John Ewing Norris, 92, of Lake City passed peacefully into the loving and joyful embrace of our Heavenly Father surrounded by his family on Friday, May 6, 2016, at the E.T. York Care Center in Gainesville. A native of Hartwell, Georgia he was the son of the late Guy H. and Ophelia C. Norris. He served in WWII in the U.S. Army, 69th Infantry Division in Italy, France, and Germany. After the war John completed his undergraduate studies and obtained his law degree in 1949 at the University of Florida with high honors. He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and Florida Blue Key. He married Mary Elizabeth "Boots" Williams on December 26, 1948. They were blessed with three children and a 35 year storybook marriage until her death in 1983. John and Boots started his law practice in Mayo, Fla. in 1949. In 1956, John joined the Brannon, Brown & Smith law firm in Lake City, which later became Brannon, Brown, Norris, Vocelle & Haley. In 1985, he established Norris & Koberlein, now known as Norris & Norris, with his great friend Fred Koberlein, where his loyal staff members Diane Crews and Cindy Busscher worked with him for over 40 years. After being widowed for several years, John married Betty E. Allison, who predeceased him in September, 2015. They had a beautiful marriage and traveled the world together for 28 years. John was an Elder Emeritus of the First Presbyterian Church. He taught Sunday School for more than 25 years. His professional honors are too numerous to enumerate, but he was most proud of having served as the Chairman of The Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section and as a member of the Board of Governors representing the Third Judicial Circuit. John also served as President of the Lake City-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Rotary of Club of Lake City and the Mayo Rotary Club. He was an avid Florida Gator and season ticket holder for football and basketball for 50 years. John was preceded in death by his siblings, Guy, Rachael, Frank, Rufus, Baxter, Mary, and Wade Norris, an infant son, John, Jr., a grandson, Jared Allison, and his daughter, Elizabeth Norris White. John is survived by his loving family of Guy and Suzanne Norris, Jim White, sisters-in-law Lillian Norris, Mable W. Hurt and Clara Williams; Carl and Joan Allison, Steve and Teresa Allison, Chuck and Vesna Allison; grandchildren, William, John, James, and Paul Norris, Heidi White, Stephanie, Amanda, Michelle, Desiree, Sydney and Cameron Allison; and 2 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews all of who he dearly loved.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, May 11, at Gateway-Forest Lawn Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 12, at the First Presbyterian Church with Dr. Cynthia Benz officiating. A reception will be held immediately following in the church fellowship hall. Private interment will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Haven Hospice, 6037 US HWY 90 West, Lake City, Fla. 32055. Arrangements are under the direction of Gateway-Forest Lawn Funeral Home, 3596 S. HWY 441, Lake City, Fla. (386) 752-1954.
Published on May 12, 2016