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home : obituaries : obituaries September 29, 2014


12/13/2013 12:42:00 PM
OBITUARY: Norma Blythe
Norma Blythe
Norma Blythe

Longtime Blythe resident and cancer survivor, Norma Blythe, passed away Dec. 11, 2013 after a brave battle with Alzheimer's disease. She was born Norma Louise Kepley Oct. 17, 1931 to Guy and Ola Kepley in San Antonio, Texas.

She met and married Jonnie Claude "JC" Blythe on April 9, 1949 and the couple raised three children, Sandy, Ronnie and Deena.

A funeral service and "Celebration of Life" for Norma will be Dec. 23, 2013 at 3 p.m. the First Southern Baptist Church in Blythe, with Pastor Doug Hutcherson officiating. At the family's request the service will include an open eulogy.

A full obituary will appear in the Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 edition of the Palo Verde Valley Times.




OBITUARY: Norma Blythe
Longtime Blythe resident and cancer survivor, Norma Blythe, passed away Dec. 11, 2013 after a brave battle with Alzheimer's disease. She was born Norma Louise Kepley Oct. 17, 1931 to Guy and Ola Kepley in San Antonio, Texas.

Norma attended elementary and junior high school in San Antonio. She also attended Edgewood High School there and was a cheerleader. At the age of 15 she began working as a telephone operator for Southern Bell Telephone Company. She was the youngest operator employed by the company. She graduated from Edgewood High School in 1947 at the age of 17.

While still in high school she met her sweetheart, Jonnie Claude "JC" Blythe and on April 9, 1949 the couple were married in East Los Angeles. Although Norma still was living in San Antonio at the time, she traveled to East Los Angeles to visit JC's mother in April of 1949, not knowing that JC, (who had joined the Navy and was at sea), was due to return stateside in San Diego from Japan. JC arrived in San Diego and upon learning that Norma was in Southern California, he proposed and the two were married a few days later.

The couple lived in San Diego until 1950, when JC was discharged from the Navy. They moved back to San Antonio and started a family. Daughter, Sandy, was born in 1950, followed by son, Ronnie in 1955. That year the family moved to Blythe where JC joined his bothers in the family business, Blythe Brothers Machine and Steel. Norma worked as a bookkeeper for Richfield Truck Stop, and later kept books for the local cable company. In 1962, daughter, Deena was born and Norma and JC purchased their home on East Avenue A, where Norma resided until her passing.

Taking care of and raising the children, Norma continued working at the Cable Company. Later that year, Norma volunteered with the Palo Verde Valley Ladies Auxiliary, assisting the Riverside County Volunteer Fire Department where JC served as a volunteer firefighter. Norma also volunteered as an ambulance driver.

In 1963 JC went into business with his younger brother Billy Jo Blythe and the two ran Blythe Brothers Crane and backhoe service, at which time Norma joined the business as the bookkeeper there. The business flourished for the next few years, and Norma and JC continued to raise their family. In 1968, JC and Norma ventured on their own to open their own business "JC's Field Welding" working out of their home. Services included fabricating, on the job welding and subcontracting for utility companies and local agriculture companies.

In 1972 the couple bought "Desert Cycle" and changed the name to "Desert Cycle Center." The business was located on East Hobsonway and it became a local staple. The whole family worked the business until 1998. The couple officially retired, continued to work out of their home with JC repairing motorcycles and ATVs and cars. Norma kept busy with volunteering with the Cancer Society and Blythe Speedboat and Ski Club where she served as Secretary and Treasurer. Her hobbies included boating on the Colorado River with her family and friends, jeep riding in the local desert. She was an avid seamstress and enjoyed crocheting. Her greatest joy was playing and spending time with her grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Jonnie Claude, "JC" Blythe, of Blythe; daughter, Sandra Jean Blythe of Las Vegas, Nev.; son, Ronald Wayne Blythe; and daughter, Deena Gayle Blythe of Blythe; grandchildren, Krista Heflin of Michigan, James "Bubba" Heflin of Moreno Valley, Calif. Marrissa Rasovon (Souksavanh Jim) of Henderson, Nev., Ronald Wayne Blythe (Nereida) of Phoenix, Ariz., Brandi Medrano (Abraham) of San Francisco, Calif., Justin Shane Carlton of Blythe, Kazandra Michelle Blythe of Scottsdale, Ariz., Chelsea Nicole Scarborough of Blythe; and 17 great-grandchildren: Nicole and Tyler Johnson of Michigan; Alyssie Amaya Blythe, Kierra Sky Blythe, Kyani Amari Blythe and Jalen Anthony Blythe all of Phoenix; Kaleb Austin Carlton and Khloe Mary Carlton of Phoenix, and Michael Duane Maxwell of Blythe; Kaitlyn Rasavong, Alex Rasavong, Chacen Rasavong and Gracyn Rasavong, all of Henderson, Nevada; Cyana Medrano, Cali Medrano and Nacho Medrano, all of San Francisco.

Norma was preceded in death by her parents, and a younger sister, Bonnie Ruth Jones.

A funeral service and "Celebration of Life" for Norma will be held Dec. 23, 2013 at 3 p.m. the First Southern Baptist Church in Blythe, with Pastor Doug Hutcherson officiating. At the family's request the service will include an open eulogy.




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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Article comment by: Rebecca Anaya

Norma....the sweetest lady ever. Always had a smile and something kind to say. My condolences and prayers for strength go out to Johnny and his family during this hard time.
Rest in Peace Norma.


Posted: Monday, December 16, 2013
Article comment by: MaryAnn Vertrees-Ogden

I was so sorry to hear of Norma's passing, she was a wonderfule person, who will be missed by many, my thoughts and prayers to Johnnie and the family. RIP Norma- another soaring angel

Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013
Article comment by: ROBERT CAMPA

To Deana & JC Blythe and family, I am deeply saddened at the news of your mother’s passing. From the very day that they took over the Yamaha business, your mom was the unofficial welcome wagon for all people who love to ride in the desert. Your family like others that help build our community and town, were not just liked but very much loved. Always supporting community functions and fundraisers, your mom was always willing to help. Walking through the front door I always felt at home when I would hear your mother say, “hey Bobby what are you up to today”. Her smile could light up the darkest runway for miles, I feel her memory will live on forever in our hearts. It hurts me to see another piece of that fabric of Americana, a generation of people we grew to know and love fading away. Thanks to your mom and JC, I have so many fond memories that I can’t even begin to count. Give your dad a big hug for me, with all my love thoughts and prayers going out to you and your family today. With our deepest condolences, Bobby Campa and family. December 15, 2013

Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013
Article comment by: Crazy Town

Via Con Dios Norma, much love and see you again someday.

I'm gonna hug you and cry when I see you JC, much love to you and Deena and the rest of your family. We have so many happy memories to cherish. :)


Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Article comment by: John Marlborough

Norma will be missed, she used to give a hard when I would go into the shop. It was always in jest and she made me laugh more than once. RIP Norma..

Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Article comment by: GAYE ROBINSON

MY BLESSING ARE WITH ALL THE FAMILY I WILL REMEMBER ALL THE MEMORIES . R.I.P. NORMA GAYE ROBINSON

Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013
Article comment by: Albert Galindo

When I moved to Blythe California in August of 1990 JC and Norma were the first people I met in the community of Blythe, they were my neighbours. They made me feel welcome and were very kind to me and my family. Rest in Peace Norma Blythe, you will be miss Albert Galindo.

Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013
Article comment by: Ty Nicholson

How sad to hear! As a youth I spent A LOT of time at Desert Cycle with Norma and JC. My deepest sympathy to the Blythe family.



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