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Norman Benjamin Waldner

In the early morning hours of January 14, 2021, Norman B. Waldner passed away at his home in Dinuba. He was 91. He was born in Huron, South Dakota on October 16th, 1929, to Mike and Nina Waldner. When Norman was 4, the family left South Dakota to move to California. They bought a small farm south of Dinuba and farmed row crops and had a dairy. He attended Dinuba High School, graduating in 1947. After graduation, he enlisted in the Coast Guard. Norman enjoyed his time in the Coast Guard, but due to his father's health was honorably discharged to return home, where he settled back into farming with his father. In 1960, Norman met and fell in love with Judy Beinhorn. Their first date was right after Valentine's Day, and they were married by August 1960. He was not one to delay decisions; he knew he had found the woman he wanted to share his life with! They soon started a family, in 1961 daughter Karen was born followed by their first son Michael in 1963 and last but not least, Daniel, born in 1965. For Norman, farming was his life, his passion, and his hobby. Starting with the first 20 acres his father purchased he acquired more land over the years and diversified what he farmed. He grew cotton and other row crops, wine grapes, table grapes, raisin grapes, peaches, plums, nectarines, citrus, walnuts and cherries. Norman and his son Michael farmed together for many years, and in the mid 1990's discovered a unique tree limb of fruit in one of their orchards. Through many years of research and development with Bright's Nursery, the August Fire Nectarine was patented and put into production. Norman enjoyed watching their nectarine variety become successful world-wide. Besides farming, Norman had a keen interest in water issues effecting agriculture and in 1977 was elected to the Alta Irrigation Board of Directors. He would remain on the board until 2019. He would serve as president, and on October 4th, 2002,the Alta Irrigation honored his many years of dedication by naming their new corporation yard after him. Because of Norman’s vast knowledge about water issues, he had the honor of testifying before congress in March 1987 in Washington DC representing the Alta Irrigation District. Norman also served on the Kings River Conservation District board from 1981 to 2018, and was president from 1993 to 1997. He was on the Kings River Water Association board, serving as chairman in 1984-1986, and 1996-1998. Norman and Judy loved attending water conventions and cherished the friendships they made with the people they met. Norman also was a member of the Dinuba Lions Club for many years. Norman was preceded in death by his parents, Mike and Nina Waldner, sisters Laura Hull, Arlene Blair, Verna Pearson, and granddaughter Shelby Waldner. He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Judy, of Dinuba, daughter Karen Jost and husband Timothy of Dinuba, sons Michael Waldner and wife Jennifer of Stoughton Wisconsin, and Daniel Waldner and wife Louann of Kingsburg. Eight grandchildren, Eric and Amanda Jost, Andrew, Ryan and Kelsey Waldner, and Morgan, Mason and Callie Waldner. During the last few days of Norman’s life he was cared for by Kaweah Delta Hospice. Their kindness and caring towards Norman and his family will never be forgotten.

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KAREN JOST is following this tribute.

KAREN JOST Feb 17 2021 3:53 PM