Norwood remembered for community involvement, columns



By Richard Zowie

The Highlander

Martha Norwood may not have been from Spicewood, but in her service to the community and her lifelong love for dogs, she made her mark on Spicewood and the rest of Burnet County.

Following a lengthy illness, Norwood died July 11 at the South Austin Medical Center in Austin.

I didn't want to believe it was true that she'd passed,” said Johnnie Bindseil, who served with Norwood as a fellow commissioner on the Burnet County Emergency Services District No. 9 board and had known her for more than 15 years. “She was a very kind and giving person to the community. Martha was always willing to help to the fullest in any project. She was on numerous boards in the community and in Burnet County. She was dedicated to all the organizations she was involved in and her love for her pets.”

Norwood was born on Dec. 2, 1947 in Birmingham, Alabama, but the family soon moved to Texas. She grew up in the Houston area, but moved to Austin early after her first marriage.

Norwood was an honors student in high school, was in the all-state band playing the clarinet, and was offered a scholarship to Julliard, which she turned down to get married.

She had finished two years of college and was hoping to complete her associate’s degree in business. She then remarried, tying the knot with Rick Norwood of Austin on Oct. 11, 1976. They soon moved to Spicewood where they spent 30 years building their own home in the woods.

Martha Norwood is survived by her loving husband, Rick Norwood of Spicewood; son Sean Coutorie of Santa Fe, Texas; daughter Sandra Norwood-Sloan of Portland, Oregon; granddaughter Kelsey Coutorie of Houston; grandson Cameron Coutorie of Santa Fe; sister Barbara Wright of the Houston area and her husband Danny Wright. She is survived as well by many in-laws, nephews and nieces.

The family described itself as “grateful” to the St. David’s hospital system for the “loving care,” Norwood received during the past year of her illnesses. They especially want to thank Martha’s primary care doctor, Dr. Sharon Hausman-Cohen of Austin, her hematologist Dr. Matthew Meeneghan of Austin, and her cardiologist, Dr. Chauhan of Austin, for helping her through these difficult months.

Norwood was described as “an angel. Rick’s angel. She had an inner glow, a radiance, that brought a smile to everyone who met her. She had many, many friends in Austin, Spicewood, and Burnet County. She also loved animals, especially dogs. She had to pet every dog she saw.”

She was an amazing woman who gave so much to the community,” said Karen Bruett, a fellow commissioner. “Norwood's smile, her friendly personality and willingnss to do anything to be helpful; she had a very genuine sweetness and she cared about everyhting.”


Final arrangements

The graveside service was held for family members at the Fall Creek Cemetery near Spicewood on July 15.

There will be a celebration of Martha’s life at the Spicewood Community Center on Wednesday, July 25, from 6-9 p.m. It will be casual.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Highland Lakes SPCA would be appreciated.


Community service

In Spicewood Martha served on various community organizations. She was on the board of the Highland Lakes SPCA; served on the board of, and was a past president of, the Spicewood Arts Society; she was currently the secretary of the Fall Creek Cemetery Association; she was also currently the secretary of the local Emergency Services District.


Highlander contributor

Norwood also wrote periodic newspaper columns about happenings in Spicewood for the Highlander newspaper.

For a number of years, Martha Norwood has represented Spicewood in our newspaper with grace and eloquence as she worked tirelessly to chronicle life in the community for her occasional Spicewood News column, something she did out of a desire to inform and promote her community,” said Lew K. Cohn, managing editor of The Highlander. “I was privileged to get to know Martha and to call her a friend and I am saddened by her passing. She was a wonderful, caring individual and her death is a loss not only for The Highlander, but for all of Burnet County. Her memory is a blessing to all who knew her and her Highlander family sends its condolences and prayers to her family and friends.”

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