Norma Mae Breitbach, 93, of Charles City, Iowa passed away at Floyd County Medical Center on Friday, December 4th, 2020 from complications of Covid-19.
Our mother was born on May 8, 1927 in White Lake, South Dakota, daughter to Charles Yeager and Dorothea Strohman Yeager. As a child on the family farm in South Dakota, Mom cultivated a love for the prairie, its plants and wildlife. It was also during those early years on the farm where she began her life-long love for cats. Mom told us many stories about the barn kitties and would fondly remember those kittens’ names decades later. Fast forward through life, the growing list of cats and their special names would become a unique part of her character. She loved all animals. Her back patio would often host deer, squirrels, birds, cats simultaneously and Dr. Norma Doolittle would make it her business to feed them all.
The Yeager family moved to Iowa in 1937 and built a house on the family farm near Winthrop. Our mom met and then married her high school sweetheart, Robert Breitbach on December 14th, 1946 in Independence, Iowa. They each obtained their Doctor of Chiropractic licenses at Palmer College in Davenport, Iowa. Our parents moved to Charles City to establish a holistic health option for their new community. They opened Breitbach Chiropractic Clinic, with Dad as the practicing doctor and Mom as the administrator of their practice. The clinic is still operating. Shortly thereafter, their family began to grow with the births of Steven, Susan and David. There were many family road trips to explore Iowa, and longer vacations to explore the U.S. Mom has always had a passion for antiquing, spending hours on a weekend traveling with Dad in search of the perfect crock or jar. She was a lover of the arts, and particularly appreciated local artists.
A hallmark of our mother’s life was how many people she met and knew well. She came by this desire and natural ability to get to know people from her own father, Charlie. Our Pop loved to meet and talk to people, as did our mother. She would often tell us about someone new she’d just met and preface her story with, “I just pulled a Charlie.”
Mother loved Iowa, and was a loyal ambassador for Charles City. She was always willing to volunteer for various civic organizations. She served on Community Revitalization as a charter member, a board secretary for nine years, and sat on the Design Committee. She was instrumental in Charles City’s participation in the National America in Bloom competition, twice named a Volunteer of the Year and also Woman of the Year. Her interests were diverse, but some of her favorites include tours, the vintage streetlights and seasonal planters on Main Street. Mom was also a charter member of the Arts Center and served in the City Improvement Association.
Mom is preceded in death by her husband, Robert Breitbach, parents, sister, Gladys and brother, Lynn.
She is survived by her children: Steven of Town of Kelly WI; daughter Susan (Teri) of Middleton, WI; and son David of Viroqua, WI; grandchildren Jessica, Kelly, Charnelle, Genevieve, Jeshua and Kessie; great-grandchildren, Isabella, Payton, Mateo, and Zachariah. She is further survived by many nieces, nephews and their families as well as numerous members of her husband’s brothers and their families.
We are deeply grateful for the care that Mom received during her stay at the hospital. Dr. Royer and nurses Sunny and Haley went above and beyond to keep us updated on her condition and to keep her comfortable.
There will be a private burial in Riverside Cemetery. A memoriam in Norma’s name may be made to PAWS or to the Charles City Arts Center.
Hauser Weishaar Funeral Home, (641) 228-2323, 1205 South Main Street, Charles City, Iowa 50616 is in charge of local arrangements. Online condolences may be left on the Tribute Wall for the family at www.hauserfh.com.