Remembrance: Former Columbia Union Women’s Ministries Director Known for Loving People
Story by Visitor Staff
Pictured below: The Sahlin family surround matriarch Norma during better times.
Norma Jean Sahlin, a daughter of the Columbia Union Conference, lost her fight against ovarian cancer last Wednesday. She was 61. Sahlin was born in Takoma Park, Md., was in the Takoma Academy Class of 1970, and graduated from Columbia Union College in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in communication. She married Monte Sahlin on October 20, 1974 at Potomac Conference’s Sligo church in Takoma Park. This Sunday marks their 39th anniversary.
Although Norma joined her husband in urban ministry, she served in many other capacities throughout the union. She served as Ohio Conference newsletter editor, international director of marketing at the former Home Study International, director of development and alumni relations at Takoma Academy, media relations manager at ADRA and as Women’s Ministries director for the Columbia Union Conference. She has also volunteered in several churches as an elder and hospitality leader. In her final years, Norma led out in the membership ministry at Ohio Conference’s Village church in Mason and managed the church’s Agora community center.
Her daughters remember Norma as someone who loved people, the church, gardening, tea, books and grandkids. “She was known for treating people well,” they say, “for volunteering, taking care of people who cannot help themselves, hosting new member dinners at church … and opening her door to all and for reading and telling stories.”
Her husband says, “She was so full of life and gave so much to many people, including helping write many books and research reports.”
Norma leaves behind her husband, Monte; daughters Stephanie Jackson (Sam) in Laurel, Md., and Melissa Bruno (Gianluco) of Mason; brothers David and Robert Seal of Florida; sister, Martha Carol in Mississippi; three grandchildren, three nieces, three nephews and their families.
A memorial service is scheduled for October 19 at 5 p.m. at the Village church, which is located at 8936 South Mason-Montgomery Road in Mason, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that contributions be sent to The Agora Community Center, 118 E. Main Street, Ste. 103, Mason, OH 45040. Cards and letters can be sent there as well.