SIERRA VISTA — Norman Donald Grahn (Retired Army LT. Col.), age 81 years died Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at his home with his family by his side, after a long battle with cancer. He was born on January 6, 1940 to the late Pastor Gunnard and Hulda Grahn in Mitchell, South Dakota. The family later settled in the small community of Dawson in Southeastern Minnesota, where he remained until he graduated from Dawson High School in 1958. Norm was an astute individual and student and received an appointment from then Representative H. Carl Anderson to attend the Military Academy at West Point.
After West Point graduation in 1962, Norm married his high school sweetheart, Elaine Windingstad and began his military career which spanned a period of twenty-seven years; earning many honors, appointments, and designations, notably his Ranger and Airborne statuses and his selection to attend the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His military career took him on multiple international tours and to Army Bases all over the United States where he earned charge of Battalion Commander in Ft. Hood, Texas. Norm served two tours in Viet Nam before the Army sent him to graduate school at the University of Arizona to earn a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. It was in Tucson that Norm and Elaine fell in love with Arizona and knew this would be their eventual forever-home. Norm retired from the military in 1983 in Fort Huachuca, Arizona making his permanent home in Sierra Vista, Arizona and beginning a second career as an electrical engineer with various defense contractors until his full retirement in 2001.
Norm was an active member of the Lutheran Church his entire life and enjoyed teaching the youth as well as attending adult bible classes. He enjoyed camping, fishing, riding his bike, and spending time with his family.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Elaine Windingstad, his two sons — Mark Grahn (Kassandra) and Daniel Grahn (Jennifer), three daughters — Kari Latam (Jeremy), Kirstin Grahn (Michael Bjork), and Kimberly Abrams (Matt). He leaves behind eight grandchildren: Claudia, Morgan, Bailey, Owen, Kayla, Connor, Max, and Amelia. He also leaves a brother, Dale Grahn of Duluth, Minnesota and two sisters-in-law, Carolyn Grahn of Dawson, Minnesota, and Janice Grahn of Queensland, Australia. Norm was preceded in death by his parents, Pastor Gunnard, and Hulda Grahn, three brothers, Gunnard Grahn, Jr., Theodore Grahn, and Carl Grahn, and one sister, Ruth Greenwood and sisters-in-law Veronica Grahn and Joyce Grahn.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 10am at Sierra Evangelical Lutheran Church; 101 N. Lenzner Ave, Sierra Vista, Arizona 85635. Rites of Committal with Military Honors will follow at noon at Southern Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery at 1300 Buffalo Soldier Trail, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635. In lieu of flowers, Norm requested donations be made to Sierra Evangelical Lutheran Church at the same address listed above.
Those who wish to attend funeral services for Norman at Sierra Evangelical Lutheran Church please R.S.V.P. the church by calling 520-459-0444 by 4:30 pm April 20, 2021.
My family would like to recognize Casa de la Paz Hospice for the wonderful care provided Norm and his family, specifically his nurse, Briana.