Norma Strait has built a strong and quiet relationship with her husband, "The King of Country," George Strait. The duo has navigated rough terrain and created a beautiful family, making them a role model for a solid marriage in the music industry.
Finding Each Other (Again)
Norma grew up in Pearsall, Texas, in Frio Country, southwest of San Antonio, and attended high school with George. The two could have easily become high school sweethearts who drifted apart. Luckily, George had an epiphany that he was missing out on the woman of his dreams, and Norma had the heart to welcome him back into her life.
"Norma was the first girl I ever loved," Strait said. "We knew each other forever, growing up in a small town. I never really even thought anything about her, but then one day I asked her out and we went on a date. We didn't see each other for a long time after that. Then one day, I thought, 'I'm missing the boat here,' and we started dating again."
An Elopement Leading to a New Life and Children
Since they couldn't wait to start their lives together, Norma and George eloped in Mexico on Dec. 4, 1971, around the age of 19. In order not to throw tradition to the wind, the two had a formal ceremony in a church in Pearsall a couple of weeks later.
Shortly after they married, George enrolled in the United States Army and was whisked away to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii with Norma by his side. While in Hawaii, George started a successful U.S. Army band called Rambling Country, beginning his career as a country music singer. Norma stayed busy and gave birth to their first child, Jenifer, on Oct. 6, 1972. Their son, George "Bubba" Strait Jr., followed in 1981.
Sadly, their daughter Jenifer passed away in 1986 at just 13 years old when she was killed in a car accident in San Marcos. Since George and Norma are a private couple, they haven't publicly discussed the tragedy, but their actions have spoken loudly. After her death, they began the Jenifer Lynn Strait Foundation to support children's charities in the San Antonio area in Jenifer's memory.
Norma chose to work as a stay at home mom with Bubba until he went off to college at Texas A&M in College Station. After graduating, he competed as a professional cowboy and married his wife, Tamara. The pair had a son in Feb. 2012 named George Harvey Strait III, and a daughter in Sept. 2016 named Jilliann Louise, making Norma and George happy grandparents.
Celebrating Decades Together
After Bubba had left the nest, Norma chose to support her husband, who was deemed Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music and elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame, on the road.
"Norma and I are so blessed that we found each other...and were able to do all of this together, experience this life together, to support each other through everything, good times and bad," Strait said to People. "We love each other and we still like each other. A lot!"
This post was originally published in 2018. It was updated on Dec. 4, 2021.
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