Nancy Norell passes on
Nancy Norell was firearms law staffer to Sen. Jim McClure, while he was pushing the Firearm Owners' Protection Act; she was married to Jim Norell, who was head of communications in NRA-ILA, and more recently writes for America's First Freedom. This is an understatement of her role in the gun movement--on gun issues, she was the point staffer for the point Senator on the gun issue, at an extremely pivotal time. It begins with the creation of the gun rights movement, the founding of NRA-ILA, SAF, and Gun Owners in the mid and late 1970s, the first big battles (blocking the planned ATF regulations under the Carter Administration, ATF abuse investigations and hearings, the six year fight for FOPA, etc..
Here's her obit, written by Jim, for the local paper:
Nancy B. Norell of Three Springs, writer, editor and former legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. James A. McClure, died Wednesday at JC Blair Hospital, succumbing to stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Mrs. Norell was the wife of James O.E. Norell who was also her business partner in a long-time writing enterprise. The Norells recently celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary. They have lived at their
small farm near property Three Springs for 32 years.
A native of Idaho, Mrs. Norell began working in the U.S. Senate in 1975 and began her freelance writing-editing career when Sen. McClure retired in 1990. She wrote for SAF’s Women and Guns as legislative correspondent, and for the NRA’s Women’s Outlook, covering political and legislative issues as well as features.
On Capitol Hill, she was affectionately known as the “gun lady,” having passionately worked to defend Second Amendment Rights for decades. She was instrumental in garnering support for enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 – a landmark firearms rights law that reformed and removed many onerous provisions of Federal law that had been used to vindictively pursue lawful firearms ownership and commerce. Enactment of the reforms protecting gun owners was a seven year effort. Mrs. Norell, as a legislative advocate, worked closely during those years with staff in both houses and on both sides of the political isle. She also dealt with the media on firearms rights.
Her legislative duties also covered Native American issues and foreign affairs. In the latter capacity, she traveled to Taiwan and China.
The Norells became permanent residents of Clay Township after she left her Senate duties.
Mrs. Norell is an Endowment Member of the National Rifle Association.
She is also a member of Three Springs-Saltillo chapter of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority having at one time been elected its President.
She has also served in various elected capacities on the Board of Election Supervisors in Clay Township and has been a familiar face on election day.
Mrs. Norell grew up on a family dairy in the Palouse near Genesee, Idaho. With her parents and little sisters, they farmed 360 acres and milked 60 cows.
She was especially known for her wit. Growing up, Nancy chased and washed Holsteins before and after school. When her husband once suggested at the Belleville auction that they buy a “little Jersey cow,”
she told him, “I hope you will be very happy living in Three Springs, Pa. – with your little Jersey cow.”
Mrs. Norell is survived by her husband, Jim; her daughter, Kjersti Sivitilli and her son-in-law Rob Sivitilli, who reside in Singapore; by her godson, Hans Schneider of Austin, Texas; by her sister, Jan Gill of
Anchorage, Alaska; and by her brother-in-law, Michael Norell, also of Three Springs.
She attended the University of Idaho and earned her B.A. in English from American University in Washington D.C. in 1965. She taught eighth grade English for four years.
Nancy was an avid reader, book collector and cross-stitcher. She loved to garden and was known for her small family of house cats – some of whom she taught parlor tricks.
The Norells were recently confirmed in the Roman Catholic faith.