Norma L. Pierce

Norma L. Pierce of Onalaska, WI, passed away at 80 years of age at Gundersen Health System on April 13, 2022. She was born in rural Vernon County on September 26, 1941, to Carl and Mearl (Crook) Nundahl.

Norma L PierceNorma was raised in a large and loving Norwegian-English farming family. She graduated from Viroqua High School in 1959.

Norma married Earl Pierce on June 6, 1959, and they later divorced. She subsequently married Richard Karth on February 4, 1984, and they were together for a number of years.

In 1972, as a newly single mother to young children, Norma set out to conquer the world and show her children that a strong work ethic can provide opportunities. She began working as a bookkeeper at Home Savings and Loan late that year and within six years was promoted to assistant vice president and branch manager of the Onalaska location. She later served as a residential home loan specialist and manager of local branches of First Home Mortgage and First Financial Savings and Loan, and ended her career as assistant vice president for residential real estate lending at First Bank.

Norma served on the board of directors for the La Crosse Area Home Builders Association and was the only woman on that board for many years. She was awarded Spike Club status by the National Home Builders Association in recognition of her achievements in member recruitment and retention. Norma was elected to the Riverfront Foundation Board in 1989 and served as president of the Optimist Club of La Crosse. She was a career-long member of the Greater La Crosse Board of Realtors. Norma also volunteered with the La Crosse Area Habitat for Humanity chapter and donated generously to the cause of providing homes to people who need a helping hand.

Norma was an accomplished soprano soloist and performed at a number of events over the years. At home, she was an excellent cook and baker whose cinnamon rolls and apple pie have yet to be beat, and an expert seamstress.

Norma raised four children and did it well, with tremendous support from her large extended family and neighbors Berniece Johnson and Nonie Curran.

She is survived by daughter Kim Pierce, Irvine, CA; daughter Carmen Perrizo and son-in-law John, Eden Prairie, MN; son Brian Pierce, La Crosse, and son Brad Pierce and daughter-in-law Jill, Green Bay, WI. Norma was an excellent grandmother to Jared Pierce, Paul Perrizo, Evan Perrizo, Chloe Perrizo, Tyler Pierce, Taylor Pierce and Tiffani Pierce. She was very proud to be great-grandmother to Cora Jo Pierce. Norma is also survived by her sisters Marlene Carrel, Martha Brewer and Judy Collins, and sister-in-law Janus Nundahl.

Norma was preceded in death by her mother in 1960 and her father in 1968; sister Eileen Mikkelson (2005), and brothers Ivan (1934), Selmer (1995), Kenneth (2005), Merlin (2009) and Donald (2014).

The family invites you to join them for a Celebration of Life and visitation from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 18, followed by a memorial service at 7, at Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home at 907 Sand Lake Road in Onalaska,