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Obituary: Norman J. Mrkall, highway superintendent, fire chief


Fri, Apr 20th 2018 09:15 pm
Jan. 7, 1937 - April 17, 2018
Norman J. Mrkall, lifelong resident of Grand Island, a retired highway superintendent and long time firefighter, died peacefully in his home on April 17. He was 81 years old.
Mrkall was credited with building a modern highway department for the Town of Grand Island, starting such programs as safety striping roads, year-round branch pickup service, drainage program/tiling of miles of town road ditches, and extensive road paving programs. Local media credited Norm for many years with an A-1 rating for townwide snow removal.
Mrkall's dedication to the Grand Island Highway Department was recognized and his programs published in statewide magazines. His community and government involvement was recognized and honored through the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award in 1974 and again in 1999.
Mrkall also served his country as a U.S. Army sergeant, earning his veteran status after serving overseas with an honorable discharge in December 1957.
Mrkall was also a 64-year member of the Grand Island Fire Co. He served many years as fire chief and 21 years as chairman of the Board of Directors. He was honored and received credit for building a very modern fire company by rebuilding three fire stations and starting many new programs. Mrkall facilitated the programs for the fire company such as a 911 dispatch center, conducting the first on-air radio tests, helping to start a paramedic service and acquiring property for future fire stations.
In his personal life, his wife of 52 years, Charlotte (Smith) Mrkall, died in 2012. Mrkall is survived by two daughters, Brenda Ann and Cynthia Ann; a son, Norman J. II (Lisa); and two wonderful, loving granddaughters: Maisie Ann and Marissa Ann.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 21, at St. Stephen R.C. Church, 2100 Baseline Road, Grand Island.
Arrangements by Kaiser Funeral Home.

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