Norma M. Dockery

Date of Birth

July 25, 1925

Date of Death

December 30, 2020

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Norma Dockery left this life on December 30, 2020 from complications of dementia and Covid 19. She will be deeply missed by all those who had the good fortune to know her.

Norma was born on July 25, 1925 in Champaign, IL and was the oldest of 7 children born to Eula and Clarence Smith. The Smith family settled in Cudahy WI. While attending high school, she was awarded an early work permit. Norma worked early morning hours at a bakery before school and at a soda fountain after school to help support the family. With all that responsibility, she still graduated with honors at 16. She later met and married Joseph N. Dockery, M.D. and together began raising their 4 children in Racine WI.

In the summer of 1963 the family relocated to Santa Barbara, CA. Norma drove the family car with her 3 daughters and the family dog while following the U-Haul van driven by Joe and her son across the country. It was a long car journey especially for Norma who did not like driving on highways and freeways. She was more than happy to end the 7-day journey in Santa Barbara.

Norma was an intelligent and beautiful woman. She loved being a mother but was also an excellent cook, baker and talented knitter and seamstress. She was selfless, kind and caring and her love for her family was unconditional. She continued with her education by attending classes at SBCC and Adult Ed whenever time permitted. She was also an avid reader.

By 1967 she was determined to do more and decided to try her hand as a travel agent. She broke barriers and norms for women during that time, using her own resources to open her own travel agency, Dockery’s Celebrity Travel of Santa Barbara. By March of 1993 she opened a second agency in Roseville, CA. Her daughter, son and daughter in law joined her in the business. Even her grandsons worked part time while in high school. It truly was a family business. During these years she traveled the world! Her love for travel was contagious and she instilled that love in all her children, family and friends. Norma ran her agency for over 40 years until, at age 81, was diagnosed with dementia forcing her into what she considered an early retirement.

Even as dementia stole her memories and adventures, she never lost the sparkle in her beautiful blue eyes or her love for music which was evident when she was visited by family and friends. She loved it when anyone sang to her, snapped their fingers, clapped their hands or played an instrument. She always had an outstretched hand and a smile for everyone.
As strong as she was in her battle with dementia, she was just too tired to fight Covid 19. She passed peacefully one week after testing positive for the virus.

She was preceded in death by Joseph Dockery, her daughter Nancy Trieger, sister Clarice Ryback, her brothers Lynn, Betzel and Farral Smith, many nieces, nephews and brothers and sisters in law.

She is survived by her son Michael Dockery (Carol), of Grass Valley, CA and daughters Patricia Dockery Davis, of Oceanside, CA, Peggy Canley(Donald) of Santa Barbara, CA, son in law Alex Trieger of Santa Barbara, CA, her brother Harley Smith and sister Colleen Smith of Cudahy, WI, as well as her grandsons Bryan(Vanessa) and Timothy Canley, Sean(Julianna) and Kevin Dockery, Morgan(Joanne) and Tyson(Ruth)Trieger, 6 great granddaughters, 1 great grandson and so many other family members that it is impossible to mention them all. She also leaves her dearest friend and travel companion, John Steen, who loved and cared for her for over 42 years.

We want to thank the staff at The Californian of Santa Barbara who lovingly cared for Norma for the past five and a half years.

To honor Norma’s wishes, there will be no funeral or memorial. She wanted to be remembered as she was in life.


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