Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Baby Joseph Norman 1955-1987 #52Ancestors #52

Joseph Wilburn Norman was the New Year's Baby in Birmingham, Alabama in 1955. He was the son of John and Dorothy Phillips Norman.


Dorothy almost named him Samuel, but as soon as she found out he was the New Year's Baby, she instantly knew she would name him Joseph.

Joseph was welcomed at home by his older brother, John David. They were inseparable.
Joe was raised in a super clean environment. This was in the 50's when everything was boiled, bleached, or Lysoled. (Much unlike my own home). The first time he was ever put on the floor, he got up and walked.

Joe made up for lost time out in the woods and fields. The two boys were always into something. During the summer they would come in so dirty, Dorothy would have them strip at the back door and wash off with the hosepipe (yeah, this is Alabama, it's a hosepipe).

Joe was once building a treehouse and he managed to hang himself with a rope. David and Dorothy were working in the garden nearby. Dorothy happened to see him hanging and cleared a fence by putting one hand on a post and leaping over, and was able to rescue Joe before it was too late.

When Joe was small, about 1 1/2, he was hospitalized to have his tonsils taken out. David had sympathy pains and laid in bed until his brother came home.

Joe was a prankster and absolutely LOVED firecrackers...maybe it had something to do with being the "New Year's Baby".


Joe was married twice, first to Robin. They divorced after a year.
Joe married Sheree and they had two children, Joey and Melanie. (I'm not using last names here since all parties are still living).


Joe worked in the oil fields, mainly around Zachary, Louisiana.

Sheree and Joe eventually broke up. Joe fully embraced the bachelor life. He liked to party, to put it mildly.

Joe died December 29, 1987 on Interstate 65 in Evergreen, Alabama. He and a friend were on the way to Florida. It was a spur of the minute trip, and both were roaring drunk. Joe was thrown from the car, and died instantly. His friend survived.

Joe had always told us he wanted to donate his body to science, so that's what happened. We donated his body to University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Joe has a marker next to his mother in the Phillips Cemetery, Little River, Baldwin, Alabama.
Rest In Peace Joe.