. His work took him all over the country. He was captivated with Alaska’s Northern Lights and landscape (not the bears though). He was adventurous and took pictures from helicopters, airplanes, hot air balloons, boats, race cars, and trains. Basically, anything that moved. His portfolio ranged from Italian Vogue and French Elle to Meredith publications and personal artwork.

His career spanned decades until he retired in 2013 due to being diagnosed with early onset of frontotemporal dementia. He was cared for both at home and at the VA during this time. On Friday, September 15, 2023, Norm passed with Melinda and Aleisha by his side at the Des Moines VA Medical Center.

Norm would want us to leave you with the following guidance:

Be excellent to each other, and party on dudes!

Norm is survived by his wife, Melinda, their children Marcus (Sarah) and Aleisha, his daughter Melissa from a previous relationship, grandchildren Kellan, Olive, Lance, and Anna, and his brother Larry Stevens (Michele Bales).

He was preceded in death by a son Melvin Richard Stevens and parents Richard and Billie Stevens.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, 4:00-7:00 p.m., with the American Legion at 5:30 p.m., and Scriptures at 7:00 p.m., Brooks Funeral Care, 2135 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50315 (formerly Tonini Funeral Home.) Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, September 21, 2023, at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, 15 Indianola Avenue, Des Moines, followed by burial at Glendale Cemetery.



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