Former Hastings, Nebraska, resident Norma Jean Cropley, 82, passed away peacefully at Good Samaritan Society — Perkins Pavilion in Hastings after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

The daughter of Wilma Evelyn (Smith) and Lyle C. Graham, Norma was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, on July 27, 1938.

After her graduation from Hastings High School in 1956, she married Melvin Eugene Cropley on July 28, 1956, and they settled in Hastings.

She supported Melvin in his business at Total Power, joyously serving Hastings and surrounding communities for decades.

She cooked and entertained countless neighbors, friends, and employees — even the occasional dog, cat or pig — that visited their country home.

Her biggest passion was being a mother to Steve and Lynda, born October 7, 1957 and April 8, 1960, respectively.

Following her dream to live in Estes Park, Colorado, she and Melvin retired there in 1992. They filled their log home with family and friends for more entertaining, cooking and the most memorable Fourth of July celebrations.

She worked as a tour guide at MacGregor Ranch and the Visitors Center, often with her granddaughters Jessica and Courtney in tow.

She served as an ambassador for the Estes Park Chamber of Commerce, and she and Melvin were active and passionate members of the Estes Park Car Club.

Norma is survived by son Steve Cropley and his wife Lesa of Hastings; daughter Lynda and her husband Joel Cates of Belleville, Kansas; granddaughter Jessica (Hughbanks) and husband A.J. Abbott of Valentine; granddaughter Courtney Hughbanks of Kearney; step-granddaughter Jennifer (Cates) and husband Mike Eitzmann of Superior; and step-grandson Ryan Cates and wife Ashton of Jewell, Kansas.

She cherished years of memories with several great-grandchildren, Evelyn Abbott of Valentine, Olivia, Carter and Hudson Eitzmann of Superior, and Ruger, Kasen and Kruze Cates of Jewell.

Norma was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Larry; and husband, Melvin.

Honoring her wishes to be cremated, there will be no viewing or visitation.

Norma asked for her ashes to be scattered at Rock Cut in Estes Park. A service is planned in Colorado for June 2021. DeWitt Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Hastings is handling arrangements.

Condolences can be left at

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Good Samaritan Society in Hastings.

Her family is grateful for the wonderful people who loved, worked and made memories with her and Melvin. They are dearly missed by so many!