Roald Norheim, 93
November 9, 2023
Roald Norheim was born on October 30, 1929, in Petersburg, Alaska, to parents Tora and Jorgen Norheim who had relocated to Petersburg from Norway.
Born and raised during the depression, Roald would say there wasn't a lot of money, but there was always plenty of food. He attended school in Petersburg where he was part of the "Road Gang," a group of kids that would remain some of his lifelong friends and included his brother Arvid Norheim, Lloyd and Lyle Roundtree, and Ben Baker among others.
Like a lot of young men during that time, Roald had an interest in flying and earned his pilot license in addition to working as a commercial fisherman. During high school he spent two years in Norway getting to know his Norwegian family.When he returned to Petersburg he was drafted into the military. After serving two years in the army, he returned home to Petersburg before going to sheet metal school in Seattle, Washington.
Home once again, Roald reunited with his love, Evelyn Jean Wasvik. Jeannie said, "I will not be married to a fisherman or a pilot." He had done both, but he switched his career choice and he and Jeannie were married on July 4, 1955. Jeannie was the love of his life for 67 years. Their first son Mike Norheim became an airplane pilot and son number two, Ladd Norheim, became a fisherman.
Roald spent some time working in construction before becoming a business owner. He and Jeannie purchased the city cleaners and opened a flower shop, the first of several businesses they would own and operate in Petersburg. An active member of his community, Roald was a volunteer fireman, a little league coach, served on the city council and as Chair of the local Democratic Party.
In 1961 Jeannie and Roald purchased Grief Island, which became a big part of the Norheim family's life. They spent many weekends there creating lifelong memories with family and friends.
Roald passed away on December 4, 2022. He is remembered by his wife, Evelyn Jean Norheim; his two sons and their wives, Mike (Jan) and Ladd (Brenda); grandkids, Taylor Norheim, Ariel Norheim, Chad Norheim, Mia Norheim-Ireland, and Anna Norheim; and six great-grandkids.