Thomas Paul "Tom" Norton, age 91, of Crookston, Minnesota, died at his home peacefully early Sunday morning, April 7, 2013,
Thomas Paul "Tom" Norton, age 91, of Crookston,
Minnesota, died at his home peacefully early Sunday morning,
April 7, 2013, with his wife, Alice, and other family members
at his side.
Tom was born at Walker, Minnesota on April 4, 1922, the
son of Lon and Lorna (Morrill) Norton. He was baptized and
confirmed in the Catholic faith and received his early years of
education at Walker. At the age of 10 he and his family moved
to a farm near East Grand Forks, Minnesotaand he attended a
nearby country school.
Tom moved to San Francisco, California during the WWII
years and was employed as a welder in the Kaiser Shipyards,
building ships in aid of the war effort. He later returned to
East Grand Forks and immediately met a young schoolteacher
named Alice Kliner, who was staying with the Norton
family while teaching at the country school. Love blossomed
and Tom and Alice were united in marriage on October 21,
1946. Their marriage would be blessed by the births of 8 children.
The couple farmed northwest of Euclid, Minnesota until
the mid-1950's. Tom then sold the farm and with his family
moved to Crookston, where he purchased land in the northeast
part of the city and developed housing lots. He later
worked in maintenance for several large businesses in the
Crookston-Grand Forks area.
As his working years were drawing to a close he provided
maintenance and janitorial services at the Northwestern
Clinic. He was dearly loved by the nurses and staff, and it
was with a touch of sadness for themselves, tempered by happiness for Tom, that they bid him goodbye at a retirement
reception in 1987.
Tom dedicated his life to Alice, and the children they took
such great joy in nurturing. He was equally as committed to
his faith, and was happiest when giving of his time and talents
in helping others. In retirement, and for well over twenty-
five years, he served as a lead Eucharistic Minister for the
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and had assisted
the Parish priests at nearly every funeral mass held at the
church during that time period.
Tom had a passion for the outdoors, and doing gardening
and yard work; especially if it meant doing it with Alice. He
enjoyed woodworking, providing maintenance service for
family and friends, and was also a very talented musician.
Tom could pick up nearly any instrument, such as the accordion,
banjo, violin, or harmonica, and playing so naturally that people had a hard time believing he had never had a lesson.
A quote from 'Life and Love in the North Woods', a collection
of stories authored by Tom himself, and published by his
children in May 2012, included the following snippet from the
forward; "What we can take from these stories are life lessons
of love, forgiveness, understanding, reward, and
above all, faith. A faith in a higher power, yes, but also faith in family, friends and friendship, community and service. Lessons that we bring to our efforts every day." May God bless Tom's memory.
Sharing Tom's unconditional love was his beloved wife of
66 years, Alice; their 8 children and spouses: Angela Norton
Lagarde (Bill) of Duluth, MN, Sharon Norton Welsh
(Leonard) of Plano, TX, Faye Norton of Apple Valley, MN,
Bonnie Norton Oldre (Randy) of Minneapolis, MN, Linda
Norton Johnson (Tim) of Princeton, MN, Timothy Norton
(Michelle) of Champlin, MN, Dorothy Norton Hull (Mike)
and Mary Norton of Apple Valley; 21 grandchildren; and 23
great-grandchildren. He also leaves 2 brothers, Robert Norton
and David Norton of East Grand Forks, MN; 3 sisters, Mary
Norton Schindler of Red Lake Falls, MN, Nora Norton
Pearson of Nebraska, and Rita Norton Finn of California; as
well as, several nieces, nephews, and other relatives. He was
preceded in death by his parents, Lon and Lorna; and 2 brothers,
James and John Norton.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Thomas Paul Norton will
be celebrated at 10:30am, Saturday, April 13, 2013, at the
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston with
The Rev. Vincent Miller, presiding. Visitation will be at the
Cathedral on Friday from 5-8:00PM, with a Knights of
Columbus Rosary at 7:30PM, followed by a prayer service at
8:00PM. There will also be visitation for one hour prior to the
funeral. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Tom's
name to the charity of your choice.
Online registry: stenshoelhouske.com