SERVICES: Funeral at 1 p.m. Monday at the Range Funeral Home in Virginia. The Rev. H. Arthur Dale will officiate. Visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday and for one hour before service on Monday. Burial in Greenwood Cemetery in Virginia.
John A. Norlander, 81, of Virginia died Wednesday, March 6, 2002, at the Virginia Convalescent Center.
He was born March 5, 1921, in Virginia to John and Martha (Fonger) Norlander. He grew up and attended school in Virginia, graduating from Roosevelt High School in the class of 1939. He furthered his education at Hamline University in St. Paul, graduating in 1943. He was married to Lois Larson on Oct. 30, 1943. At Hamline he played basketball and was selected to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American first and second teams, while helping the Pipers win the 1942 national championship. He was a U.S. Navy veteran, having served during World War II at the Norfolk Naval Station. While in the Navy he played basketball.
Following his discharge he played professional ball for the Washington Capitols in the Basketball Association of America, which later became the National Basketball Association. He played 280 consecutive games. For 23 years he was employed as a sales representative for the Converse Rubber Company, an athletic shoe manufacturer. He also conducted basketball clinics and coaches’ schools throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Germany and Iceland.
On June 22, 1963, he was married to “Bunny’’ (Bernice Anderson) Ash. He had worked for Manpower of Minnesota in Virginia until his retirement in 1986. He was a member of Pratt-Volden-Mickelson-Anderson American Legion Post 239 of Virginia, Virginia Police Commission, Lake Vermilion Sportsman’s Club, Retired NBA Players Association, Helms Foundation NAIA Hall of Fame, Hamline University Pipers Hall of Fame, Duluth Arena Sports Hall of Fame and City of Virginia Hall of Fame. He will be recognized by the Minnesota High School Athletic Directors Association as a distinguished alumnus in April. He was an avid sports fan who enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with family and friends at his cabin on Lake Vermilion.
He is survived by his wife, Bunny; two sons, John (Charmy) Norlander of Rochester, Minn., and Jeff (Moira) Norlander of Haslett, Mich.; daughter, Phyllis Muncer of Chelsea, Mich.; four grandchildren, John (Lisa) Norlander of Rochester, Marnie (Mike) Lund of Ashland, Wis., Kristen (Dave) Brown of East Woodstock, Conn., and Anna Muncer of Wild Goose Lake, Mich.; seven great-grandchildren; and sister, Betty Haugen of Grand Rapids, Minn.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Lois, a son, two brothers and his parents.