Melvin Jones Fellow/Life Member: Norman Severinsen

 N.Severinsen picture

Norm was born on February 15, 1930, on a farm in Linn County, Iowa. He attended a one-room school in the Iowa countryside, near Cedar Rapids. Norm then went to school in Marion, Iowa, where he ran with the high school track team. It was there that he married his life-time marriage partner, Rosalie.

Norm was then off to Iowa City where he collected a string of degrees - BA, MA, and PhD. Norm interrupted his University work for a stint in the Air Force. He flew over Korea, doing photography work for one year after he earned his BA degree. He then returned to Iowa where he taught high school at Bennett. It was during these years that Norm acquired his masters degree. He then landed an assistantship for his PhD.

In 1961 Norman accepted a position as counselor and teacher in the Counseling Center at Western Illinois University (WIU). Lion John Storey was Director of the Center and the Counselor Education Program at this time.

In 1963 a friend and colleague, Bob Coutts, spearheaded the formation of a Lions Club in Macomb. Norm became a charter member, was the third president of the club, and was treasurer for three years. In 1992 he received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award.

Norm worked on the writing committee for the new McDonough/Fulton County Mental Health Clinic federal staffing grant and was on the first board of that organization. He was on the organization committee for the Radio Reading Information Service and also on the first board of the Youth Service Bureau (now incorporated into Bridgeway).

In 1970 Norm was appointed Chair of the newly formed Department of Counselor Education and College Student Personnel at WIU. He retired from WIU in 1988. He has worked with the SHIP program at McDonough District Hospital since its inception.

Norm has been married to Rosalie since 1951; they have two children, Kay and Kris, and seven grandchildren. They have traveled world-wide, visiting about fifty other countries to date.

Norm died on December 18, 2010, after a 38-year battle with Parkinson's disease.

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