Norma Kay (Blakeley) Gosiak, born Oct. 31, 1935, in Chicago, Ill., passed peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, at Brookside Manor in Hood River, Ore.
She is survived by her husband, Albert Gosiak, of Vancouver Wash.; two sons, Albert Gosiak Jr. (Charlotte) of the The Dalles, Ore. and Bill Gosiak of Sun Lakes, Ariz.; and two grandsons, Aaron Gosiak (Kimberly) of Tacoma, Wash. and Alec Gosiak of Eugene, Ore.
Norma lived with her parents, William and Miriam Blakeley, and brother, William, in Chicago until early 1942, when the family relocated to Vancouver, where her father worked as an accountant for Boeing Corporation and her mother as a surgical nurse at Vancouver Memorial Hospital. Norma graduated from Vancouver High School in 1954 and took her first job at Meier and Frank, sharing an apartment with her lifelong best friend, Linda Coughlin.
In 1956, Norma married Albert Gosiak, a decorated Korean war veteran and printer at Crown Zellerbach paper mill, and they resided in Vancouver.
They welcomed the birth of Al Jr. in 1956 and the birth of Bill in 1963.
In 1969, to the astonishment of their friends and family, they bought the Skamania General Store and moved to the wilds of the Columbia River Gorge. The family added Al’s Drive-In next to the store in the summer of 1972. Al and Norma purchased the Hidden Valley Ranch in Skamania in 1973 with an eye on retiring there, and in 1975, sold the store and restaurant and moved into the ranch, where they lived until 2005. With the sale of the Hidden Valley Ranch, Al and Norma returned to Vancouver, where they resided until Nov. 11, 2014. That day, a mature Douglas Fir tree fell on their house during an early winter storm, destroying the bedroom she was occupying at the time with a partial roof collapse that fell down on top of her. She escaped with the help of Al, suffering minor injuries, but the house would need extensive repairs and was not habitable for more than six months.
Norma will be remembered for her positive, friendly outlook and gracious hospitality. She enjoyed volunteer work with the county election board and the Skamania Grange, quality time with friends and family, and travels with her husband and lifelong companion, Albert.
A memorial gathering is planned from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Al and Norma’s home, located at 13614 N.E. Regents Drive, Vancouver. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Providence Foundation Sunshine Club, 1550 Brookside Drive, Hood River, OR 97031.
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