Vigen Memorial Home obituary – Norman A. Inman, 91, Keokuk

Norman (Putt) Alfred Inman, 91, Keokuk, died Friday, November 27, 2020.

Norman (Putt) Alfred Inman, of Keokuk, Iowa, born 31 December, 1928, in Keokuk, Iowa, passed due to heart and kidney failure at his residence on Friday, 27 November 2020, surrounded by the love and comfort of his wife and children. 

     Norman, whom was 91 years-old when he passed, was born, raised, and lived in Keokuk, and was endeared to the small town. All but a handful of years of his life he spent in a house his father and grandfather built on Concert Street, a house where he would raise his own family.

     Norman was a good-natured, generous, and gentle soul who would have helped anyone in their time of need, and always had a corny joke up his sleeve to make you laugh and smile. He was a machinist by trade, working in the field for several industries for a period of over 50 years, a testament to his diligent work ethic and dedication to his trade. There were many job accomplishments that he was proud of, but the one he seemed most proud of was his contribution to building the Keokuk Lock and Dam. He would often visit it and tell stories of his work there with fondness.   

     As a devout Catholic and family man, he supported his ill parents on a part-time basis starting at the age of 12 and provided full-time support to his parents starting at age 15 until their death. In his mid-twenties, he started a family of his own with his wife, Roma Delight; together they raised five children. Norman was an inventive thinker, he had the uncanny ability to fix almost any mechanical problem, having the foresight to see the solution to a problem many others might have missed.

Putt’s expertise carried over into the hobbies he loved. He was a huge consumer of anything scientific. He was a fanatic train lover from which he obtained his nickname.   As a child, he had a steam train engine that went “putt, putt, putt.”  A nickname that stuck for life.

     Before cars became all but computerized, there was almost nothing he could not do with a car mechanically. He kept more than one family vehicle running for over 20 years, something that is unheard of today. He was a skilled carpenter, who found great pride in displaying his creations and even more giving them as gifts. Even late into his illness, he labored with his children to leave behind a craft that would announce his carpentry talent for years to come. Without a doubt, Putt’s greatest love was growing vegetables. He had two green thumbs and eight green fingers and could grow a rock in concrete if he was pushed to. Norman prided himself in being able to grow the biggest, the best, and the most on the vine of any vegetable he grew, and with help from his children, carried this tradition up to only weeks before his death. One of his crowning moments was being featured on the Gate City’s front page for having a 19’ tomato plant that produced hundreds of the most succulent tomatoes you could imagine. Tomatoes were definitely his pride and joy, a fruit of labor he enjoyed giving away, almost as much as he did devouring with a relish. 

Norman was preceded in death by his father William Inman, mother Alma Pfaffe Inman, bother Raphael Inman, and sister Lavina Leonard Felgar.

     He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Roma Delight, five children, ten grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.   Children include Martha Paige of Omaha, Nebraska; Michael Inman of Keokuk, Iowa; Diane Inman of Omaha, Nebraska; Mark Inman (Lisa) of San Antonio, Texas; and Richard Inman of Des Moines, Iowa. Grandchildren include David Paige (Kanyaphat) of Jeju City, South Korea; Nicole Rosenthal (Adam) of Omaha, Nebraska; Amber Riley (Travis) of New Prague, Minnesota; Alexandria Peters (Jason) of San Antonio, Texas; Lauren Voshell (Dakotah) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Hunter Inman (Amanda) of San Antonio, Texas; Dakota Inman of San Antonio, Texas; Nikki Inman of San Antonio, Texas; Murphy Bolton (Colton) of Altoona, Iowa; and Tyler Inman of Des Moines, Iowa.

     A memorial service will be held 10:30 a.m., Thursday at All Saints Catholic Church in Keokuk with Reverend David Brownfield, Ph.D. officiating.  Burial will be in the Oakland Cemetery in Keokuk. 

     Friends may come to Vigen Memorial Home in Keokuk from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Wednesday, to sign the register book and view Norman.  The family will not be present.  Social distancing requirements will be in place and masks are required at the funeral home and the church.   

     Memorials may be made to All Saints Parish of Keokuk.

     Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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