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Posted on August 20, 2017 | 11:18 a.m.

Norm Gutshall, 1930-2017

Source: Nan Gutshall and Cyndi Rowland

Norm Gutshall
Norm Gutshall

Norman Frederick Gutshall, aged 87, passed away at Serenity House in Santa Barbara on May 26, 2017. He is with his creator now, dancing a jig with his wife of 63 years "Bertie," his daughter Jamie, his parents, some fabulous friends, and all of his brothers and sisters.

Norm was born in Long Beach, Calif., in 1930 yet lived in Ventura where his family moved when he was still in school. He graduated from Ventura High School and enlisted in the Army. Norm became a technical sargent and served during the Korean War.

Even though he was in the Army, he served in a plane as a ball turret gunner, which never really made sense. Norm never much enjoyed getting into planes after the war.

In 1951 he married Roberta “Bertie” Gutshall, whom he met on a blind date. Along with beginning his family, he began his lifelong career with Southern California Edison. Norm and Bertie had two daughters, Jamie and Nanette, and they moved to Santa Barbara.

As district manager for SoCal Edison, Norm was their public face. He was often seen and heard as he addressed outages, fires, or other issues in Santa Barbara County.

After he retired, Norm explored his artistic abilities, first with woodcarving, and also with jewelry-making. Norm excelled at both, but he loved making jewelry the best.

Norm spent several years studying under Michael Kabotie, a Hopie artist and silversmith. He received his certification in Southwestern jewelry-making from the Idylwild School of Music and the Arts.

Norman was a member of the Santa Barbara Art Association. His pieces appeared in galleries and shops across several western states.

As a master artist in his own right, he taught Southwestern jewelry-making for Santa Barbara City College’s Continuing Education Program for many years.

He so loved his students and the energy they shared. He very much felt that this love was returned. Long-term friendships grew from many of these students. Norm was always proud of the projects they created.

Norm was also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, where he connected with many old and new friends and dance partners. He was frequently seen on a Friday night at Elks or a Saturday night at High Sierra listening to Do No Harm, with his dance card full.

In his last eight years, he was rarely seen without his pair of dachshunds, Hansel and Gretel, who filled his heart with joy and were never far from him. Norman loved his daughter Nanette and her wife Cyndi, who he fully embraced as his second daughter.

He also had a special love and relationship with his niece Ingrid Gutshall of Santa Maria. Her love and support, especially in these last few years, meant the world to him.

Norman is survived by his two daughters, as well as his grandchildren and their children: Amy Moreland and family of Phoenix, Erin Urbanek and family of Ventura, and Max Sterner of Ojai.

Norm will be forever missed. A celebration of life is being planned for later this fall. Anyone interested in joining the family in this event is asked to contact his daughters Nan and Cyndi at [email protected] for details.

The family would like to extend appreciation to Hospice’s Serenity House of Santa Barbara, without whose help, Norm could not have had his last days in comfort, peace and celebration. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Serenity House in honor of Norman.

— Nan Gutshall and Cyndi Rowland


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