‘He will always be loved’

The Illinois National Guard soldier with Sauk Valley ties who died Sunday in a roadside bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan, a newlywed with a new son, will be buried a week from today in Freeport, where he grew up.

Spc. Norman Lewis Cain III, 22, died at the scene in Kot, according to the Guard.

Cain was a member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry, based in Woodstock.

Two fellow Illinois Guardsmen also were killed by the blast: Sgt. Christopher Abeyta, 23, of Midlothian, and Sgt. Robert Weinger, 24, of Round Lake Beach, died later at a base in Jalalabad. An airman, Staff Sgt. Timothy L. Bowles, 24, of Tucson, Ariz., also died in the attack.

Cain and Brigette Fallon Peterson, of Oregon, married July 3 in her hometown and moved to Mount Morris a short time ago. They had an infant son, Toryn, as well as Brigette’s daughter, Fallon Spielman, whose ages were unavailable Thursday.

Brigette Cain, 26, pays tribute to her fallen husband on the Burke-Tubbs Funeral Home Web site.

“Norman was a wonderful man. He was strong, firm when he needed to be and loving always. He put his family first, no matter what,” she wrote.

“Norman was a person you couldn’t help but notice, even if he never spoke a word. He died serving his country and providing for his family. He will always be loved. He will live on in our memories and our hearts.”

She called him her “soulmate”; on his My-Space page, he declared her “the love of my life.”

Cain had several ties to the Sauk Valley – his stepfather, Mark Otto of Freeport, is a part-time Polo police officer, and he has an uncle, Dennis Lee Cain, who lives in Grand Detour.

According to the Burke-Tubbs Web site, Cain was born Oct. 23, 1986, in Madison, Wis. He was a 2006 graduate of Freeport High, where he was a member of the Naval Junior Officers Reserve Training Corps. He enjoyed working on cars, and later attended Highland Community College Auto Mechanics School.

He joined the Guard in July 2007; this was his first deployment.

Other survivors include his parents, Norman Lewis (Tina) Cain Jr. of Ridott and Lisa (Mark) Otto of Freeport; three brothers, Zachery Otto, and Michael and Andrew Bower; two sisters, Breeana Otto and Courtney Bower; his paternal grandmother, JoAnn Cain of Ridott; his maternal grandmother, Pamela Wise of Freeport; his maternal great-grandmothers, Delta Mooney and Reva Wise; and a nephew, Ayden Shores.

His grandfather and namesake, Norman Lewis Cain Sr., died Nov. 25.

Services

Visitation for Illinois National Guard Spc. Norman Cain III, 22, of Mount Morris, begins at 9 a.m. March 27 in Freeport High School’s gym, 701 W. Moseley St., followed by his funeral at 11.

Burial will be at North Grove Christian Cemetery, Egan.

Burke-Tubbs Funeral Homes in Freeport is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established. Condolences may be posted at www.burketubbs.com online.

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