Norman H. Van Beek passed away in Missoula, Mont., on April 14, 2018. He was born on Nov. 23, 1926, to John and Ella (Ryckman) Van Beek.
He and his three siblings were all born in the same farm house near Westfield, N.D. In 1937 the family moved to Washington state and settled in Shelton. Later, in 1943, the family moved to the Aberdeen area where Norm spent most of his adult life.
Norm was a World War II veteran. He served in the U.S. Army Infantry and was on a ship headed for Tokyo when the war ended and thus, for the next two years, served in the U.S. occupying forces.
Over the next many years, after his return from the service, Norm worked as a millwright at several lumber mills in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties.
After he retired, he worked in the wild mushroom business traveling from Tok, Alaska, to Happy Camp, Calif., including Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon. He fondly remembered those years as being one new adventure after another.
Norm was an avid bowler and a self taught guitarist. He would spend hours on end playing and singing country music. He was well known for his quick wit – he had a great sense of humor. He will always have a special place in the hearts of all of us who love him, and will forever be missed.
Norm was predeceased by his son, John; his grandson, Michael Paul, and by his sister, Helen Corey. He is survived by his daughter, Laurie Chesterman; sons, Steve and Paul Van Beek, all of Grays Harbor; daughter, Theresa Barba of Montana; brother, Russel (Donna) Van Beek of Lebanon, Ore.; sister, Ruby (Charlie) McBride of Montesano; and several grand and great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life for Norm will take place at the Hoquiam Elks on Sunday, May 20, 2018, at 1 p.m.