Norma Buhler Preece


Many Kaysville old-timers remember answering their telephone and hearing a familiar voice say, “This is Norma. Do you have any news for me today?”

The voice on the other end of the line was Norma Preece the Kaysville correspondent for The Weekly Reflex and nearly everyone in town was willing to share personal happenings with Norma that they knew would be published in the newspaper’s column ‘Kaysville News.’ In the old days, a telephone talk with Norma was the equivalent to today posing Instagram pictures or a Facebook text blurb about your recent trip to Las Vegas or your grandchild’s latest dance recital or soccer game.

Each Thursday, The Weekly Reflex’s column written by Norma covered the personal doings of, on average, twenty to thirty local households. And, according to the newspaper’s editor, “Your hometown newspaper is successful because people like to see their names and their neighbor’s names in print. And, Norma is typical of the local correspondents who enjoy calling and talking to people. She has been Kaysville’s correspondent for thirty-one years, and her friendship and knowledge of the city’s people is unsurpassed.”

Norma Buhler was born in Kaysville on May 19, 1922, the daughter of Walter and Wilma Witt Buhler. She grew up on a farm just east of the Kaysville City Cemetery and graduated from Davis County High School in the class of 1940. In 1946, she married her high school sweetheart from Farmington, Joseph ‘Joe’ Preece. The young couple then built a home at 347 East 200 North and were the parents of two children – Terry and Shannette.

Norma started her newspaper career with The Weekly Reflex in 1954. She covered the city, community, school, church, and civic events as well as being the author of hundreds of feature articles about people, places, and historical events.

In the 1960-70s, I was a joutnalism instructor at Weber State College interested in how weekly newspapers were run. One day, Norma invited me to take a drive through Kaysville with her to see how she gathered the local news. Our first stop was at the Stewart Gift Shop where we talked for about twenty minutes with Zipporah Stewart and Bonnie Kment and learned the names of the latest brides who had registered for wedding gifts sold by the shop. We then spent some time with Edith Lewis, Eda Eatchell, and Nora Smith at Bowman’s. We next stopped at the Kaysville Library to retun some books and talked to Camilla Barton and Josie Strong, the librarians. This visit lasted about thirty minutes and we were brought up to speed on the latest activities of the library board. As we drove south toward Davis High, we spied Cliff and Ruth Linford working in their yard. We stopped to ask Cliff some questions about proposed development plans the city was considering. We then drove to West Kaysville to visit Elma Webster. Norma had made arrangements to interview Elma for a feature article. Our next stop was at Emil Whitesides’ home to pick up some information Emil had gathered for Norma about the history of education in Davis County. We then dove to Fruit Heights to buy some fruit and talk with Sam Raymond. Our last stop was at Barnes Bank where we talked to Harold Gailey, Alan Blood, and Geraldine Major. From Alan, we learned that two former Kaysville-ites were visiting from out of town.

Norma’s column that week was filled with both gossip-type happenings and some very informative tidbits about Kaysville City governance. She also had a brief feature story about Cornell and Lois Whitesides Jarman who were visiting from Berkley, California.

When The Weekly Reflex closed, Norma was then employed by the Davis News-Journal and the Davis County Clipper. In 1988, she retired from the Clipper after being a Kaysville correspondent for thirty-one years.

Besides being a newspaper reporter, Norma was very active in community affairs. She served as the Kaysville Civic Association’s publicity chairman – as a leader of that groups fundraising drives; as a member of the Kaysville Elementary School’s P.T.A.; an officer in the Utah Woman’s Press Association; a co-chair of the Kaysville Centennial Celebration; executive secretary of the Kaysville Chamber of Commerce; and as a member of the Fine Arts Club, the Athena Club, and both Kaysville Literary clubs.

At the time of her retirement, Norma was quoted as saying, “I love the people of Kaysville and I have enjoyed working with the public. My friends are my wealth.”

Norma’s husband Joe passed away in 1991. In 1995, she married LaVance P. Nelson and moved to Bountiful. However, she stayed in close contact with her Kaysville friends until her death on August 23, 2018. Norma was laid to rest in the Kaysville City Cemetery.


  • “Kaysville Ladies of Note – Norma Preece”, Our Kaysville Story Facebook post by Bill Sanders, April 6, 2023.
  • Photos courtesy of: The Weekly Reflex, FamilySearch, Heritage Museum of Layton.