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Published: Friday, 7/23/2004

Erie farmer found life's work as teen

ERIE, Mich. - Norman A. Spotts, a lifelong area farmer, died Tuesday in Toledo Hospital. He was 71.

The cause of death was heart problems, his son, Richard Spotts, said.

Mr. Spotts first learned to love farming when he worked as a potato farmer as a teenager, his son said.

Later, he moved on to work at a dairy farm, and then he ran his own grain farm.

"He liked to work the land," Mr. Spotts said. "He liked to watch the corn grow."

Unlike many farmers, Mr. Spotts had no family farm to inherit. His son described Mr. Spotts as a hard worker, who "started from scratch" when it came to his chosen profession.

And even after Mr. Spotts passed down his farm to his son, the seasoned farmer still enjoyed tending crops.

"He never stopped farming," said his son. "He was on the tractor this spring."

Mr. Spotts was a loving husband to his wife, Rose Mary, and the kind of father that could always be counted on by his six children to dispense helpful advice.

"I always went to him with questions," his son said. "He always set a good example and was always a family man."

Mr. Spotts was active in St. Joseph's Church, Erie, and was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 7413.

"He never worked on Sunday, his son said. "He always went to church."

Surviving are his wife, Rose Mary; sons, John, Michael, and Richard; daughters, Anne Sweeney, Margaret Banachowski, and Nancy Glenn; sisters, Vera DeVries, Dorothy Bridgman, and Ivadelle Wardell; and 21 grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Erie. The body is in the Bedford Funeral Chapel, Temperance.

The family suggests tributes to the St. Joseph's Building Fund.

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