Obituaries: Norma Natali Strouse

Norma Natali Strouse

Norma Natali Strouse died in peace on February 28, 2022 at the age of 72, of complications from an equestrian accident. She was the devoted wife of 50 years to Robert Strouse and mother to Kevin (Amy) and Brett Strouse. She also was the sister to Paul Natali (deceased), Marianne Natali, and Terri (Mat) Cecatiello, grandmother to Walter, Charlotte, and Julia Strouse, and dear family member to Carly Roberts (Ryan), Cal Cecatiello, and Keith, Braden, and Lindsey Strouse.

Most who knew Norma would note that she was friendly to an exceptional degree. She regularly made conversation with complete strangers and immediately came across as warm and caring. This friendliness masked her independence and fierce loyalty to her family and friends—traits that she has passed on to her children and grandchildren.

Norma, named after the eponymous Bellini opera, was born January 1st, 1950 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Leo and Louise Natali. She spent her early years in Philadelphia’s Mayfair neighborhood before her family moved nearby to Somerton. From an early age she displayed tenacity and determination and focused intently on her education as well as becoming a skilled pianist.

This resilience paid off as she grew older. After attending Saint Hubert’s High School for Girls, she subsequently became the first person in her family to attend and graduate college by obtaining a degree in English Literature from East Stroudsburg University in 1971. She put herself through school by working as a waitress at a resort in the Poconos. She later trailblazed again by obtaining her masters degree in Library Science from Drexel University in 1975 and getting elected to Beta Phi Mu in recognition of her scholastic achievements.

Norma met her husband, Rob, in 1969 during her junior year of college and immediately became the bedrock of their relationship. When Rob was drafted to serve in Vietnam, Norma persevered on her own until they were able to marry in 1971 while Rob was home on a two-week leave. Norma supported Rob and helped put him through law school after his discharge from the Army by teaching at Sharon Hill High School—all while simultaneously obtaining her graduate degree.

Norma believed serving in local organizations was critical to a strong community, and regularly volunteered to improve the world around her. She served on the East Nantmeal Township Historical Commission, was a lifelong supporter of Planned Parenthood, and volunteered with the East Nantmeal Township Democrats. With education as one of her passions, she, along with her husband, funded a scholarship at Lafayette College to support matriculating students needing financial assistance.

In her spare time, Norma stayed very physically fit as an avid equestrian and tennis player.

Norma’s legacy is showing her family how to persevere under tough conditions, to stay hopeful no matter the circumstances, and to run to—rather than away from—challenges. She made the most of her life and relationships and taught her family to do the same.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent in Norma’s honor to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital via or the mailing address provided below.

The family will host a Celebration of Life in April.

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