Mr. Orvel Eugene “Gene” Norris, age 85, of Rome died Thursday May 3 in his home surrounded by his family.
He was joined in Heaven by his wife and love of his life, Glenda Louise Beard Norris, age 82, also of Rome, on May 9 when she passed away in a local hospital.
Mr. Norris was born in Winston County, Alabama, on August 9, 1932, son of the late Howard Norris & the late Essie Backus Norris.
He was a graduate of McHenry High School. Following high school, Mr. Norris proudly served his country in the United States Navy as a signalman aboard the USS Hugh Purvis 709. Mr. Norris attended Carroll Lynn Business School and worked tirelessly for his family, retiring from Georgia Kraft (Inland) in 1994.
Mrs. Norris was born in Rome, Georgia on February 11, 1936, daughter of the late Felt Beard and the late Battie Maner Beard.
She attended Armuchee High School. Mrs. Norris was a proud homemaker for many years.
Besides her parents, Mrs. Norris was preceded in death by her three brothers, Joel Beard, Jerry Beard and Michael Beard.
Mr. & Mrs. Norris are survived by their children, Marsha Wilson (Mike), John Norris (LiVawne), Cathy Cauthen (Stan), Toni Norris Greer (Terry) and special “bonus daughter” Sherry Smith (Dwight). They were the proud grandparents of Jerry Russell, Wes Brooks, Bridget Moore Gray (Jarrett), Chad Moore (Ashley), Benji Brooks, Candice Brooks Beaver (Christian), David Mountain and Claire Mountain, along with seven stepgrandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and numerous step great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Mr. & Mrs. Norris also are survived by long-time close friends Anne Davis of Chattanooga, and Georgie Kight, Bill Christie and Irene Hamilton, all of Rome.
Mr. Norris is also survived by his brother, John T. Norris Sr of Albany, and Marie Norris Swafford of Lindale.
Mrs. Norris is survived by her sister, Gail Beard Holden of Rome.
The Norrises were pillars of the Glenwood/Armuchee Community. They were longtime members of Pleasant Valley North Baptist Church where Mrs. Norris served on numerous committees and was the teacher of the Joy Sunday School class for many years.
Mr. and Mrs. Norris were married on March 26, 1954. During their 64 years of marriage, they loved nothing more than spending time with their family and friends. They were loving devoted parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, never missing a sporting event, dance recital or graduation.
They were affectionately known as “Pop & Nana” by family and friends alike.
Throughout the years, they enjoyed many hobbies together such as bowling, riding motorcycles, square dancing with the Western Promenaders, listening to Southern Gospel music, numerous vacations, playing horse shoes and going camping.
Later in life, most Friday nights were spent playing cards with family and they became known for their large Christmas light display which could be seen blocks away from their home.
The Norrises loved their friends as strongly as their family and maintained many decades-long friendships. Many times, their friends became their family. Throughout the years, they were often found welcoming people into their home for numerous events.
Summertime was always filled with multitudes of laughing voices coming from their pool area. If you were welcomed as a guest there, you always left feeling like family.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 3 p.m. in the Chapel at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, North Chapel, with Rev. Horace Stewart and Rev. Clyde Hampton officiating.
Eulogies will be given by family and close friends.
Interment will follow in Oaknoll Memorial Gardens with Rev. Mac McCurry officiating and the American Legion Post No. 5 Honor Guard presenting military honors.
The family will receive friends at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, North Chapel, on Thursday from 5 until 8 p.m. At other hours, they will be at the residence
Pallbearers are requested to assemble at the funeral home on Friday at 3 p.m. and include: Wes Brooks, Benji Brooks, Chad Moore, Jerry Russell, Jarrett Gray and David Mountain.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Heyman Hospicecare at Floyd, P. O. Box 162, Rome, GA 30162 in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Gene Norris.