Six decades and counting

Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2006


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  Hundreds turned out to wish Stormin' Norman Blakeley a happy 60th birthday last week.

Norm Blakeley sneaks a smooch from his wife Barb at his 60th birthday party last week.

The first of the “Baby Boomers” turn the big six-oh this year, and while they are no longer recognizable by their long hair and bell bottom trousers, other things certainly do set them apart, things such as their commitment to serving their communities and helping others when asked. One such boomer, Norm Blakeley and his wife Barb were honored this spring by Nancy Murkowski with a First Lady Award for their volunteer efforts. So it was no surprise when Barb announced a party for Norm’s 60th birthday that hundreds turned out to wish him 60 more. “I couldn’t understand all the traffic heading back toward Anchorage on a Saturday afternoon, then I turned off for Norm’s house in Sterling and so did everybody else, I had to park a half mile away and hike in to his house. Princess Tours should have provided a shuttle bus,” said a friend.


Hundreds turned out to wish Stormin' Norman Blakeley a happy 60th birthday last week.

A true cross section of the community came by to join the celebration with nearly enough elected officials to have held a special session of the legislature. “It’s really great to see so many friends and relatives, my wife Barb instigated this whole thing, but to have so many come out was really a great thing for us. We live in a great community and I’m grateful to be a part of it,” said Norm. Barb joked that she almost was refused a burn permit from the fire department for Norm’s birthday cake, “Fire danger being so high you know, but we’ve got the fire marshal over there with a 10 pound fire extinguisher standing by,” laughed Barb.

Blakeley said he never figured out who nominated him and his wife for the First Lady Volunteer award and couldn’t understand why when there are so many others that do so much in our community. “It was a great honor and a huge surprise for my wife and me, there were 10 of us selected statewide, and it was a very nice thing that someone did for us,” said Norm. Blakeley is an auctioneer by profession and with his wife Barb own Blakeley’s Auction Company and the Alaska Trading Co. in Soldotna. For more than half of his sixty years Norm has lived on the Kenai Peninsula and during that time has helped raise funds for nearly every non-profit organization on the Peninsula. He recently joined the Soldotna Rotary Club and when he won over $1,200 cash last week in a door prize drawing he simply donated it back to the Rotary Foundation and its global relief efforts.

When asked about his plans for his next 60 years, Norm replied, “”Just keep on doing the same thing, this community has a lot of great people in it, and it takes us all doing what we can do make this such a wonderful place to live, so I’ll just keep on doing it until I croak!”

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