John William Norris
John William Norris, “Bill,” went to be with our Lord on Oct. 15, 2018. Bill was born to Guy Norris and Zelma (Spurgeon) Norris on Sept. 29, 1925, at Colfax, Wash.
Bill grew up in Thornton, Wash., graduating from Rosalia High School in 1943. During school, Bill’s passion was sports, where he excelled at football, basketball and baseball.
Soon after graduating, he enlisted in the service, joining the Army Air Corps, serving as a tail gunner on a B24 Liberator in the Pacific Theater. He was a member of the 13th Air Force, 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy) 72nd Bombardment Squadron flying missions aboard the B24 with a 10-man crew.
Bill attained the rank of Sergeant as an Aerial Gunner with a marksmanship in carbine and pistol. He achieved the Good Conduct Medal, American Theater Service Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, and The Victory Medal,
After the war ended in 1945, he returned to Bonners Ferry where his parents owned a ranch in Paradise Valley. Bonners is where he had previously met the love of his life, Beverly Peterson, giving him one more reason to make Bonners his home. Bill and Bev were married on Dec. 23, 1950, among family and friends.
During his time at Bonners, Bill was able to continue his desire to fly, becoming a pilot. He learned to fly at Bonners Ferry Airport, receiving his private pilot license. Not long after, he achieved his commercial pilot’s license at Felts Field in Spokane, Wash. His love of flying took him to Dayton, Wash., where he worked as a crop duster for eight years, only stopping due to parathion poisoning from the sprays that were used.
Bill and Bev, and their family of four kids, moved to Dalton Gardens in 1960 where he then worked in road construction as a heavy equipment operator. They raised their kids in a loving and protective home in Dalton Gardens, demonstrating highest regard for family, faith and nation. He instilled in his children a love of God, always putting Him first in continual, quiet servitude.
Dad loved and respected life, living it to the fullest. He enjoyed a lifetime of flying, golfing, (even building his own putting green at their home in Dalton); hunting — big game and fowl; and of course fishing. Whether it was fly-fishing on the Clark Fork or Steelheadin’ at Lenore, he did it with the same knowledge and expertise in which he handled everything he endeavored.
After he retired, he enjoyed time with the VFW, acting as Color Guard for Memorial Day and various events. He also spent some time during retirement at Henley Aerodrome pulling gliders and working in the flight museum when Silverwood opened in 1988.
Bill and Bev remained in their Dalton home from 1960 to 2016, moving to independent living at Garden Plaza, Post Falls.
Bill is preceded in death by Beverly, his wife of 67 years; his parents; and siblings, Geraldine (Norris) Green, Delbert Norris, Norene (Norris) Reeves, Richard Norris, Guy Norris Jr., Frank Norris and his grandson, Isaac Norris, age 14.
Bill is survived by his children: daughter Lynn, (T Nichols); son Craig, (Glenda) Norris his daughter Jan, (Sam Conner); daughter Kelley (Gregg Bianchi). Bill also leaves behind his youngest sister, Marilee (Norris) Wales, sisters-in-law Pauline Norris, and Janie Peterson, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.