Just before her 91st birthday, Mary Firestone Norval died on December 26, 2020 following a short illness. Knowing her extra large and joy-filled heart was failing, we were instructed to write, “She died” as her obituary, but in truth she LIVED. This remarkable wife, mother and grandmother shared her world with everyone, had the truest gift of hospitality, and never met someone who did not become family. She was a woman of strong faith, who lived out her beliefs in all aspects of her life. This faith was deepened through membership of Bible Study Fellowship, Westminster Presbyterian Church and New Covenant Church, serving as Deacon and Elder along with countless volunteer roles within the churches. Mary was a Buchtel graduate in 1948 and also of The Ohio State University in 1952. She taught elementary school in Columbus and Akron, Ohio before raising her family. During those years, she was an active member of the Akron General Medical Center Women’s Board, the Junior League of Akron, Keep Akron Beautiful and served at the Hospice Center on Ridgewood Road. She also co-owned Norval’s Cards and Gifts, formerly at Highland Square, with her sister-in- law, Patricia Norval. An avid golfer who still played through this summer, she also enjoyed a great bridge game, kept remarkable scrapbooks up until a few weeks ago, and mastered all sorts of hand work. She was a creative in every way, made every gathering a party, and her loss is a great one for all who knew her.
Preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Dorothy Firestone,her brother John Firestone, and daughter Susan Norval, she leaves behind her husband of 68 years, Dr. John C. Norval; son Greg Norval (Karen); daughter Nancy Hannum (Doug); and grandchildren Kurt (Brenna Musfeldt) Norval, Kalleigh (Rory Mackay) Norval, Kasey Norval, Ford Hannum and Mackenzie Hannum (who will all miss their Grandma "Hands”); sisters-in-law Patricia and Florence Norval; and many nieces and nephews who adored her and will share hilarious “Aunt Mary” stories forever.
A private service will be held with the immediate family and will be shared if a recording is available. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to New Covenant Community Church Memorial Fund, 1587 W. Exchange Street, Akron Ohio 44313.
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