Obituary: Norman Eugene Byrum

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Norman Eugene Byrum

March 2, 1934 – April 13, 2017

Norman Eugene Byrum passed into the presence of the Lord at the age of 83 on April 13 at his home in Brawley, Ca.  Norm was born on March 2, 1934 in Washington County, Arkansas.  His family lived in Madrid, New Mexico until moving to rural Imperial Valley in 1946.

Norm graduated from Mulberry School east of Brawley and attended Brawley Union High School.  Norm played on the high school football team and was a lifelong “Wildcat”.  During his senior year, Norm wed his inseparable love, Ina Mae.  Together they made a home in the town they loved for 65 years before Ina Mae’s passing in 2015.

Norm began working in agriculture at an early age, working on a farm with his father and at age 16 he was employed at George M. Bell Equipment Company.  Bell was bought out several years later and became Jordan Implement Company.  Norm continued in the farm equipment business, working his way up to become Vice-President and General Manager of the company before retiring several years ago.

Norm was an innovator in the farm equipment industry and embraced new technologies such as large scale rubber tire equipped tractors and laser equipped land levelers. Through his leadership, Jordan Implement sold and serviced more cotton pickers than any other dealer during the crop’s heyday and became the number one dealer for Versatile Tractors.

Norm developed a network of friends in the business that reached across the US and Mexico.  He would quickly be able to find an item that may be in short supply for his customers, or find a home for a piece of used equipment.

He and Ina Mae raised two caring daughters, Sherri and Valeri, who attended Brawley schools before both graduating from colleges in California.  Norm was not able to attend college himself, but was adamant that his children took advantage of the opportunity to do so.  Norm was a long-time member of the Brawley Elks Lodge, Stockmen’s Club, Del Rio Country Club, Rotary, BUHS Athletic Boosters, and Imperial County Historical Society.  Norm also enjoyed singing in the Imperial Valley Master Chorale and his church choir for many years.

Norm and Ina Mae enjoyed traveling and one of their most memorable adventures was when they took their three young grandchildren on a trip back to the South to meet family relatives.  They were quite busy for the 10 days, while enjoying family hospitality and Hurricane Bertha!  In his later years, Norm greatly enjoyed family get-togethers and dinners with his children, grand-children and great-grandchildren.

Norm was preceded in death by his parents; Garfield and Pearl Byrum, spouse; Ina Mae Byrum; and sister, Loretta Murphy.  He is survived by his daughters, Sherri Wuytens (Ken); Valeri Kruska (Randy); grandchildren; Troy Wuytens (Meghan), Ashley Mendibles (Josh), Dylan Kruska (Kimberly), great-grandchildren; Amelia Gilmore, Emma Wuytens, Eva Mendibles, Ryder Kruska, Lia Mendibles, Ridge Kruska, Waylon Wuytens; Sister-In-Law, Jeanie Morrow (Murray), nieces; Stephenie Magana-Tapia, Dana Morrow and Leslie Morrow and nephews; Andrew Morrow, Patrick Morrow and Tony Martin.

Services will be celebrated at Frye Chapel and Mortuary at 10:00 a.m., Friday, April 21, 2017.  Private interment will follow at Riverview Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in his memory to United Way of Imperial County at www.unitedwayic.com

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