Norma McPheron Netherland, 83, of 182 Lone Oak Road, Surgoinsville, TN, passed away Monday, October 1, 2007 at Wellmont Holston Valley Hospital, Kingsport, Sullivan Co TN after a sudden illness.
Norma was an extraordinary mother and friend, and a tireless volunteer who served her community for more than 50 years to the very day preceding her untimely death. As a mother of four children, she volunteered to work with the schools and 4-H Clubs in Hawkins County. Her interest in working with children led to a forty-year career as substitute teacher in the school system, where she knew and influenced thousands of children.
As a volunteer, she helped make Hawkins County 4-H Club the largest and most honored club in the country, by helping young people develop many achievements and honors. Over her 30-year volunteer career, she received many recognitions and awards including the Tennessee Friendship Award for outstanding service and support to the District V 4-H program, Outstanding 4-H Leader in East Tennessee, and the State 4-H Alumni Award for her leadership activities.
She was also an accomplished seamstress, cook and homemaker. She made thousands of garments from band uniforms to wedding dresses, and wore out many sewing machines over the years. She taught many young people how to cook and prepare meals, and many profess to have learned how to make biscuits at her tableside. She tirelessly organized and cooked many, many meals for church and lodge functions. Many brides asked for her services in organizing weddings and receptions. She was a member of the Family and Community Education program of the Agricultural Extension Service. In 1979 she was recognized as the Outstanding Home Economics Leader in East Tennessee. In 1991 she received the Tennessee Extension Homemaker Award for international projects and the National Extension Homemakers Council Award for outstanding volunteer service to the community and nation.
She was a member of the Fairview Chapter No. 80, Order of the Eastern Star serving as Worthy Matron and Grand Representative to Manitoba, Canada. She also held many other offices in the organization. As Mother Advisor from 1989 to 2002 to the Church Hill Assembly No. 105 Order of the Rainbow for Girls, she mentored many young women. As a result of her work, she was appointed the Tennessee State Mother Advisor.
She was also a hospital volunteer at Hawkins County Memorial Hospital for several years and served as president of the organization.
Her community recognitions include an award as Citizen of the Year by the Surgoinsville Ruritan Club in 2000. She also received the Civic Responsibility and Outstanding Character Award in 2003 from the 1st Tennessee Human Resource Agency, one of few people to be so honored.
She was a long-time active member of First Baptist Church of Surgoinsville.
Her greatest achievement remains the success of her family and the many young people she taught, mentored and influenced over the years. She will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.
Norma was preceded in death by her husband Ralph Netherland and daughter Carolyn Wiggs. She is survived by two daughters Patsy Norris and her husband Lynn, Janet Sandidge and husband John; a son Bob Netherland and wife Mary Richards; five grandchildren, Doug Sandidge and wife Gretchen, Sean Wiggs and wife Julia, Jeremy Norris and wife Amanda, Jason Norris and wife Rachel, and Jared Norris and wife Katie; three great-grandchildren, Madison and Mason Sandidge and Will Norris. She is also survived by sisters, Juree Bass and husband Ralph, Margaret Allen and husband Jack, and a brother Tolby McPheron and several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday evening from 4 to 7 p.m. at Carter-Trent Funeral Home of Church Hill or friends may also call anytime at the residence of the daughter, Patsy Norris, 156 Lone Oak Road. An Order of Eastern Star service will be conducted by Fairview Chapter # 80 O.E.S at 7 p.m. in the funeral home chapel with a memorial service to follow with Rev. Brad Smith officiating.
A graveside service and burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday September 4, 2007 at the Liberty Hill Cemetery in Mount Carmel, TN. Friends are asked to meet at the cemetery by 10:50 a.m. Grandsons will serve as pallbearers. You can send an online condolence to the family of Norma Netherland by visiting