Norma Bechtel Hummerstone passed away on August 28 at her home in Stonington, Conn. She was 74. She had struggled with brain cancer for a year.
Norma (formerly Norma J. Martin) lived for many years in Milford and then Easton, Conn., where she raised her two children, Amanda and Tad Martin, and was active in community service projects. She served as a trustee of the Jesse Lee United Methodist Church, was a youth group and Girl Scout leader, and volunteered with Samuel Staples Elementary School programs. She also participated in construction projects run by Habitat for Humanity, to build houses for families in need.
“She was the best mother on the planet,” said her daughter, Amanda. “Her smile, joy, and energy would light up the room, wherever she went. She always put other people first, thinking about their needs and how she could be supportive. Her hands were always busy, quilting, sewing, knitting, fixing, painting, baking, and cooking. Her legs carried her on long walks, jogs, kayaking and bike rides, exploring nature along the Connecticut coast. Norma loved to have fun, laugh, and enjoy the company of friends and family. She had a wonderful sense of humor and could make you laugh even at the worst of times. She made the best pies. Her door was always open and welcome to anyone who needed a cup of tea, a smiling face, and a listening ear. She thoroughly loved being a grandmother to her two grandsons and her husband’s seven grandchildren.”
Norma was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, to Marguerite and Norman Bechtel, and raised in Wayne, Michigan. She attended Eastern Michigan University. After marriage, she moved to Wisconsin and then to Congleton, England, before settling in Connecticut. Over the next 25 years, she held various administrative positions at Yale, Manpower Inc. and Met Life, while raising her two children.
After remarriage, she and her husband lived in Stamford and Greenwich, Conn., and then Windsor, England and Noank, Conn., before settling in Stonington. She loved to travel, both with her husband and with her daughter, eventually visiting every continent except Antarctica.
Her survivors include her husband, Robert Hummerstone, daughter Amanda Martin, who lives in Bolivia, son Tad Martin of Woodbridge, Conn., Tad’s two sons, Sam and Ben, and two brothers, James Bechtel and Doug Bechtel, both of Michigan.