Norman Ellsworth Maruska was born on September 3, 1934 to Ed and Ida May (Dummer) Maruska in Scotland, South Dakota. He attended Scotland schools through the 8th grade. At the age of 17, he joined the U.S. Navy. He served as a boilerman on the U.S.S. Alshain during the Korean Conflict from June 1952 to his honorable discharge in August 1955. After returning home, he attended Southern State College in Springfield, South Dakota and earned a technical degree in auto mechanics. On September 21, 1963, he was united in marriage to Nellie Holm in Milltown, South Dakota.
For a time, Norman did various jobs, such as building houses and shops, repairing buildings, and a few years working mechanics at Weltz Ford. Together with his dad, Norman started his own auto repair shop. He served many people in the area, with his largest clients being Schwan’s Ice Cream and the local creamery trucks. He owned and operated his repair shop for over 45 years before his health led him to retire.
Norman was an active member of the Scotland Fire Department throughout his life. He volunteered for a time in all 3 firehouses and retired in September 2015 after serving for 55 years. Norman was proud to help his community, but dreaded serious calls of large fires and accidents. He shared a wish that people would “pray God is with them [first responders] all the time with helping hands.”
Norman passed away on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at Sister James Care Center in Yankton, South Dakota having attained the age of 84 years, 7 months, and 14 days.
He is survived and remembered by his wife of 57 years, Nellie Maruska; daughters: Deborah (Marvin) Kruse and Deloris Maruska; sons: Steve (Renee) Maruska and James (Tammy) Maruska; grandchildren: Matthew, Carli, Katelynn (Brady), Kassidy, Jesse, Kourtney, Peyton (Levi), Derek, Kalley, Kalen, and Kalob; great-grandchildren SkyLynn, Ethan, Jase, Kami, Damien, and Adeline; brother Gerald Maruska; sister Carol (Raymond) Grambihler; and sister-in-law Elvira Maruska.
He was preceded in death his parents, brother Francis (Dorothy) Maruska, sister Arlene (Don) Kizer, sister Margaret (Jack) Turner, and sister-in-law Deanna Maruska.
** This obituary was written by the Goglin Funeral Home on behalf of the Maruska family.