Cover photo for Russ Norha's Obituary
Russ Norha Profile Photo

Russ Norha

April 30, 1942 — December 21, 2022


Russ Norha

Please click the link below to view a recording of the service.

Russ Norha, 80, of Plymouth, Minnesota passed away after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease on Wednesday, December 21st. Born Donald Russell Norha April 30, 1942 in Biwabik, MN to Jacob Theodore Norha (Ted) and Viola Esther Maki (Esther), Russ spent his childhood in Embarrass with his older brother Ron and younger sister Lois. He grew up working as a logger and a miner in Minnesota’s iron mines. Coming from this background, Russ had early exposure to and developed an interest in union/management issues.

Russ received his BS degree in business from the University of Minnesota in 1964 and a Master’s degree in industrial relations from the same school in 1965. He joined General Mills in 1965 at the West Chicago plant.

Russ met his future wife Linda Cartwright in 1965. They were married March 26, 1966. They started their life together in Lancaster, Ohio where their daughter Anita was born. After several moves in the Chicago area, Russ was transferred to the Canadian operations of General Mills for four years where their son Eric was born. In the mid 70’s, Russ transferred to the General Mills headquarters location near Minneapolis where he served in various positions until 1986 when he became vice president, labor relations where he served until his retirement in 1997.

Russ took great satisfaction in his career and while it was stressful, he loved his work. Russ and Linda combined their strengths and resources and were a great team leveraging Russ’s income into real estate ventures that Linda managed. This created wonderful opportunities for their family and grandchildren to enjoy Marco Island, Florida for many years.

Russ received the devastating diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease in 1997. Stress worsened his symptoms, so Russ took an early retirement and turned to property building and management with Linda.

Russ had a larger than life personality and presence. He loved to downhill and water ski, exercise, play tennis and racquetball, go fishing, sing (he had a beautiful voice and sang in various quartets and choirs over the years), and he loved physical work. He was always shoveling, raking, painting, cutting and clearing at their various properties.

Parkinson’s slowly robbed Russ of all he loved to do. So many losses both small and great. Yet he persevered. Especially when life became very difficult in recent years, Russ kept a positive attitude and never once complained. He was truly a dignified man.

Russ will be greatly missed by his wife, Linda; daughter, Anita (Scott); son, Eric (Katie); grandchildren, Josh, Ben, Bri, Kayden and Livie; sister, Lois (Tom); brother, Ron (Sue); nephews, nieces and his dear friends.

A memorial service will be held Monday, December 26th at 1:00 PM at Gearty Delmore Plymouth Chapel, 15800 37th Ave North. Visitation and refreshments will follow the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers or trees to make a donation to either Minnesota Lakes and Rivers or the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

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

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, December 26, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

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