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Inez Norman, longest serving city police employee, dies at 88

Inez Norman, who started her career as a jail matron in 1965 and continued working for the Hendersonville Police Department for 53 years, died Tuesday at age 88, the police department said.


A beloved employee who exemplified dedication to the job and compassion for everyone she encountered, Norman became a city police officer and later served as a parking enforcement officer, school crossing guard and reserve officer. Inez was still employed with the department as a part-time civilian assistant at the time of her passing.

“Inez never met a stranger and she was always smiling,” Anita Clouse,the city's parking enforcement supervisor, said in a news release. “This is a very big loss for the community.”

About 10 years ago, Chief Herbert Blake created the "Inez Norman Award for Excellence," given to civilian employees of the Hendersonville Police Department who serve with the compassion and dedication Norman modeled. She was also a lifetime member of the VFW ladies auxiliary and the American Legion auxiliary. Many residents of Hendersonville will also remember her for working part time at the old Chicken Shack on Seventh Avenue.

People who knew her left condolences and shared memories on the police department Facebook page.

"I worked with Inez at HPD in the early '80s," Julie Stanley Kidd said. "She would tell me stories about when she and her husband lived in the City Jail on the 3rd floor of City Hall. Her husband was the jailer she was the matrion and cooked for anyone in jail. So when she fixed pork chops for herself they had pork chops. They had an apartment on the right side of the hall (facing 6th Ave) inmate cells were on the left (facing 5th Ave). She was a special lady. She loved her Mustang. RIP."

"Such a lovely lady," said Melissa Maurer. "She used to fuss at me when I’d ride my bike on the sidewalks of Main Street. She is part of our history here in town for sure!"

"I first knew her while working with her at Chicken Shack," Pamela Davidson Pace said. "She could write orders while looking at something else. You'd never think she was listening or paying attention. That always amazed me."
A visitation is scheduled for 3-5 p.m. Sunday at Shepherd Funeral Home. The funeral is 2 p.m. Monday at the funeral home chapel with burial to follow at Shepherd Memorial Park. Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.