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Celebrating the Life of Nyewusi Askari

Nyewusi Askari

Kelly Cornelius Norman a.k.a Nyewusi Askari transitioned from this life to his eternal home on Saturday, November 25, 2023, at 11:40 am. Kelly was the eldest son born on August 18, 1945, to Cornelius Norman and Mae Bell Norman Burkhalter. Askari departed this life at the age of 78 years.

Kelly was a 1964 graduate of Washington Parish High School where he played the tuba in the marching band. Upon graduating from high school, he received a scholarship in music to attend Grambling State University. After attending Grambling for one year, he decided to relocate to Seattle, Washington then later to Portland, Oregon.

In 1979, Askari met Ayanna at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington. Askari saw this "bad afro walking by in the cafeteria with a fierce bounce!" And he thought to himself I'm gonna have her." In 1991, they were married by Pastor Joshua Phillips. Because of his love for the arts - music, drawing, dance, storytelling, and theater - he organized the Sojourner Truth Theater. For ten years, he traveled Oregon and other states presenting his plays.

Askari often performed in schools, for social agencies, and the penal system. In 2022, after presenting African American Culture studies for ten years, he retired from the Portland Public School System. Askari always displayed a contagious pleasant smile, a caring attitude, and never met a stranger.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Cornelius and Mae Bell; stepfather, Willie Burkhalter; son, Ayodele Askari; brothers, David Norman, Lendsey Norman, Jesse Norman and Michael Norman; sister Delores Norman; stepsisters Dorothy Briggs and Carol Bell; stepbrother, Weston Burkhalter To cherish his memory, Askari is survived by his wife of 44 years, Ayanna Askari, his son, Jumoke Askari, twelve grandchildren; Nasche, Ashjanea, Jumoke, Josiah, Malaika, Titan, Nia. Ayodele, Nala, Jaylen, Amari, Bella, a brother, Edward Norman (Deborah) of Mt. Hermon, LA; three sisters, Ola Magee (Richard), of Franklinton, LA; Katherine Gibbs and Willie Burkhalter, both of Bogalusa, LA; stepbrothers, Leroy Burkhalter of Franklinton, LA; Curtis Burkhalter, of Roseland, LA; Allen Burkhalter, of Mt Hermon, LA; Willie E Burkhalter, of Los Angeles, California; stepsisters, Gwenda Dyson, of Los Angeles, California; Georgia Bickham, of Franklinton, LA; Augustine White, of Dayton OHand a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, lots of other family, and friends.



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