Biography: Norma graduated from St. Pius in Savannah, GA in 1958 with her lifelong best friend, Patricia Williams. After graduation, she came to New York City and stayed with a family member. Soon after, she met Howard Karl Marshburn, and in 1961 they were married in Holy Matrimony at St. Charles Borromeo. They have two children; Howard Karl Jr., and Ronald.
Norma knew the importance of having an education and in 1979 went on to continue her studies at NYU where she received her Associate’s Degree. Later, she resumed her studies and received her B.A. in Business Administration and Management from Marymount Manhattan College in 1987.
In her early years in New York City, Norma worked in the Healthcare field starting as a Nurse’s Aide. She would soon begin her career at Blue Cross Blue Shield. Norma then moved onto Revelation Technology as a Customer Service Supervisor. Finally, her career journey would take her to work for the City of New York at DOITT as a Systems Analyst where she retired in 2003.
After St. Charles, Norma attended and became a member of St. Thomas The Apostle of Harlem, New York. She then went on to become a member of All Saints Roman Catholic Church in Harlem where her children attended school. Norma was very active in Church and School affairs for most of the 70’s. Norma became a parishioner of St. Joseph’s of the Holy Family in Harlem where she worked on several committees and took part in various ministries. In the early 1990’s, Norma returned to St. Charles Borromeo Church and this is where she decided to plant her spiritual roots until her death. Norma loved the Lord and her community … she could be found at any one of the Central Harlem Catholic Churches depending on the occasion.
She served and presided over many groups and organizations. To name a few: Minister of the Eucharist as a Chaplin, Women in Prayer, St. Charles Altar Rosary Society, Cursillo, and the Harlem Vicariate. In 2007, Norma’s deep commitment to her faith and to the Christians in the Holy Land led her to accept an invitation to become a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Papal Order. A Woman of Service, Norma did not hesitate when asked to serve the Order as a Lector or to travel to the Holy Land. At the time of her passing, Norma had been elevated to the rank of: Dame Grand Cross, the highest rant the laity can achieve.
On Sunday, March 7, 2021, Norma went home to Glory. She leaves to mourn; her Brother, Henry W. Mathis, and his wife Angela of Virginia Beach, VA. Two sons, Howard Karl Jr. and Ronald Marshburn and his wife Dionna. Five grandchildren, Rondell, James, Jeremy, Nia and Maxine. Her lifelong friend Patricia Williams and a host of relatives and friends.