Raymond Norris, the area’s oldest World War II veteran, passed away Friday, January 5. He would have been 99 next month.
Mr. Norris was proud of his military service as an Army Air Corps mechanic during the war. His patriotism continued for decades as he was dedicated to serving veterans’ organizations with membership in both American Legion Post 90 and VFW Post 7016.
In April 2017, he was honored by the Legion for his 60 years of membership.
His presence at the local VFW was an inspiration for other veterans.
“There was never a doubt what the VFW meant to Mr. Norris,” VFW Commander Billy Gates said. “He attended every official function we had. He was extremely concerned about members and even offered to pay the dues of any new member who joined. With dedicated members like Mr. Raymond, a Commander could only wish all had the same dedication. He truly loved his country and was a PATRIOT by any definition.
“Mr. Norris, for all who knew him, was as sharp as a tack. He was one of the most caring and sharing veterans I know. And at age 98, he was the life of the party. If you attended one of our Christmas parties you know what I mean. He will be so missed at Post 7016.
“He loved Ruth, God, the VFW and veterans.”
Family, friends, and fellow veterans filled Petty-Eastside Chapel for the service Tuesday, January 9. As the flag-draped coffin was taken to the hearse, members of the VFW and American Legion and other veterans came to attention and saluted.
Mr. Norris was buried with military honors at Godwin Cemetery.