Norbert Schlimgen (known as Slim by most people) was born March 13, 1934 in Madison, Wisconsin. While serving with the U.S. Army at the Oakland Army Terminal, he met the love of his life, Rae Jean Clarke. They married in Springfield, Illinois, where their first child was born. Returning to California, Norbert built a career working for the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency (USAMMA), eventually taking over management of the Medical Maintenance division at Tracy Defense Depot. His work took the family to Tehran, Iran for two years where he served as an advisor to the Iranian Surgeon General. During his career, Norbert received two medals, including the Department of the Army’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the highest award given by the U.S. Army to a civilian. In the eighty years of USAMMA’s existence at that time, Norbert was the first and only recipient of this award.
Upon his retirement, Slim and Rae Jean spent over six years traveling through the U.S.A. in their RV before settling into a home in the Sonoran Desert.
Slim died at Casa de la Luz Hospice on January 12, 2023 after a long illness. He is preceded in death by two sons, Carl and Steven, and by his parents and five siblings. He is survived by his wife, Rae Jean, and daughters Grace Cross (Robert), Lauren Reynolds (Robert), and Maureen Schlimgen, grandson Luigi Bella, sister Fran Michels-Beuthin and many nieces and nephews.
A lifelong, faith-filled Catholic, Norbert served in several ministries in the Church throughout his life. He was long a supporter of Poverello House, a day refuge for homeless men, Sr. Jose Center which serves homeless women in Tucson, Pima Animal Care Center, and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to any of these organizations or your choice of any group that helps the poor.
A memorial mass will be celebrated at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 1300 N Greasewood Rd at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 31st.