Mac Harry Norman, 67, of Bridgeport, died Sunday, December 31, 2017 at the Morrill County Community Hospital in Bridgeport. At his request, cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday, January 5, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church in Bridgeport with The Reverend Jonathan Berosek officiating. Military Honors will be given by the United States Marine Corp Honor Guard and the Bridgeport Honor Guard. Inurnment will be held at a later date at the Chimney Rock Cemetery near Bayard. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the family would be appreciated for the establishment of an aviation scholarship. Tributes of sympathy may be left by visiting Mac’s Tribute page at Bridgeport Memorial Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Mac was born September 5, 1950 at Crawford, Nebraska to Jacque and JoAnne (McWilliams) Norman. He was raised on a ranch just south of Whitney, Nebraska and attended high school in Crawford. While in high school, Mac participated in football and wrestling. He became a state champion wrestler for Crawford and went on to attend Chadron State College where he became a Regional Champion. While Mac loved athletics, his real passion has always been flying. Mac basically taught himself to fly off a grass strip in a J-3 Cub. He bought the J-3 at a farm sale and flew it home from the sale. He made it!

In 1972 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he attended both The Basic School and Officer Candidate School. After completion of these schools, he moved to Basic Jets in Pensacola, FL and then advanced training in Meridian, MS. While in Mississippi, Mac came home and married Linda Nerud on September 1, 1973 in Bridgeport.

With Linda in tow, he completed training in Meridian and moved to Yuma, AZ for the final step in his dream of military flying. He was awarded the F-4 Phantom fighter. Mac loved the fighters, the carrier landings, and the rush of the dogfight. He was selected to fight against the Top Gun.

Mac and Linda returned home after six years to become a part of our ranching community. Mac worked on the Nerud family ranch for eight years and then decided to return to flying. He became a pilot for American Airlines and was there for twenty-five years flying a DC-10, MD80, a 757, and the 767.

Along the way, Gage Thomas arrived on May 10, 1976 and Grady Blue on March 11, 1981 to make the family complete. Mac was a talker and a visitor. He really never knew a stranger. He valued people and loved to be around them. Mac taught his boys to stay true to their word and to work hard. He taught them to fly, to play guitar, and could not really understand the need Linda had to teach them to ride. Mac was a true gentleman and will be sorely missed by his family.

Mac is survived by his wife or 44 years, Linda Norman; sons Gage Norman and Grady (Brittany) Norman; grandchildren: RyAnne, Scarlett, Ryker, Alba, and Griff; brother-in-law Frank (Lori) Nerud and their daughter Rachel; sister-in-law Myla (Kevin) Bornhoft; sister-in-law Becky Nerud; mother JoAnne Norman; and sister Muffy Gregg; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Mac was preceded in death by his father Jacque Norman, nephew Dylan Nerud, brother-in-law Dale Nerud, and in-laws Tom and Betty Nerud.