H Wayne Norton
Born: 4/12/1926, Gould City, Michigan
Wayne’s family lived in at a logging camp outside of Goulds City, Michigan when he was born in 1926. He is the youngest of seven children born to Floyd Bennett Norton and Jessie Walkup Norton. He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters Orris and Glen Wonsitler, Shirley and Pud Stilenbauer, Lois and Jack MacDougald, Elta and Jim Erskine and brothers Raymond Norton, Leland and Irene Norton. He is also preceded in death by his wife of 72 years Ramona Ehlinger Norton, his daughter Sheryl Norton and grandson Joseph Christensen.
Wayne was raised in various places in upper and lower Michigan. He joined the Navy in 1944 when he was 17 years old. He was honorably discharged medically in 1945. He was very proud of his time served and is a WW II veteran. After leaving the service he married the love of his life Ramona Ehlinger and then immediately enrolled at Michigan State University and majored in Forestry. While in college he participated in football, archery and sang in the choir. In 1949 the President of the University sent him a personal letter congratulating him on early graduation and invited him to a special commencement.
In 1950 he accepted his first Forestry job as a fire lookout at Yellowstone National Park. He hitchhiked from Michigan to Yellowstone, Wyoming in 4 days to start his job.
In 1953 he was offered a 3 month seasonal position at Grand Canyon National Park. He bought a small camp trailer and moved his then family of five children. From there he was transferred to The Great Smokey Mountain National Park where they lived through 1955.
Death: 4/1/2020, Moab, Utah
Service: 04/03/2020, 1:00 pm, Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery
Interment: 04/03/2020, 2:00 pm, , Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery
In 1956 he was transferred to Montezuma Well in Arizona. The park service applied for and received a grant for $66,000. in order to purchase 3 - 3 bedroom houses and he and his family lived in one of those houses.
His children fondly remember their time at The Great Sand Dunes National Park from 1958 to 1966. Arches National Park 1966 to 1974. With all of the children raised he, Ramona and Sheryl were transferred to Padre Island National Park in Texas where in 1979 he retired and returned to Moab, they built a home in Spanish Valley and lived there for 38 years.
Wayne enjoyed his “retirement” by working and golfing. He built bows for Carroll’s Archery, inspected saddle trees for Hercules Saddle Tree, shot in archery tournaments, played cards, built golf clubs and sang Karaoke at the Elks and The Branding Iron. One of his favorite pastimes was telling the fascinating stories of his life. He faced every challenge with grace and dignity and accepted the things he knew he couldn’t change.
Wayne is survived by his four children: Bill and Debra, Lynn and Jim, Greg and Ingrid, Alan and Sandy. His Grandchildren, Great and Great Great Grandchildren.
A Graveside Service was held Friday April 3, 2020 at 1:00 pm at Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery. A Memorial service at a later date after the travel ban.
Tributes: WAYNE WAS A REGULAR AT THE MOAB ELKS LODGE NUMBER 2021. HE WAS QUITE THE SINGER AT KARAOKE AND HE AND HIS WIFE WOULD BRIGHTEN MY NIGHT WITH THEIR SMILES. MANY A FRIDAY OR SATURDAY DINNER PARTY WAS ENJOYED AT ELKS.
- Matt BaileyI remember Wayne from our days together at Great Sand Dunes. Sad to lose an old friend.
- Warren H Hill
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on within our heart.