Happy birthday to my Dad today! Charles William Norman was born October 22, 1932 in Southport, Maury County, Tennessee. He is the son of William Henry Norman (1894 – 1975) and Mary Caroline Gibson Norman (1898 – 1968). Charles was one of three (3) children. His older sister Susie Helon Norman Duncan was already 12 years old when he was born and his younger brother arrived a few years later.
Charles, also called “Sonny” by his family, was always a bit of a prankster. It seems that his “fun-natured” side may have been influenced greatly by his mom. He looked for ways to have fun, pull off a joke or two and laugh a little.
Charles served his country in the US Army during the Korean War. While serving he was about 30 years old. He wrote letters home and sent some pictures. He was proud of his service and always honored America.
After returning from the war, he married Jo Evelyn Gilliam on January 17, 1953. They had one child and later divorced.
On December 8, 1956 Charles married Dalsie Mabel Mills. They married in Corinth, Mississippi. Dalsie already had two children from her prior marriage to William Marcus Byrd. They bought a house in Columbia, Tennessee but only lived there briefly before moving to Gibsonton, Florida. Gibsonton was a small community in the Tampa-bay area. Charles and Dalsie had two children that were born in Florida and continue to reside there today.
Charles quit school after completing the 8th grade. An 8th grade education was not so very abnormal at the time. Much of the population at the time did not have a high school diploma, but I believe that this was something that he later regretted. He raised his children to appreciate the importance of an education. I remember him saying, “Stay in school and get your education because it is the one thing that no one can take away from you.” He was a very smart man.
He drove semi-trucks for a living much of his life. He also worked as a deputy sheriff for the Pasco County, Florida Sheriff’s and a police officer/detective for the Dade City, Florida Police Department in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He then worked as the Assistant Public Works Director for Dade City and later the Public Works Director for Adel, Georgia.
Charles and his family moved back to the Dade City, Florida area after leaving Adel, Georgia around 1975. Times were hard and there were few jobs to be found. Charles returned to driving a semi-truck.
On November 21, 1979, at the young age of 47, Charles was killed in a tragic vehicle accident in Dennison, Iowa. He is buried at Floral Memory Gardens Cemetery, Dade City, Florida.