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June 12, 1935 – Jan. 13, 2013

A memorial service was held May 9 for Norma J. Hipwell of the Town of Tonawanda, a standout wheelchair athlete in her youth. She died Jan. 13 in the Schofield Residence, Town of Tonawanda. She was 77.

Born in Buffalo, she was a secretary and bookkeeper for Martin Fireproofing and Holler Bros. Inc.

Miss Hipwell, who was unable to walk after being stricken with polio in the mid-1950s, set a record in javelin competition in the 13th annual National Wheelchair Games in New York City and was a leading competitor in archery, table tennis and bowling in the 1960s.

She encouraged the disabled to be active and traveled the world at a time when there were few accommodations for the handicapped. She took pride in living independently and in later years organized activities for seniors.

Survivors include two friends, Christine Crotty and Mary Gill, and several relatives.