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Norman Frank Tjaden

Norman Frank Tjaden, of Seattle, WA passed away on Sept. 4, 2022. He is survived by his two sons Per and Sten, his daughter in law Christy Tjaden (married to Sten), his younger brother Dale, and granddaughter Anja Tjaden.

Norman Frank Tjaden
Norman Frank Tjaden

Norman Tjaden was born in Chickasaw, IA in 1931 and grew up on a farm nearby, just outside of Floyd  IA with his two brothers, Dale and Gerald, and his Father and Mother, Louis and Vera Tjaden.

Norman did not particularly enjoy the farm life of his youth. He ran away from home at the age of 16 and moved to Chicago, shortly after the end of the second world war. In Chicago Norman worked and finished high school and started taking college classes. He then moved to Seattle and attended the University of Washington, where he finished college and earned his undergraduate degree in History while working various part time jobs. In the Pacific Northwest Norman also learned to enjoy hiking and camping in the extensive mountain ranges that surround Seattle.

Through his outdoor activities Norman met his soon to be wife, Margaret Berg, who was also a transplant to the Pacific Northwest, from the northeast US near Boston, MA.

Norman was drafted into the US army in 1956, shortly after graduating from the University of Washington, and served for 18 months in a clerical position at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Not long after Norman finished his military service, he and Margaret were married in December of 1957,

Norman also continued his education at the University of Washington and earned a master’s degree in History in 1958.

Norman’s professional life was spent exclusively with the Seattle school district, where he started working immediately after obtaining his master’s degree. His first position, at which he remained for roughly 20 years, was as a teacher at Ballard High school.

Norman and Margaret had two children, Per and Sten, born in 1961 and 1962 respectively.

While the kids worked their way through junior high and high school, Norman’s marriage to Margaret deteriorated and they divorced in 1981, as soon as both children were out of high school and off to college themselves.

Norman retired from his career with the Seattle schools in 1993. By that time he had moved on from Ballard High and was involved in programs to help wayward young people get back on track and get their high school GED, much as he had done at a similar time in his life.

In retirement Norman was able to focus on the main interests that he had developed over the years, primarily cycling and gardening. He was an active member of the Cascade Bicycle Club and the Seattle Tilth. He joined and led numerous rides with the bicycle club and was always available as an expert on worm bin composting for the gardeners of Seattle. Norman continued to hike in the mountains and also became an ardent cross country skier during retirement.

He also did quite a bit of traveling, most often with his bicycle and with groups both large and small, some of which he himself organized. His trips included forays to France, Ireland, and numerous trips throughout the western US.

Unfortunately Norman experienced a severe fall in 2018, which resulted in a long slow decline in his physical abilities.  He passed away quietly at the Washington Care Center in Seattle on Sept. 4, 2022.

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