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Norma Jean, 74

Norma Jean (Chasse Donovan) Horak, age 74, died Nov. 16, 2020, at Ojai Valley Community Hospital following a stroke complicating chronic ARVD cardiomyopathy.

Norma was born March 13, 1946, in Greenfield. She grew up in nearby Hawley in a large family on a potato farm in the Berkshire Mountains. She was a life-long lover of animals, especially horses which she raised and trained. She was an accomplished horse rider and instructor. She had special expertise with gaited horses, particularly Missouri Fox Trotters. Both children and animals were drawn to her. She was an avid seamstress and an award-winning quilter. She loved gardening and loved to plant and grow flowers, especially daffodils. She enjoyed travel and adventure.

She was a registered nurse, earning her nursing degree from Greenfield Community College. She worked in many hospitals including the North Adams and Greenfield hospitals in Massachusetts, and Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, N.H. She worked in the Emergency Department at St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colorado, as well as in a small family medicine clinic in Moffat, Colorado in the San Luis Valley.

She was preceded in death by her parents Rilda and Roland Chasse and her brother Roger Chasse. She is survived by her husband of 25 years, James Hank Horak, her son Patrick and daughter Amy, her sisters Donna, Serra, and Paula, her brothers Maurice and Richard, as well as numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. She had many friends in the horse community of Central Oregon where she lived prior to moving to Ojai, Calif. this last summer. She was beloved and will be terribly missed.

Memorial gatherings will be held in the coming year after the Covid pandemic has subsided, in the many places Norma loved and was loved, including Oregon, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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