MUNISING, Mich. - A mother once prayed for her almost two year old child, who was near death , to survive in the wide-spread flu epidemic of 1918. And she must have prayed long and hard because even though many others around them succumbed, her child lived on to be ninety-five years, six months, and six days of age.
Norman Hector Methot, was born in a house in Loud Spur, Michigan (a town now defunct since 1921, that had a peak population of 365) on December 10, 1916 to George and Georgianna (Perault) Methot. He attended a one room school in Kiva and later took the school bus (sleigh) to Eben. His early years were spent cutting pulp wood in the lumber camps or doing "anything you could get, even if it paid so much as a dime." The family eventually moved to Trenary, living in a small house on the main street (still there). In 1939, Norman married Marcella, daughter of William and Belle (Stine) Fitzgerald, who owned a farm a few miles up the E-T Road towards Traunik.
In the early '40s, he and brother Leo hitchhiked to Detroit, each with five dollars in their pocket, where he found work as a turret lathe operator and finally doing setup work on this and other machines for the Packard Motor Car Company. However in January of 1944, this career was interrupted by a call from Uncle Sam to join him for a little trip Europe. He became a Automatic Rifleman and volunteered to join the paratroopers and was assigned to Co. C, 504th Parachute Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division and serving in the Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe Campaigns. He was awarded the EAME Theater Ribbon with three Bronze Stars, Bronze Arrowhead, WWII Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman's Badge, and Parachutist Badge. After surviving the Battle of the Bulge and mopping up in Berlin before General Eisenhower's arrival, he returned home and he and Marcella retuned to the U.P. living in Wetmore where he and brother Manny took employment with Willie Clark's Garage (site of Joe's Auto Body) for a short time before purchasing a house in Munising and working as a mechanic for the Ford Motor Company which had a showroom on Superior Street (now Auto Value and Hall Construction). When Ford decided to close their dealership, Norm purchased the building along with George Cooley and went into business as C and M Service. When George retired he was joined by Jake Dominick as the body man.
Norman Hector Methot
In the late '60s and early '70s he accepted the Local Chrysler Dealership, selling Dodge, Plymouth, and Chrysler products. After several years he gave this portion of the business up, but continued to do mechanic work until he retired in 1989 at the age of 73, following the death of his wife, Marcella.
Norm was a member of Sacred Heart Church, a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus, and social member of the American Legion. In his early years Norm liked to golf (last time at age 94), bowl (many trophies, once he and four of his brothers made up an all brothers team and bowled in the Peterson Classic in Chicago, a rarity even there), playing cards with the Sandbagger, watching the Packers lose, music, and of course go to hunting camp during deer season. Although he completed only nine years of school, he was one of the wisest person you could talk to and one of the best men to ever walk these streets of Munising.
Norman ended life's journey early Saturday, June 16, 2012, at the Tendercare Health Center in Munising where he had been a resident one month.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Marcella, parents George and Georgianna, brothers Leonard, Leon, Lawrence, Harold "Manny", Velbert "Duck", and Russel, and sisters Leona Chroge, Ardith Munn, and Geraldine Vadnais, parents-in-law William and Belle Fitzgerald, brothers-in-law Jim and Wilfred Fitzgerald, sisters-in-law Anna Mae Cheverette, Dorothy Viau, and Shirley Mohar and some nieces and nephews. Norm is survived by his son William "Dino" of Munising, brothers Willard of Okemos and Arnold ( Gerry) of Laverne, MI, sister-in-law Edith Methot of Hamptonville, NC and Ada (Joe) Begovac of Trenary, good friend of many years Stowe LaFave of Packer-Backer Blvd. a multitude of nieces (including seven brats) and nephews and great-nieces and nephews. All of whom he held a special affection for, "Sing the Froggy Song, Uncle Norman."
If you believe in an afterlife, then you need not be saddened by death. But those who knew and loved him will miss him.
Visitation will be on Thursday, June 21, 2012, starting with the praying of the Rosary at 4:45 p.m. Visiting time will continue from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. A combined Parish Vigil and Knights of Columbus service will begin at 7:00 p.m. Father Chris Gardiner will celebrate Norm's funeral Mass on Friday, June 22 at 11:00 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Church in Munising. His obituary and guestbook may be viewed and signed at www.bowermanfuneralhome.net