Axel Norman “Top Hand” GRANBERG

Axel Norman "Top Hand" GRANBERG

Feb. 10, 1925 – Dec. 24, 2015

With his loving family by his side, Axel Norman Granberg passed away peacefully on December 24, 2015, in his 91st year.

Norman was born February 10, 1925, the eldest son of Elis and Bertha Granberg, homesteaders at Roe Lake, BC.

On a horse since he was a baby, Norm finished school at age 13 and became a full-time working cowboy. The winter he turned 14, he fed about 100 head of cattle with horses and sleigh while living on his own in a little cabin. On October 10, 1945, he married Anna Nath, the love of his life. Norman and Anna ranched their entire lives in the Lone Butte area raising children, cattle, horses, dogs, chickens and other farm critters. Hay meadows and vegetable gardens defined spring and summer. In the early years, Norm also supported his young family working at the local sawmill and he was a first rate catskinner.

In the 1960s and early ‘70s, Norm was one of the first log home builders in the area. Norm and Anna built their own log house in 1972, where they have lived ever since. Well-known and respected in the local ranching community, Norm was inducted into the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2012. Although he downsized his herd in recent years, Norm never fully retired from cattle ranching or haying until age 87.

Norman was a kind and gentle man. He had a sparkling dry sense of humour with the ability to deadpan a joke and have a good laugh at almost anything right to the end of his days. Norman whistled while he worked and that’s how Anna knew he was happy. He had a deep seat on his many saddle horses, a steady hand with his work horses, and a firm voice for his numerous cowdogs. He knew every cow on sight. A true working cowboy — top hand, back in the saddle again.

Norman will be missed deeply by his devoted and loving wife of 70 years, Anna Granberg. Norm leaves behind his sisters Helen Horn and Janice Maxfield. Dad will be missed greatly and fondly remembered always by his children and their spouses: Shirley & Harvey Canning, Norma & Simon Holland, Lee & Patsy Granberg, Lawrence Granberg, and Carla & Frank Granberg-Watson. Grandad Norman leaves behind fantastic memories for 12 grandchildren: Clint, Dan, Tammi, Scott, Dawna, Clayton, Lorne, Taylor, Jessica, Ashlee, Erika and Alex. Great-grampa was a living legend to 19 great-grand-children and 2 great-great-grandchildren and counting. His many nephews and nieces remember Uncle Norm with fondness and respect.

Norm was predeceased by his brother Curly Granberg, sister Olga Thorsteinson, and sadly his grandson Jason Granberg.

At Norman’s request, there will be no funeral service. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the BC Cancer Foundation, the Lone Butte Historical Society or another charity of your choice.

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