Luella Norton was born Sept. 20, 1924, in Burns, to Floyd and Ada (Draper) Norton. Siblings were her two older brothers, Melvin and Keith.
Luella grew up in Peabody, graduating from Peabody High School in 1942. Her father passed away when she was a senior in high school. She and her mother moved to Wichita, where she worked to help support them.
During her time in Peabody, she met Robert Eugene “Gene” Ferguson. It was during the war years that, even though they were separated by distance, their love grew. After returning from the Pacific Theatre of WWII, they were married on Feb. 3, 1946.
They were blessed with three children, Sally (Ferguson) Hannaford, Max Ferguson, and Teresa Ferguson. The joy of her life was when she was called “Grandma” by her five grandchildren, Mike Helmer, Scott Hannaford, Dan Ferguson, Jill Hannaford, and Ali Ferguson.
Lu’s home on Olive Street was an open door to friends, students, and family. Those entering her home were often greeted with great meals, especially her sloppy joes, chili, and yummy deserts.
Lu loved cooking and especially took pride in her sewing and flowers, especially her petunias and roses.
She was an active member of her church, community, clubs, and school activities.
After Gene’s death in 1977, Luella moved to Newton, where she worked at a Hallmark gift store and was a medical records clerk in the Doctor’s Park.
She married Gerald D. “Jerry” Harp on Dec. 17, 1988, and they bought a home in Newton. While living in Newton, Jerry and Lu spent their married years traveling, hosting family gatherings — especially Christmas celebrations, which were her favorite times, and working side by side in their yard and beautiful gardens.
Joining the family with their marriage was daughter Pam and her husband, Don Bredemeier, and grandson Jake; and son Greg and his wife, Linda Harp, and grandsons, Chris and Tom.
Lu and Jerry continued to attend Peabody United Methodist Church and maintained their loyal friendships from the Peabody area.
Lu was blessed in February 2008, with her first great-grandchild, Anderson Michael Helmer. He was a joy to her and always brought smiles and kisses for great-grandma, when he walked into her room.
Lu was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and had to be moved to Marion Assisted Living Center. She suffered from a variety of health ailments and was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Lu passed away at St. Luke Living Center in Marion, on Oct. 3, 2009, with her family at her side.
Luella loved the Lord, her family, her friends, and her life. She will be greatly missed by her husband, Jerry, of Marion; her daughter, Sally, and husband Roger Hannaford, of Marion; her son, Max, and wife Gail Ferguson, of Derby; and her daughter, Teresa Ferguson, of Lawrence; her grandchildren: Mike and his wife Kristina Helmer and their son Anderson of El Dorado; Scott Hannaford and his fiancée Karen Spalding of Lees Summit, Mo.; Dan Ferguson of Medicine Lodge; Jill Hannaford of Manhattan; and Ali Ferguson of Lawrence; and her extended family and her many friends, who will all love and remember her always.