Norma M. (Gfeller) Mailen, 101, of Junction City, passed away quietly Monday evening, Dec. 9, 2019, at Brookdale Senior Living in Junction City. Norma was born Oct. 27, 1918, the daughter of Herman and Blanche (Roles) Gfeller. She was born in her parent’s home in the Upland Community, just west of Junction City. At 101 years, she was the eldest Swiss descendent in Kansas. Her parents were of strong Swiss and Irish stock, and Norma inherited strengths from both lineages.
Norma’s childhood on the farm included attending a one-room school house, and a 1920-1938 farming life, including a pony named “Betty.” She had a life-long love of plants and maintaining a beautiful yard, well into her late 90s.
Norma graduated from DCCHS (now Chapman High School) and immediately went to work in Junction City. It was while working in Junction City that she met her future husband, George W. Mailen, who was in the U.S. Army. Norma worked as a typist in Purchasing and Contracts on Ft. Riley through the end of World War II.
George and Norma were married on March 2, 1941, in Kansas City. George died Feb. 11, 2006.
Survivors include George and Norma’s 2 sons, Douglas Mailen and his wife Peggy, Winchester, and Gregory Mailen and his wife Deborah, Chattanooga, TN; 4 grandchildren, Sean Mailen and his wife Lydia, Minneapolis, MN, Tiffany Smith and her husband David Carter, Atlanta, GA, Susan (Mailen) Thibeadeau and her husband Matthieu, Annandale, VA, and Kent Mailen and his wife Jaclyn, Asuncion, Paraguay; 4 great grandchildren, Eden Noel Mailen and Liv Emery Mailen, both of Minneapolis, MN, Ryker Smith, Atlanta, GA, and Elliette Wren Mailen, Asuncion, Paraguay.
Norma was a loyal member of the First Christian Church in Junction City, and the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the church in Norma’s name.
Her family and Junction City residents will miss her warmth for friends and strangers — waving from her porch on warm days — being greeted by a honk, a wave or a hug. Her door was always open, and her love had no limits. Greatly missed you are …. Mom, Mother, Aunt, Cousin, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019 at Johnson Funeral Home with Pastor Ronnie Roberts presiding. The family will greet friends beginning at 10 a.m. until service time at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery, Junction City.