Cover photo for Norman Frederick Kehmeier's Obituary
Norman Frederick Kehmeier Profile Photo
1926 Norman 2023

Norman Frederick Kehmeier

January 25, 1926 — April 17, 2023



            Life-long Surface Creek Valley resident Norman Frederick Kehmeier died at the age of 97 in his home on the family farm in Eckert, Colorado on April 17, 2023.  He was surrounded by his family and stated shortly before his death that he had lived a long life and a good life and was at peace with dying.


            Norman was born at home on January 25, 1926, to John Harry Kehmeier and Gertrude Louise Miller Kehmeier.  He was the middle of five siblings with two brothers and two sisters.  He attended schools in Eckert and Cedaredge and graduated from Cedaredge High School in 1943.


            Norman worked on the family farm for a year before going into the Army in May of 1944.  After training in OK and NC, he was sent to Antigua in the British West Indies.  The war ended while he was there and he was honorably discharged in April of 1946. 


Returning to Colorado, Norman attended CSU in Ft. Collins, CO.  While there he met Dorothy Lydia Blankenagel; they were married in 1948 and finished school as a married couple.  He graduated with a degree in Range Management in 1950 before heading to Worland, WY, to work for the Bureau of Land Management while Dorothy taught school for a year.  At the end of that time, they returned to Eckert where they lived for the rest of their lives.


Between 1951 and 1978, Norman and Dorothy lived on the family farm in Eckert where Norman farmed with his dad as he and Dorothy raised their 5 children.  Norman also took a job as a USPS rural mail carrier, served for 8 years on the county-wide school board, and was much involved in school, church, and community activities.


In 1978, after the last of the children graduated from high school, Norman and Dorothy volunteered for the Peace Corps and were sent to the country of Chad at the southern edge of the Sahara Desert in Africa.  Only one year into their two-year enlistment, civil war broke out and the Kehmeiers were evacuated from Chad and discharged from the Peace Corps.  Norman immediately returned to Africa on a 6-month contract with the US Agency for International Development to study irrigation projects that were being funded and built in Africa by several donor countries.  Dorothy joined him as they traveled through different West African countries.


            After their Africa experience, which affected both Norman and Dorothy profoundly, they returned to Eckert.  In 1984, Norman was elected to a 4-year term as a Delta County commissioner, after which he retired to being a full-time farmer.  Paul returned to Eckert in 2011 to help on the farm, taking more and more responsibility each year.  Norman continued to run farm equipment until the fall before he died and to mentor, advise, and be involved in Paul’s management of the farm up until a few days before his death.


            Norman enjoyed farming, the outdoors, and supporting his children in their various school and life activities.  He pursued a hobby of writing and left his family not only with a diary of the time in Africa, a family history of the Kehmeier journey to and settlement of the Surface Creek Valley, but also numerous short stories and a couple of poems from his earlier years.


            Norman is survived by five children:  Nancy Kehmeier (Ron Anderson, deceased) of St. Paul, MN; Ruth Phippeny (Dale) of Nucla, CO; Ralph Kehmeier (Margrit) of Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany; Paul Kehmeier (Olga) of Eckert, CO, and David Kehmeier (Ellie) of Ridgway, CO.  He is also survived by 6 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.  He is survived by a sister Louise Kehmeier of Fresno, CA, and was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Hazel Long, and brothers Jack Kehmeier and Gordon Kehmeier.


            A memorial service for Norman Kehmeier will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the Eckert Presbyterian Church on April 29, 2023.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Hope West, ( at 195 Stafford Lane, Delta, CO 81416.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Norman Frederick Kehmeier, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Eckert Presbyterian Church

13025 CO-65, Orchard City, CO 81418

A memorial service for Norman Kehmeier will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the Eckert Presbyterian Church on April 29, 2023. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Hope West, ( at 195 Stafford Lane, Delta, CO 81416.

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