top of page
photo of norma schleppegrel

Meet the 2017 Titan of Taconite

Norma Schleppegrel!

     Norma Jeanne Walters was born Oct. 22, 1927, in Kansas City, Mo. In early 1941, the family moved to Minneapolis. She attended St. Margaret’s High School, graduating in 1945. While attending the University of Minnesota, she met William “Bill” Schleppegrell, a recently returned veteran. They were married on Aug. 28, 1948. She and Bill went on to raise seven children:  Bill Jr., Mary, Larry, Betsy, Tom, Steve and Patty.

     In 1952, the growing family moved to Hibbing. Norma was a homemaker and an active volunteer with the Assumption School PTA, scouting, Golden Crest Nursing Home and Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.

     In 1968, Norma began a job at Hibbing General Hospital as a secretary in the new psychiatric unit. By 1975, she had earned her B.S. degree in Mental Health Services through classes at Hibbing Junior College and Bemidji State University.

     She chaired the Governor’s Commission on Mental Health and the Minnesota Council on Mental Health. Gov. Rudy Perpich officially proclaimed

Aug. 5, 1986, as “Norma Schleppegrell Day.” This also marked the passage of the 1986 Comprehensive Mental Health Act for Adults and Children.  

     In 1992, the McKnight Foundation presented Norma with the Virginia McKnight Binger Award in Human Service. Also in 1992, Gov. Arne Carlson presented Norma with a Certificate of Commendation for a Lifetime of Achievement Award. In 1994, the Minnesota Association of Mental Health Residential Facilities presented Norma with the Gloria Segal Award.

     Other services to Hibbing included her activities with the Noon Rotary since 1991, as a board member at Hibbing Community College (HCC) and as a member and chair of the Fairview Range Health Services Board of Trustees. In 2002, Norma was named Trustee of the Year for the Fairview system.  

Norma and Bill were named Rotarians of the Year in 2001 and 2002. She and Bill were honored as the Grand Marshals for the 2003 Hibbing Jubilee Parade. They were also instrumental in the Sister City project, which helped develop a relationship between Hibbing and Walsrode, Germany, the hometown of Hibbing’s founder, Frank Hibbing.

     Aug. 28, 2002, saw the dedication of “Norma’s Place,” a drop-in center located in the former Cobb-Cook School, which housed services provided by Range Mental Health Center.

     Today she remains active in Hibbing Rotary, is a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and continues her affiliation with Blessed Sacrament Church. 



bottom of page