Memorial Reflection for Norma J. Abraham
NORMA JEAN ABRAHAM was a pioneer, a trailblazer. Born Norma Brannan in West Unity, Ohio, she followed an incomparable pathway through life.
Two decades after her birth, March 23, 1928, and after graduating from Flint Northern High School in Michigan as valedictorian, she was selected by her male supervisor/mentor at the Buick Division of General Motors to blaze a new trail in the burgeoning field of computers, the first woman to do so. It had been, exclusively, a man’s world. Her boss recognized technical potential and her fearless nature.
Norma’s innate talent, energy and perseverance served her well, as it did for the uncountable number of men she mentored herself as the use of computers expanded. Some of these men treasure their relationship with her as would a son.
Norma’s fascination with electronic devices stayed with her to the end of her 91 years. She flourished in the many decades she designed, edited and published on her laptop computer the community newsletter at Lee Plantation in Fort Myers, Florida. She eagerly learned, at the age of 90, the intricacies of online buying, as well as computer games. She was paying her bills with her I-book at the Hope Care Center in Fort Myers just days before she ended her journey in life, Tuesday, May 21, 2019.
Norma was preceded in death by her loving husband Cyrus in 2012, after their 59 years of marriage which included a wide range of travel from their personally built home in Burton, Michigan (with a shuffleboard lane in their basement) and many satisfying years doing craft projects together, and being fans of Detroit Tigers baseball.
Norma was a life model for many and an inspiration to many more who admired her single-minded determination and her generosity. She will rest in peace in the hearts of her many friends and relatives, as well as her regular Mahjong and bingo-playing companions in her neighborhood. The legacy of Norma Jean Abraham will live on, for sure.
Also preceding Norma in death are her parents, Ora and Helen Brannan, and brothers Richard Brannan and Robert Brannan. Surviving Norma is her sister, Shirley Smith of Indiana, and several nieces and nephews.