May 18, 2024

Norma Ubben was at a children’s hospital in Medellín, Colombia to adopt her son Marcus Ubben. As she walked, nearly a dozen children gathered around her.
“She would have grabbed all those kids and brought them back if she could,” said Ken Ubben, her husband of 55 years.
She carried that sentiment throughout her life, which ended in Gravette, Ark., on Oct. 2, 2022 after an 18-month battle with brain cancer. She was 74.
She leaves behind six children, 14 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and an indelible legacy marked by compassion, kindness and a love of Jesus Christ, her Savior.
“She was the best friend a guy could have,” Ken Ubben said. “Because of her, I was over blessed by a life that was so abundant.”
They built a home together and adopted four of their six children. She gave birth to her two oldest daughters, Jacquelyn and Stephanie and welcomed Marcus from Colombia, Thomas and Catie from India and David from Minneapolis into her home.
They each brought her “indescribable joy,” Ken said.
She was her family’s fiercest defender and always sought adventure. She traveled the world for her children and with her husband, took flying lessons, raised all kinds of animals and traveled to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and Joplin, Mo., after the 2011 tornado to help communities rebuild. She was a fixture in church ministry, teaching Sunday school and especially leaning into ministries that helped those in need.
“If she saw a need, she always did her best to act on it,” her daughter Stephanie Garst said.
When she had time to herself at home, she’d sew, knit, bake or paint. But most often, she spent her life pouring into her family, whether that meant playing Scrabble, Boggle or countless other board games, teaching Thomas and Catie English, homeschooling her kids, or in her later years, helping mix and test scents to help her granddaughter, Jessica, start a soap business.
“Everything she did was for all of us,” her daughter Jacquelyn Garst said. “Every moment of every good thing in our life, she was front row.”
And in the low moments, she was there to pick them up and lend both hands. Her supply of love and generosity had no limit, with a wisdom and wit that shined at every opportunity.
She was born in Chapin, Iowa and was preceded in death by her parents, Lester Kothenbeutel and Jesse Mabel Dodd Kothenbeutel.
She will be honored with a celebration of her life on Saturday, October 8, 2022, at 10 a.m., at Village Baptist Church in Bella Vista, Ark.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Samaritan’s Purse or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Arrangements are under the direction of Bella Vista Funeral Home & Crematory. On-line condolences may be made at
Published October 6, 2022
Bella Vista Funeral Home & Crematory
2258 Forest Hills Blvd., Bella Vista, AR
Phone: 479-855-1611

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