Norma Ruth Sevel

May 12, 1929 June 17, 2014

Norma R. Sevel, 85, Altoona, died Tuesday at her residence.

She was born in New York City, daughter of the late Irving and Eva (Calman) Sitt. She married Bernard J. Sevel on April 8, 1951, and he preceded her in death in 1995.

Surviving are three daughters: Susan Holzer (Russ) of Altoona, Judith Sevel (David Rardin) of Normal, Ill., and Laurie DiFranco (Domenic) of Wilmington, Mass.; five grandchildren: Michael and wife, Heather, Daniel, Brian, Elizabeth and Jessica; two great-grandchildren: Ari and Ethan Holzer; and a cousin, Alan Sitt.

Norma was a 1951 graduate of Penn State University. She had held positions as the first Head Start director in Altoona and executive director of the Jewish Memorial Center. She was a member of Temple Beth Israel, a board member of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood and Blair County Civic Music Association, a past advisory board member and volunteer at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art and a member of Sixth Ward Ministries.

Norma was a longtime tutoring and reading volunteer at McAuliffe Heights/Irving Elementary School, volunteer coordinator of Elderhostel at Penn State Altoona and a 36-year volunteer at WTAJ Call For Action. She was an avid tennis player, bridge player and reader. She loved to travel and was devoted to family and friends.

Friends will be received from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Friday, June 20, 2014, at E. Merrill Smith Funeral Home Inc., 2309 Broad Ave., Altoona, followed by a graveside service at 1 p.m. at Mount Sinai Cemetery by Rabbi Audrey Korotkin.

The family requests that contributions be made to Temple Beth Israel, 3004 Union Ave., Altoona, PA 16602; Bernard Sevel Library at McAuliffe Heights, 110 Cherry Ave., Altoona, PA 16601; Altoona Symphony Orchestra, 1331 12th Ave., Suite 107, Altoona, PA 16601; or Home Nursing Agency Hospice, 201 Chestnut Ave., P.O. Box 352, Altoona, PA 16603, in Norma’s memory.