In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Lois Marie Williams Norman, 92

Lois Marie Williams Norman, 1928-2021

Lois Marie Williams Norman, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among Sub-Saharan African Affinity Peoples in Nigeria and Ghana, died June 19, 2021. She was 92. 

Lois was born on September 2, 1928, in Selma, Alabama, to the late Harley Williams and Malah Rouse Williams. 

Lois graduated from Troy (Alabama) High School and received the Bachelor of Science from Auburn (Alabama) University. She met pre-medical student William R. Norman Jr. at the Baptist Student Union at Auburn. They married soon after and she worked while he completed his medical training. 

While seeking missionary appointment, Norman wrote that she accepted Christ as her personal Savior at age 9 and developed an interest in missions as she participated in activities such Girls’ Auxiliary (now Girls in Action and Acteens), missions organizations for girls. During college, she felt a growing conviction that God was calling her to missions.  

The Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed the Normans missionaries in 1954 and they spent 27 years in hospitals, pastors’ schools and seminaries in the West African countries of Nigeria and Ghana. According to her family, they raised three children in rural villages where Lois homeschooled them for most of their education. She visited in the hospitals where her husband served, taught English to pastors and sewing to their wives. She also wrote curricula for Nigerian Baptist Convention publications.  

During stateside years she taught English in several Montgomery area public schools, volunteered in First Baptist Church, Montgomery’s English-as-a-Second Language program and taught various Sunday School classes.  

After retirement, the Normans returned several times to serve in West Africa.  

Norman was preceded in death by her husband, William Raymond Norman Jr. Survivors include three children, Jo Barrett (Stephen), Ray Norman (Helene) and Russell Norman (Laura); four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. 

A funeral service was held June 23, 2021, at Selma Baptist Church, Dothan, Alabama.  

Donations in her memory may be made to the International Mission Board, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at 

Read an obituary here.