Jeremy John Norby, 41
September 4, 1979-August 28, 2021
My husband, Jeremy John Norby, was born on Sept. 4, 1979, in Williston, North Dakota to Rocky and Lori (Verhasselt) Norby. He was the oldest of three children raised on the family farm north of Sidney. As a child, Jeremy got into everything, and his parents joked that he got a spanking to start the day just to get ahead of things. At a young age he was driving tractor and setting tubes and he learned the value of honesty and hard work from his hero, his dad (and maybe a few cuss words too). He always said he had the ultimate childhood and enjoyed torturing his sisters, spoiling his mom, playing basketball as a Sidney Eagle, and taking “Norwald” family road trips. Jeremy loved his family dearly…and showed them in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
He met a farm girl from Lambert on the Ferris wheel at the Richland County Fair, and we married on July 12, 2002. Three beautiful children came next – Ella, Ave, and Beckett. Jeremy was unbelievably proud of his kids and took every chance to brag about them. We had a messy, chaotic, happy life chasing them and their activities.
My husband was an amazing guy, with so many talents and gifts. Jeremy could sell anything to anybody, especially if he believed in whatever it was he was selling. And he definitely believed in insurance.
Jeremy was a connector. He genuinely connected with everyone he met and made them feel important. He had a special talent for connecting people to other people. He loved his role at Seitz Insurance, as it allowed him to travel across the beautiful State of Montana and visit with his friends in every town, sending me numerous pictures along the way.
Jeremy was so smart. I loved debating things with him and getting his take on issues or listening to his discussions with friends over beers. He made us all think in new ways and had endless ideas to share.
Jeremy was hilarious and made me laugh every day (I know some of you got all those gifs and memes, too). There was nothing he loved more than making Ella, Avé, or Beckett giggle – TikToks on the Capitol steps, jokes in the car on the way to school, or singing an off-tune 80’s song. I am pretty sure his silly refereeing habits were just to get his kids to crack a smile – all that jumping up and down to warm up and the “subs, join us.” He had a strong group of equally hilarious friends and lived for adventures with them. Stories of the Governor’s Cup, Sasquatch hunts, refereeing trips, kayak river runs, and many that aren’t suitable for print were and continue to be sources of epic laughs. We will miss his crazy antics and his wild laugh so much.
Jeremy was driven, competitive, and loved games of any sort. When we were dating as teenagers, I finally beat him at trivial pursuit and he promptly marched me outside to the pickup and took me home. He always said it was me dancing on the game board that drove him over the edge. He passed that competitive spirit to our amazing kids and has always been their biggest cheerleader and encourager. He did not miss any of their events, and I’m sure many of you have heard his big, booming voice on the sidelines. He so loved watching them swim, dance, play basketball, volleyball, golf, hockey and football. He also took every opportunity to cheer on others, taking interest in their athletic careers and giving them advice and encouragement.
Jeremy was joyful. Every morning when he came out of the bedroom after getting ready, he would have the biggest “good morning” for me and tell me “it’s going to be a great day!” I’m not sure my responses were quite as joyful, likely dependent on how much coffee I’d had. He reminded our children regularly to choose to be happy using a secret language – “How are we going to be,” to their reply, “cool like Fozzie Bear!” His smile was big. So big. He made life fun. He was forever organizing adventures, dinners, and events for our families, for the kids, for our friends – Halloween parties, alligator tours, vacations and family trips, rafting and kayaking adventures, trick or treating in the side-by-side, team dinners, fishing trips, car games on our many road trips, pinochle parties, drinks at the office, pig roasts (you guys have no idea how many pigs I’ve eaten of his), snowshoeing treks, ghost tours, surfing classes, baseball games, the list goes on and on. We never did get to that Macho Picchu trip.
Jeremy was a willing and eager volunteer – coaching, flipping burgers, slinging beers, hauling chairs, and his all-time favorite: hosting or announcing at any event, especially ones that supported his kids’ activities. He was a volunteer EMT for many years. But one of the things I loved most about my husband was his absolute love, devotion, and willingness to serve his family. His mom and dad, his grandparents, his sisters and their families, Matt, my parents and siblings, his nieces and nephews, Janice, his kids, and me – he would do anything for these people. And we were so lucky to be his people.
He has left a huge hole in the community, in his company Seitz Insurance, with our family and friends, and in our kids’ and my hearts. We will miss his joyful, loud, witty, generous, kind presence in our lives every single day.
My husband gave our family a huge gift, and that is all of you. Any memories, pictures, videos you have, please share with me. With my mother-in-law. With our kids. Do it for years and years. Do it every time you see us. We need to hear his name and speak his name so he can continue to be a part of our lives.
Thank you all for celebrating and remembering our special guy. Jeremy is watching from heaven, his dad and my dad by his side, with the biggest grin on his face. On behalf of Jeremy’s entire family, thank you for your love, kindness, and support. Our challenge for you is to bring Jeremy’s joy and friendliness out into the world. We all need it.
Jeremy went to heaven on Aug. 28, 2021, due to heart complications.
Jeremy is survived by his wife Lorilee and children Ella, Avé, and Beckett; mother Lori (Verhasselt) Norby; sister Melissa (Kirk) Sanders and children Hunter, Madycen, and Jaxcen; sister Mandy (Tyler) Malkuch and children Ozzy, Ziggy, and Rizzo; mother-in-law Mary Steppler; sister-in-law Karla (Andy) Dethman and children Mackenzie, Sydney, Mason, and Crew; brother-in-law David (Kristal) Steppler and children Jones, Fiona, and Roosevelt; sister-in-law Kendra Steppler; honorary brother Matt Stedman, and bonus grandma Janice Foster.
Jeremy is preceded in death by his father Rocky Norby; father-in-law Jim Steppler; grandparents Richard and Doris Norby; grandparents Julien (Slim) and Alfrieda Verhasselt.