Norman Wiedemann, a loving husband, devoted father and friend passed away peacefully at home on September 25, 2018 surrounded by his family at the age of 83. Norman was preceded in death by his father Fredrich “Fritz”, mother Natasha (Katchen), brother Gerry, daughter Angela Wiedemann-Trissell (2017) granddaughter Lauren Burglund (2007) and Godmother Gilda Stagnaro.
He was born and raised in Santa Cruz, and graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1952. He joined the United States Navy and served during the Korean War from 1953 to 1957 working as a diesel mechanic aboard the submarine tender USS CHANTICLEER. Following his service, he returned to Santa Cruz and worked as an apprentice electrician, earning his “Journeyman” status with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) of which he was very proud to be member for 58 years. In his spare time, he commercially fished for about 20 years on his boats, the “Teresa Ann” and the “Angela Therese”.
In 1958, Norman met Teresa Tagliaferri (Holy Cross Graduate 1958) while both were working on the Santa Cruz Wharf. They were married at Holy Cross Church on February 6, 1960. The couple built a home in 1961 on a portion of the chicken ranch that her mother and father (Mildred and August Tagliaferri) owned in the Live Oak area of Santa Cruz; raising all of their five children in that home. They remained in the same house at 2406 Harper Street until the time of his passing.
Norman purchased a 1947 GMC coach and converted it into a colorfully painted Partridge Family motorhome. The family traveled the country in their decorated bus which was rumored to have broken down in every one of the lower 48 states. Upon his retirement in 2000, Norman sold that bus and purchased a new motorhome where he and Teresa enjoyed 18 more years of traveling.
Affectionately known as “Poppy” he will always be remembered as a colorful man whose joking personality was only outdone by his bright, vibrant and often clashing Tie-dye outfits. Large gatherings with Poppy present would often seem similar to playing “Finding Waldo” as he could be found telling a joke (appropriate or not) for the assembled crowd. He was proud of his family and loved them with every beat of his heart. He was honest almost to a fault, had a strong work ethic, and was friendly to all, and generous with his time; always willing to lend a hand to those in need.
He was a man of his words and let his actions speak for him. Norman was instrumental for obtaining grant funding to put lights at the softball field and build a track and football/soccer field at Del Mar Middle School. He was the lead volunteer in building those projects as well as numerous others that supported the community.
Norman is survived by his wife of 58 years, Teresa Wiedemann; his son Augie (Sue) of Santa Clara; son-in-law Phil Trissell of Watsonville; daughters: Catherine Frost (Neal) of Scotts Valley; Gilda Foran (Larry) of Florida; Mary Touli (Ross) of San Jose; dearest friend, Trudy Locatelli of South Carolina, want-a-be Wiedemann Ari Simmon; grandchildren: Katie, Meghan, Jessica, Amy, Justin, Sven, Mat, Max, Johnathon, and Tanner; and great grandchildren: Jacob, Jordon, Mikayla and Riley. He also leaves his first cousins Steve Peterson (Shirley) and Gayle Peterson both of Corvallis, Oregon.
Norman Fredrich Wiedemann was proud of his four year of his military service. However, he was more impressed with the military careers of his family: daughter Angie joined the Air Force and served four years; daughter Catherine served eight years in the Army; daughter Gilda served 20 years in the Navy, retiring in 2008 as a Chief Petty Officer; granddaughter Amy Foran who has been in the Navy for 10 years is currently a Chief Petty Officer; grandson Justin Nelson who served for nine years in the National Guard as a Staff Sergeant, grandson Max Wiedemann who served four years in the Unites States Marine Corps, and grandson Johnathon Foran who is in his first year in the Navy.
Friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Life for Norman F. Wiedemann on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 9 a.m. A private committal service with military honors will take place at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery.