|Norma Kathryn Garlington was known to most of her friends and family as “Bootsy.” She was a Deaconess and a Diaconal Minister in the United Methodist Church. Norma was born April 6, 1932 in Allen Parish, not far from Hopewell United Methodist Church, where she grew up in a Christian home with her parents Elbert and Vera Garlington and one brother, Philip. The church was always the center of her life and her greatest joy was serving others.
Norma graduated from Fairview High School, McNeese State College, Scarritt College for Christian Workers and did in-service training at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York. In 1984, she received a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of New Orleans. At the time of her death she was actively participating in continuing education studies, always seeking new and better ways to enrich the lives of others. She was certified as a Director of Christian Education, a National Counselor in the area of Mental Health and was a licensed Professional Counselor. Degrees and titles were not the important thing to Norma. The opportunities and the ability they gave her to minister to others, these were important
In 1987 Norma retired from the public school system as a teacher and guidance counselor and in 1988 established a private practice in Oakdale. Like the doors of her home, her office was always open. She found time to see everyone whether or not they could afford to pay. She was the founder and director of Allen Interfaith Coalition for Caring, a Louisiana CrossLines ministry.
Most of her life “Bootsy” had health problems and on August 23, 1994, in Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, she went to be with God, whom she loved and served with all her soul and strength. On August 26 a service of celebration of Norma’s life was held at Hopewell United Methodist Church; her earthly life had came full circle. She will be remembered as a Christian teacher, counselor, and friend, one who helped others find courage and hope, and one who lived her faith in such way that others might see Christ through her.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1995; p. 267 By Seola Callahan|