In Memory of





Obituary for Eskel Carl Norbeck Jr.

Eskel Carl Norbeck, Jr. of Manistee Michigan, died on March 20, 2023, at the age of 92. Born on August 2, 1930, in Rockford Illinois to Eskel and Emily Norbeck along with older brothers Norris and David and sister Clara.

Eskel married Mary Beulah Word on August 23, 1952, and together they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last summer.

Eskel attended Wheaton College, graduating in 1952 with a BA in History. He received his MA from Northwestern University, a school administration certificate from Northern Illinois, a Labor Relations certificate from Cornell, and Niagara University, and was a certified practitioner with the American Arbitration Associates.

Eskel was a classroom teacher, dean of students, and high school principal for 20 years. He then worked as the Director of Field Services for the National Education Association for 20 years. He served in the military on active duty for 3 years and in the army reserves for 38 years. During his retirement, he was a substitute teacher for the Manistee, Onekama, and Benzie schools. He may have even greeted you at Ace Hardware in Bear Lake.

Eskel was active at the Manistee United Methodist Church for over 30 years, serving as chairman of the church’s board, representing the congregation at the denomination’s Annual Conference, teaching adult Sunday School, organizing an after-school children’s program, and even growing a big fluffy beard to portray Biblical characters for Vacation Bible School. He was president of the board of directors for Camp Cherith of Western New York. His hobbies included model railroad, private flight instructor, and singing hymns while vacuuming.

Eskel is survived by his loving wife Mary Word Norbeck of 70 years and his daughter and husband Mary and Glenn Griffiths, his son and wife Daniel and Cynthia Norbeck, his daughters and husbands Carol and Ken Hines and Janet and Ross Bowman. He was blessed with 13 grandchildren: Rebecca and Chris Vogt, Carl and Lyndsie Griffiths, Matthew and Mandy Griffiths, Rachel Norbeck, Ethan Norbeck, Julie and Danny Canuto, Kristen Miller, Zoe Bowman, and Max Bowman. And 12 great grandchildren: David, Naomi, Jonathan, Anavah, Jeremiah, and Lilia Vogt; Elliana, Micaiah, Laelyn and Ravi Griffiths; Annabelle and Eskel John Griffiths. All of whom he adored and were deeply touched by his life.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, March 25th with visitation beginning at 2:00 and the service beginning at 3:00 at the Manistee United Methodist Church. Military Honors will follow.

Memorial contributions can be made to: Young Life, PO Box 5184, Harlan, Iowa 51593-0684. Please note MI 279 Manistee.

Please visit Eskel’s personal page of memories at to share a photo or story. Arrangements by Oak Grove Funeral Home & Cremation Center in Manistee.