Donald Richard Norris, 92, passed away surrounded by loved ones after a lengthy battle with cancer on December 20, 2019 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was born on April 7, 1927 in Lucas County, Iowa, to Clifford and Ruth (Clay) Norris. He was the oldest of seven children. He attended schools in New Virginia, Iowa and went on to receive a degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) in 1949. He married Evelyn Stills on August 22, 1947. After graduation he worked as an engineer for Brown Engineering in Des Moines and Green County REC in Jefferson, Iowa, General Manager of Eastern Light and Power Cooperative in Wilton, Iowa, and President and General Manager of East Kentucky Power in Winchester, Kentucky. He retired in 1994. Following retirement he and Evelyn lived in Winchester, Kentucky, Plano, Texas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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He was an avid golfer achieving one hole-in-one for which he was very proud. He was very devoted to his family and was a friend to all he met. He planned numerous family reunions including immediate and extended family members. Following retirement he researched and compiled genealogical data for both his and Evelyn’s family. These investigations lead to a great deal of travel, visiting cemeteries and court house records to gather information for his project.
During his working career he served on numerous boards and committees related to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He served as President for the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation. He was interviewed on one occasion by the late radio show personality Paul Harvey to get “The rest of the story.” Also, during his career he was summoned, along with several other cooperative managers, to the White House for a meeting with President Jimmy Carter about the energy crisis.
He was a lifelong United Methodist having held many positions of leadership in the church.
He was a proud World War II veteran serving in the army during the occupation of Germany and attended the Nuremberg Trials.
He is survived by his wife, Evelyn (Stills) Norris, of 72 years. Children: Sherry (Claude) Husbands – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Dianne (Gary) Richardson – Indianola, Iowa, and Karen Norris – Effingham, Illinois. Grandchildren: Lisa Beleele, Jay Husbands, Michael Richardson, Mary Yeoman, Jennifer Seibert and Ann Bicknese. He is also survived by 12 Great Grandchildren and sister, Joyce Pederson, Fort Collins, Colorado, and a host of family and friends from all over the country.
He was preceded in death by siblings Dwight Norris, Tom Norris, Marilyn Long, Merle Norris and Charles Norris and parents Clifford and Ruth Norris.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to the American Cancer Society or the Wounded Warrior Project. A memorial service celebrating Don’s life will be held March 20, at Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City.
Wounded Warrior Project
4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300
Jacksonville, FL 32256
American Cancer Society
Business Address: 250 Williams Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone Number: 1-800-227-2345
Donation Mailing Address: PO Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123
Phone Number: 1-800-227-2345