Norman C. Sterzenbach, 71, of Cedar Rapids, died Friday, July 28, 2017. Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, with the funeral service beginning at 7 p.m., at IBEW Local 405 Henry Miller Hall, 1211 Wiley Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids. Private family burial: Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cedar Rapids. Arrangements are with Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services, Cedar Rapids.
Norm was born Nov. 7, 1945, in Evansville, Ind., to Jessie Tarter and Norman C. Sterzenbach. His stepfather was Fred George. He grew up in Louisville, Ky., and was a Navy veteran serving in the Vietnam era. He studied electronics and worked as an electrical technician at Rockwell, where he became very active in the IBEW Local 1362, rising to union steward, eventually becoming the business agent. He was a registered lobbyist with the Iowa Legislature. He also served on the board of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa.
Norm was a lifelong Democrat. Until recently, he served as a vice chairman for Linn County Democrats and was inducted into the LCDS Hall of Fame in 2013. He was a longtime member of the 1st Congressional District committee, as well as the Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee. He had served as the chair of many county and district conventions, and he represented his precinct at the caucuses and devoted many hours to training others in a variety of jobs that serve the party. He was a tireless volunteer. No job was too small. As a result of his devotion to democratic and progressive causes, he was honored as an Outstanding Supporter and inducted into the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame on July 27, 2017. It was something he had hoped for, and his wish finally came true. It was one of the happiest nights of his life as he stood on stage and listened to his son address the crowd noting his many contributions. At the end, he was given a standing ovation. This honor was long overdue. Norm went to bed that evening and died in his sleep, a happy man.
Norm loved to cook and his smoked dishes were legendary. He loved music and played the guitar. Christmas was his favorite time of the year, and he had lots of lights and decorations. He taught his son, Norm, how to do outdoor holiday light displays. He believed in buying American-made products whenever possible. Over the past several years, he enjoyed Saturday night dinners with his friends as well as the holidays. His drink of choice was a Bud Light bottle. No glasses for him. Although he was a man of few words, he was a great storyteller and conversationalist, as well as a wonderful teacher of candidates and campaign workers. He was a legend in the Iowa Democratic Party and the IBEW, as well as the Hawkeye Area Labor Council. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his son, Norman, and his daughter-in-law, Danielle; his son, Jesse; his granddaughter, Bryanna; his sister, Tudy Cundiff, and his brother-in-law, Larry; and his special friends, Kathy Ulrich, Tom Dowd, Sunny Story, Dan Slife, Karen and Stu Hartlep and Shelley Parbs; his union brothers and sisters; and fellow democrats whose lives he touched.
We would also like to remember his table companions and thank the staff of Mayvil Assisted Living, and Ben, Nate and Matt at Mercy Physical Therapy. He appreciated all of the help and care you gave him as he struggled to meet the challenges of progressive supranuclear palsy.
Memorials may be directed to the Hawkeye Area Labor Council (for apprenticeship programs), the Iowa Democratic Party or Discovery Living.
Please share your support and memories with Norm's family on his tribute wall at www.stewartbaxter.com under obituaries.