June 17, 2021

Norma Amer Siemen, 88, passed away on Monday, June 14, 2021 after several months of declining health.

She was born in Linn County Kansas where she lived until she graduated from Pleasanton High School. After graduating from Pittsburg State Teachers College, now Pittsburg State University, she was hired as a kindergarten teacher in Topeka, Kansas. In Topeka she met her husband of 36 years, Ralph, a pharmaceutical salesman for Eli Lilly. They spent several years in Topeka and Dodge City, and then left Kansas and moved to Okeene, Oklahoma where they owned and operated Siemen Rexall Drug.

After 14 years, Ralph and Norma sold their beloved store and make career changes that would allow for more family time. They loaded up daughters, Tami and Teri, the horses and the dogs, and moved to Virginia where Ralph continued his pharmacy career with Appalachian Regional Hospitals. Norma, who never walked away from a challenge, returned to school. She completed an Associates Degree at Mountain Empire Community College and transferred to UVA Wise earning a BS in Business Management.

Norma was a proud and loyal employee of Westmoreland Coal Company until Westmoreland closed its Virginia operations. She attended the Big Stone Gap Presbyterian Church and spent a great deal of time volunteering at the Southwest Virginia Museum, Mountain Empire Community College, and the American Heart Association. Norma also loved volunteering at the John Fox, Jr. Museum and did so for more than 30 years.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph L. Siemen; parents, Ray and Virginia Amer; a daughter, Teri Siemen Coffey; her sisters, Marilyn Radean Swope and Shirley Amer; and brother, Albert Amer.

Surviving are her daughter, Tami Ely and husband Winston; grandsons, Dale DePriest and wife Stefanie, and Kevin DePriest; granddaughters, Katie Coffey Southerland (James), Karen Ely Riggs (Jason), and Kristin Ely Stanley (Darren); and great-granddaughters, Emmalee Ibsen and Frances Gray Riggs; and a host of other relatives and friends.

The family would like to express deep gratitude to the Laurels staff for the loving care she received while a resident. Thanks are also extended to Ted Barnette, and the entire Genesis crew, for their expertise and humor that kept her laughing.

Funeral services for Norma Siemen will be conducted at 7 p.m. Friday, June 18 at the Sturgill Funeral Home chapel in Wise with Rev. Jim Collie officiating. The family will receive friends from 5:30 p.m. until time of services at 7 p.m. Friday, at the funeral home. Graveside committal services and burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 19, in the Glencoe Cemetery in Big Stone Gap. Family and friends will meet at 10:15 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home to go to the cemetery in procession. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Ralph L. Siemen Scholarship Fund in Chemistry, c/o Office of Advancement, UVA Wise, 1 College Avenue, Wise, VA 24293. Please visit to leave online condolences for the family.

Sturgill Funeral Home, 1621 Norton Road SW, Wise is in charge of arrangements.