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To view Anita's funeral service, please click here.
Born to Martin and Phyllis (Bixler) Norby, Anita Gail joined her older siblings Sharon and Larry on December 16, 1943.They later welcomed little sister, Connie, to their family. Anita grew up surrounded by a large extended family - grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all spent countless hours enjoying each other's company as many lived within just a few miles. As a youngster, Anita learned the value of working (as well as playing) hard. She fondly remembered working in the spud cellars. She also grew up in the company of star athletes and was always quick to note that those young men were annoyed that she was able to outrun them and beat them at arm wrestling.
Anita graduated and left Rupert for the University of Idaho where she met and married Rick Beebe. Anita put her schooling on hold for a few years when together they had “two wonderful gifts," Terri and Tanya. She later returned to the U of I and earned her teaching degree. After divorcing, Anita and the girls returned to Rupert where she continued to live out her destiny nurturing the youth of her community. Anita’s daughters often heard excited classmates' tales of their mother kicking a football over the tall trees on the playground or beating all the boys at arm wrestling, passing her literal and figurative strength to others.
Throughout her lifetime, Anita not only remained a teacher but also a student. Whether in the classroom or at home, driving down a country lane or sitting in a restaurant, on a park bench or on Facebook, she not only imparted joy and wisdom but soaked up all the information she could about those she cared about. If you were willing to share, she was quick to learn.
Anita was fiercely independent, giving, and loving. She had passions for gardening and playing the piano, and had a love for reading as well as photography. She shared her many talents with others, young and old alike. Books were her most frequently given gifts, to many of which she added a personal note of affection inside the cover. She loved to photograph the glorious maple tree her grandparents planted at their family homestead as saplings from The University of Idaho, rickety buildings and barns, and landmarks from around her community. She was generous, kind, and had a great sense of humor. If you knew her well, you remember her silly side, as she often cackled and gobbled with laughter and mischief.
Even when faced with difficult times, Anita was able to keep a positive attitude and bring joy to those around her. She valued the simple things in life. She sewed many outfits when her daughters and grandchildren were little and she created beautiful Easter eggs from sugar. She had a remarkable memory for all her former students, remembering their names, grades, years, and any noteworthy bits of information that were shared with her over the years. She made a lasting impression on her students and the people in her community, and her legacy will continue to inspire others to pursue their passions.
Anita loved God and recently said that, though she wasn't afraid to die, she sure did love living life. After 79 years of laughing and loving, reading and rebelling, taking photographs and teaching, Anita died peacefully at her Rupert home on March 1, 2023. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, parents and siblings, as well as two very dear friends, Larry Harris and Weldon Sparks.
Anita is survived by a "bonus" sibling from her childhood, DeVere Kent, her daughters, Terri (Bryan) Bruns and Tanya Beebe as well as her "bonus" daughter, Caroline Volkman; grandchildren, Talia (Soren) Poulsen and Colton (Kayla) Bruns, and the dearest blessings in her world - her three precious great-grandchildren Ella, Stella, and Silas. Anita is also survived by an innumerable number of relatives, friends, and students who she loved deeply. Her laughter will be missed by all who knew her.
Anita’s family would love to have you join together to CELEBRATE a life well-lived! A traditional funeral service will be held at the Rupert United Methodist Church on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. Immediately after the service, all are welcome to gather in the church fellowship hall for laughter and conversation as well as a sweet treat. Anita’s family would love to have the opportunity to hear YOUR stories of how she impacted your life.
If you are interested in celebrating Anita’s memory, she would be pleased if you would deliver houseplant or flowers to someone you love, buy a book and read it with someone special, or plant something in your garden and think of her this spring; take a photo to share what you have done in her honor and post it on her Facebook page as a tribute to the blessing she was in your life. Messages could also be sent to her family at 1013 J Street in Rupert, Idaho 83350.
“More than anything just love each other and be kind” - Anita