Age 88, of Bethany, died peacefully Saturday morning June 8, 2013 at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, her loving family at her side. She was born April 25, 1925 in Poysippi, WI to the late Emil & Emma (Krause) Hefke, also preceded in death by her husband, Harold J. Zehler in 2009; daughter, Linda Susan; son, William John; siblings, Dorothy (late Clarence) Buckwell, Mabel Maples and Martin Hefke; sister-in-law, Mary (late Kenneth) Zehler-Fiebelkorn.
At the age of 11/2 Norma moved to and grew up in Clarendon, NY on the family farm and attended Holley Central School. In 1942, she met her future husband, Harold Zehler at a dance. After returning from WWII in 1946, they became engaged and were married September 27, 1947 at St. Joseph's Church in Batavia. Together they purchased their beef cattle farm in Bethany which they owned and operated all their married life, she also worked for the Eastman Kodak Co. They became active members of the Immaculate Conception Church of East Bethany along with the community of Bethany that became a large part of Norma's life. She was active in many organizations, including the Bethany Grange, Bethany Home Bureau, Bethany Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary and was a charter member, Bethany Republican Committee and former Chairperson, Genesee County Republican Committee and Genesee County Women's Republican Club, American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Post #332 and was Harold's Court Clerk while he served as Bethany Town Justice for 16 years.
Norma especially enjoyed her flowers, vegetable garden, canning and in the 70's tried a new hobby, cake decorating. Norma's special occasion and wedding cakes became popular in the area, along with being an instructor for Wilton Cake Decorating for many years.
Surviving are her beloved children, Robert (Julie) Zehler of Alexander, Kathleen (Donald) Kellner of Attica and Barbara (Ralph) Eddy of Alexander; brothers, Harold (Jeana) Hefke of Clarendon, Edson (Barbara) Hefke of Brockport, Norman (Suzanne) Hefke of Marquette, MI; sisters, Eva (late John) Kinsey of Clarendon, Rena (late Dayton) Bills of Greece, Marion (Fred Johnson) Fountain of Albion; sister-in-law Jane (late Leon) Smigelski of Batavia; grandchildren, Jason (Ashley) Zehler, Jacqueline Kellner-Hiczewski, Michelle (Anish) Kellner-Patel, Lindsey Zehler, Sarah (Christopher) Eddy-Bobo, Susan and Benjamin Eddy; great-grandchildren, Ryan, Logan, Colton & Dakota Zehler, Coleman Hiczewski, Keean & Brayden Patel and Edward Bobo along with many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends may visit from 2-4 & 6-8 PM on Tuesday June 11, 2013 at the Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, LLC 4120 West Main Street Batavia, New York 14020 where the Bethany Volunteer Fire Department and Ladies Auxiliary will gather at 7:30 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for Norma 11:00 AM Wednesday June 12 at Mary Immaculate Parish (Immaculate Conception Site), followed by her burial alongside her husband in Maple Lawn Cemetery in Bethany Center. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes memorials in Norma's memory be made to Mary Immaculate Parish, PO Box 98 East Bethany or the Bethany Volunteer Fire Dept., Old Telephone Road East Bethany, New York 14054.
Please share your memories of Norma, with her family at www.tomaszewskifh.com and for more information call Michael at (585)343-7500.
THE FAMILY OF NORMA OLGA HEFKE ZEHLER IS BEING CARED FOR BY THE MICHAEL S. TOMASZEWSKI FUNERAL & CREMATION CHAPEL, LLC 4120 WEST MAIN STREET ROAD BATAVIA, NEW YORK 14020.