Norman Rader
Norman Rader
  • January 23, 1926 - January 31, 2017
  • Houston, Texas

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Norman Rader went to be with his Lord and Savior on January 31, 2017 at the age of 91. He was born to John and Ella Rader on January 23, 1926, in San Antonio, Texas. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Thelma Jackson Rader; two daughters, Linda Wallace and Peggy Craft; one son, Michael and his wife, Nancy; 7 grandchildren; and 6 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his two brothers, William (Bill) Rader and Norwood (Skippy) Rader; two sisters, Alfreda (Al) Reininger and Clorinda (Rose) Jackson; and his grandson, Andrew Craft.

At the age of 17, Norman enlisted in the Navy and proudly served his country during WWII as a storekeeper. He retired from Houston Lighting and Power after 38 years, beginning as a common laborer digging ditches, then as a part of a line crew. Later he was promoted to dispatching, and finally, was building manager at the Energy Control Center in downtown Houston. While working on the line crew, he became known as "Andy", because when he called up to the men at the top of the pole, his voice reminded them of the actor, Andy Devine. For the rest of his career he was "Andy Rader" to everyone at work.

Retiring at age 60 gave him time to pursue his many and varied hobbies. He loved gardening and had a much envied green thumb. He also enjoyed woodworking, painting, candle-making, and restoring antique furniture. A "Jack-of-all-trades", Norman could do almost anything he set his hand to do, and he was always available to help someone in need, whether family, friend, neighbor, or total stranger.

Norman served for over 50 years as an interpreter for the deaf through ministries at Baptist Temple, Houston First Baptist, and finally at Woodhaven Baptist Deaf Church. His love for the Lord and the deaf community was evidenced in his selfless, servant's heart.

Making people smile and laugh was such a pleasure to Norman. He had a natural gift for silliness, jokes and goofy sayings that endeared him to all ages. He would sometimes burst out in song, even though music was not one of his talents. For the last two years, his favorite song was "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot".
"I looked over Jordan, what do I see, comin' for to carry me home? A band of angels, comin' after me. Comin' for to carry me home."

We can find comfort in knowing that the band of angels came, bringing the chariot just for him, and ushered him into the presence of his Savior. We can rejoice in a life well-lived, a man well-loved, a race well-run.

Family and friends gathered during a visitation from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 3 , at Waltrip Funeral Directors, 1415 Campbell Road in Houston, where services were held in the chapel on Saturday, February 4 at 10:00 a.m. Graveside services were held at Cistern Public Cemetery, Cistern, Texas at 3:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be given to Woodhaven Baptist Deaf Church, 9920 Long Point Rd., Houston, 77055; or to KHCB Christian Radio, 2424 South Blvd., Houston, TX 77098.