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Norma Crouch

Norma Sparks Crouch, 90, of Ankeny, formerly of Newton, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, February 16, 2017, at University Park Care and Rehab Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

Memorial services were held at 11 a.m. on Monday, February 20 at Ankeny First United Methodist Church in Ankeny, Iowa. The Rev. Charles Tefft officiated.

Graveside services were held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21 in Sunset View Cemetery at Washta. The Rev. Barb Dinelli officiated. There will be no visitation.

Boothby Funeral Home in Cherokee, Iowa, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be left at

Norma was born to Elmer DeWitt Sparks and June J. Ellsworth Sparks near a Jasper County home on June 30, 1926.

She was a graduate of Newton High School with the class of 1944. In May of 2014, she celebrated her 70th high school class reunion at a gathering in Newton. Norma attended Iowa State College for three years, majoring in applied art.

She married her sweetheart, Gregg Crouch on June 5, 1948, in Ames, Iowa. They were married for 60 years, prior to Gregg’s passing in 2008.

Norma had quit her studies to support Gregg finishing his studies at Drake, and then later to help support her family. She worked for Heartland Education Agency for 15 years, sending out the book orders to all the teachers in Area 11, prior to her retirement.

Norma and Gregg had two children, Eric and Marcene. As a couple for 60 years, they enjoyed playing cards with friends and extensive travels, including England, Ireland, Hawaii, Paris, and traveling through the United States. She loved Iowa, and she visited many of the county courthouses in the state.

Norma was an avid reader after college. Other hobbies included gardening, all kinds of crafts, genealogy studies, and various collections of buttons, stamps, pens and pencils.

She was a member of the Ankeny First United Methodist Church, had been secretary for many years of the United Methodist Women and on the church’s library board for several years. Norma also volunteered at the Iowa State Fair as an information person.

She enjoyed gardening and was part of the Union Park Garden Club in Des Moines. She also formed and taught in the Ankeny Junior Garden Club, and she served the Ankeny Garden Club as acting president. She won many awards at the Iowa State Fair for her flower arrangements.

A favorite memory of Norma’s was a childhood classmate’s statement to her when they were much older and grown up with families: “You were the biggest tomboy when we were kids, and now look at you — a sophisticated lady.”

Norma was shy, and she had strong convictions throughout her life. She was generous, giving financially to multiple charitable organizations, and volunteering her time and talents. She will be missed by those closest to her.

She is survived by her two children: Marcene Daniel (Kenneth Bennett) of Shellsburg, Iowa, and Eric Crouch (David Sharp) of Ankeny, Iowa; a brother-in-law, Gary (Nancy) Crouch of Washta, Iowa; a nephew, Michael Crouch of Indiana; a niece, Amy Crouch of Remsen, Iowa; and two great-nephews and one great niece.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Gregg E. Crouch on June 24, 2008; and a sister and brother-in-law, Velma Jean (Dean) Price.

Memorials may be made to Ankeny First United Methodist Church or an organization for the blind. Norma was legally blind from macular degeneration for the last 10 years, and she benefited from their services by listening to, rather than reading, multiple books.

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