Norma Elaine (Smith) Lanham passed away on Friday, October 2, 2015 at Kavanagh House in Des Moines, Iowa. Norma's funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at the Carlisle United Methodist Church. A visitation with the family begins at 10:00 a.m. at the church until service time at 11:00. Burial will follow in the Carlisle Township Cemetery with a luncheon immediately following in the Family Life Center. \n\nNorma was born on May 18, 1926 in the family home in Altamont, Missouri. She was the only child of Raymond and Nettie (Sutton) Smith. The family moved to St. Joseph, Missouri when Norma was around 2 years old. She attended Hosea grade school and graduated from Benton High School in St. Joseph in 1944. Norma was an accomplished pianist and accompanied many of the high school music group performances. \n\nNorma attended Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri. She was a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority while on campus. There she met John Lanham, the handsome football player from Auburn, Illinois. They were married on August 23, 1947. After college, the couple moved to Sidney, Iowa where John was teacher, coach, principal and superintendent of schools until 1959. Their daughter, Sherilyn Kay was born in 1949. Norma volunteered often during the years in Sidney, taught piano lessons, belonged to the Methodist Church, was initiated into PEO, and served as a leader for Sheri's Brownie troop.\n\nThe family moved to Knoxville, Iowa in 1959 when John became Guidance Coordinator for the Marion County schools system, and Norma continued with her active volunteer involvement in the community, her clubs, teaching piano lessons, and supporting Sheri's activities. She also worked part time as the librarian for the Marion County schools library. \n\nJohn and Norma moved to Carlisle, Iowa in 1967 after Sheri graduated from high school and John took a position in the Special Education Division of the Department of Education in Des Moines, Iowa. Norma began working in the Personnel office as Benefits Administrator for the Iowa Department of Human Services in Des Moines at the same time and loved the fact that she and John could drive to work together. Norma retired from this position in January of 1986. \n\nNorma, a PEO sister for 65 years, was one of the organizing members of PEO Chapter NT in Carlisle. Norma belonged to TTK club, and was a member of Carlisle United Methodist Church. John and Norma enjoyed traveling when they retired, often visiting family and friends around various areas of the country and staying active to keep up with their grandsons, Corey and Drew. John passed away in July of 1993 and Norma continued to keep busy with her family and was included in many of their activities and trips. She and Sheri made great memories with their expeditions to various parts of the country in the family van. As Norma got older she continued to keep her mind sharp by spending time on her computer playing games, puzzles and keeping in touch through email. \n\nNorma will be greatly missed by her daughter Sheri McMordie of Clive, Iowa, and her two grandsons Corey McMordie of Waukee, Iowa and Drew McMordie of Kansas City, Missouri. She had a strong connection with extended family members and many friends, some of whom she had maintained contact with since childhood. Her sweet nature, gentle kindness, concern for others, and good sense of humor made Norma a special person too many. Memorial contributions may be made in Norma's name to Carlisle United Methodist Church, PEO Chapter Scholarship Fund, Hospice of Central Iowa, or Above and Beyond Cancer. Online condolences may be made at www.petersonfuneralservice.com \n\nShe picked a beautiful fall day to be on her way!