Cover photo for Don Norvell's Obituary
Don Norvell Profile Photo
1932 Don 2017

Don Norvell

August 8, 1932 — December 17, 2017

Donald Marion Novell, one of three children of Delbert and Josephine (Hardenberger) Norvell, was born August 8, 1932 in Auburn, Nebraska.

Don grew up in Auburn and attended Auburn High School, joining the Navy when he was 17. He worked hard to advance his skills, mathematical knowledge and rank during his 20-year Navy career. He served the country primarily on submarines all around the world, including deployment during the Korean War. He served a 10-year stint at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he was honorably discharged from the Navy at the rank of Chief Petty Officer in 1970.

Following his discharge, Don worked as an ironworker during the construction of Cooper Nuclear Station in Brownville, and he became an electrical foreman once the plant was operational. He retired from Cooper as Maintenance Manager after 20 years of service there. Don was proud of his long service at two careers he cared deeply about, and many of his hires at Cooper have gone on to long, successful careers there.

Don was baptized into St. Paul Lutheran Church in Auburn, and more recently loved attending Brownville Methodist Church. He belonged to American Legion Post #23 and the Auburn Country Club, where he served as President several times. Don was happiest on the golf course or fishing from his boat or the banks of local lakes and rivers. He played golf every day the weather allowed it, and following retirement, he and Sue spent 17 winters in Harlingen, TX to allow more time on the course. He shot 4 holes-in-one. When Don and Sue moved back to Nebraska full-time, they adopted Princess, a yellow lab who became his faithful companion for several years. He was a great story-teller, and he always had a joke to share. Don was a generous man who loved his family, his friends, and his dog. He adored his grandchildren, and they brought special joy.

On Sunday, December 17, 2017, Don passed away surrounded by his family at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska at the age of 85 years, 4 months and 9 days, following a respiratory infection and complications from COPD. His parents, sisters Doris Hazen and Joann Doiel, and faithful companion Princess, preceded him in death.

Those who will always remember Don and miss his playful antics include his wife Sue of Auburn; son William Norvell of Norman, OK; daughters Regina Norvell Robins of York; Lynne and husband Kevin Herr of Lincoln, Heather and husband Jamie McKinney of Beatrice; grandchildren Deanne and husband Terry Umschler; Olivia Herr and Eric Herr; Scott, Tiffany and Cody McKinney; Hali and husband Brenden Summers; 3 great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, relatives and many friends.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

9:00am - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Hemmingsen Funeral Home

801 S St, Auburn, NE 68305

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Sheridan Cemetery

, Auburn, NE 68305

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