Norman A. Lassey
January 16, 1916- January 19, 2016
Norman A. Lassey, devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed away peacefully on January 19, 2016 in San Diego California. He was 99 years old.
Born on June 16, 1916 in Merced California to Harry and Nellie Lassey, the family moved around during the Great Depression and finally settled in Palisades, Colorado where his father raised peaches. Norman joined the army in 1942; after four years of service in multiple positions he was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant in the Transportation Corps in 1946.
In 1946 Norman acquired the Barq’s franchise and moved to Brawley, along with his brother Russell and father, establishing the Barq’s Bottling Co. It was also during this time he met the love of his life, Margaret Nilles, and they were married on July 3, 1948 in San Diego.
In 1951, Norman, his brother and father, acquired the Pepsi franchise, and in 1957 further expansion included the addition of the Seven-up Bottling Co.
In 1972 his brother left the business to move to Idaho and Norman bought the Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. and also formed Casa Grande Enterprises, a canning co-op in Arizona where he was President until he retired and sold his business in 1984.
Norman was involved in many community projects. He served on the Brawley Chamber of Commerce and received the Branding Iron Award in 1994.
Norman served on the Imperial County Historical Society and in 1999 built the Wildlife Gallery for the Imperial Valley Museum with his friend Herb Lee.
Norman also served on the Board of the Pioneers Memorial Hospital Foundation and received the Margaret Award named after his wife in 2012. He organized a golf tournament to benefit the hospital, which is now an annual event.
In 2013 he was the 1st recipient of the Imperial Valley Community Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award on National Philanthropy Day. Norman was a member of the Brawley Rotary Club keeping perfect attendance for 50 years. He was a Paul Harris Fellow and was made an Honorary Rotarian in October 2015.
Norman’s greatest passion, commitment and devotion was to his wife of 63 years, Margaret Lassey, his daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Norman was greatly loved by his family and will be dearly missed. He is survived by his daughter Carol (Bud) Greaves and granddaughters, Shelley (Steve) Ridge and Christi (Jeff) McClain, great grandchildren, Allison and Austin Ridge, and Holly and Carter McClain. Norman is also survived by his sister Betty Weeks, sister-in-law Elvira Lassey, brother-in-law Joe Lang, and numerous nieces and nephews. Norman was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret, brothers Russell and Newell Lassey, sister Nellie Lang, and sister-in-law Margie Lassey.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 27 at 10:30 a.m. at Frye Chapel and Mortuary in Brawley.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made in memory of Norman Lassey to the Pioneers Memorial Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 1571, Brawley, CA 92227 or to The Imperial County Historical Society, 373 East Aten Road, Imperial, CA 92251.