Jeanne Norberg, aka wife

I have been married to John since 1980 when we were both news columists. I joined Purdue University in 1985, serving first as the director for the University News Service for 24 years and then as the director of Public Information and Purdue spokesperson.

I am retired now. And, yes, I do get to read (edit) John’s columns before you do. I like some his sentimental ones best.




Jennifer and Ken Compton, daughter an son-in-law

I am the Mom of the three oldest grandchildren in the columns, Jake, Matty and Kirsten. Jake is working in Minnesota now. Matt is a Purdue student studying biochemistry. Kirsten loves the arts and is our song bird. She’s a student at Indiana University.

Ken’s son Chad is a Rose Hulman University graduate in engineering. Ken’s daughter Heather is taking classes at Phoenix University and works in sales.

Here’s a column that takes us back to our sports days: They play and I cheer.


Matt and Lisa Petrin, son and daughter-in-law, parents of Alex and Anna

We live in Wilmington, Del., but keep up with John’s columns each week by e-mail. Matt works in finance, and Lisa is a nurse practitioner in mental health. We were married May 2010 and now have two wonderful, energetic children, Alex and Anna. What you read about the Girl Scout cookies was one of Matt’s crowning achievements and there’s still plenty he hasn’t admitted to yet.




Kole Norberg, son

Also known as Beth or Elizabeth in the columns, I am a writer, teacher and web designer. I make sure this site continues to function. I also have an MFA in creative writing from Florida Atlantic University. My father’s career as a writer has definitely influenced my decision to pursue writing. When I was younger I wasn’t fond of my dad publishing my personal moments, such as getting a new bike, in the paper. That’s when asked him to go cover fires, like a normal reporter, instead of writing about me. As I grew older I saw how writing allowed my dad to share the his gift with others. Now, sometimes I even write about him.





Jacob “Jake” Nordland, grandson

In 2016, I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in computer science and now live in Minneapolis. When I was 10 I exclaimed that I had been waiting my “whole life” for a laptop, and now I’ve built my own. Even though I’m striking out on my own, I still enjoy playing golf with Granddad. I give Granddad plenty of material for his column.





Matthew Nordland, grandson

I’m majoring in biochemistry at Purdue University’s  College of Agriculture. I take the MCAT’s this semester and plan to attend medical school in the fall of 2018. A few years ago, I had the great fortune to tour the Philippines and Singapore with my friend, Abbie and her family.

I enjoy going to Purdue basketball games and playing golf with my Granddad. When I was young, Granddad told me I was a somebody!






Kirsten Nordland, granddaughter

I am a student at Indiana University and an artist, just like Granddad. I am a classical vocalist and also love theater.  I enjoy going to plays, the opera, art museums, and fancy dinners with Granddad and Grandma. Even the not so fancy dinners are fun. Sometimes he gives me good advice, but I don’t always take it. Here’s one he wrote when I was born, and another when I started school.






Alex and Anna Petrin, grandson & granddaughter

Alex is the youngest grandson. He was born in June 2012 and was learning so fast and into EVERYTHING! Now he’s a superheroes aficionado. He looks a lot like his Daddy.

Anna arrived in January 2014 and is, frankly, gorgeous like her mother. On the one hand she loves Disney princesses but on the other is fearless and ready to take on the world.

The only thing more fun that watching them is watching their Mom and Dad with them.