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Paul James Norris



'tis you must go and I must bide’

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. Paul James Norris (PJ) left us on March 6th 2013, with his Irish grin, directing the show to the end.

He was one in a million, funny, bold and brilliant; he lived life to the fullest. A devoted Catholic, he loved his wife, his family, learning, travel, a good political debate and his beloved Alma Mater, ST FX University. God was at the centre of his life and he was looking forward to seeing his mother and daughter Frances again in Heaven. He left this world surrounded by his loving wife of 62 years Miki aka Doreen, his children Sheilagh (Rod Ross), Diane, Dan (Deb), Colleen (Adam Brown), Tim (Sharon), Tony (Teena), Mark (Veronica) and Mike (Anita); grandchildren Mike (Chella), Tim (Laura), Kate (Jay), Jennie, Paul, Emeleigh, Ben, Sam, Courtney, Brittany, Ryley, Alex, Aaron, Bobbi, Molly, Claudia, Jack, Emma, Hudson, and Finley; and great grandchildren Regan, Addison, Natasha, Will, Joe and Collin.

Paul was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1926, the third child of Fred and Marie Norris. His family moved to Edmonton (32-38) for the early years and then Calgary where he spent his youth. He was fiercely independent, venturing out on his own at 14 years of age. Following a stint in the army and with the help of his mentor Judge Stack, PJ headed off to St Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, for petroleum geology. There he spent four glorious years which to the end he treasured beyond measure and clearly shaped his life. Due to the Canadian Pacific Railways that provided free train passes to and from University, summers between University years were spent at his home away from home, the Banff Springs Hotel. This is where he noticed a beautiful brunette from Montreal arriving to work at the hotel, and always said it was love at first sight. He spent the next four years pursuing her. They were married in 1951 and remained solid partners to the end. The newly minted geologist and science graduate moved to Calgary. Babies started arriving (1952-1964) and they moved to Edmonton raising their children, committed to family, faith and spending summers at their treasured ‘Fintry’ in the Okanagan. Paul completed an engineering diploma from University of Alberta in 1953. He started a Law Degree while doing Geology in 1954 and then established his own company, Norris Holdings Ltd.(Bench Ads) in 1955. He was active in many associations and societies; financial chairman of Edmonton Opera Association (1977); regional director, Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta (1968-1977); a leader in Serra, Friars Club and the Commonwealth Games planning committee, a member of University of Alberta Senate (1977-1980); and a founding member of the Royal Glenora Club. He was an Alderman for the City of Edmonton from 1977-82. Paul and Miki built a home on his beloved South 40 at the Village of Norris Beach in 1990 and moved out to Pigeon Lake where he had spent his summers as a young boy. They lived there until 3 years ago when he lost his leg and ended up with significant complications that moved them to Camrose to be close to the care they needed.

Dad loved reading, music, painting and debating everything and anything making sure you knew his opinions and the ‘right’ way to look at any issue. He had an amazing sense of humour and loved to tell a joke, never missing a punch line. There is a big hole in our family and hearts and we will miss him terribly.

A Funeral Mass in celebration of his life will be held Saturday, March 16th, 2013 at 11:00 a.m., at St John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 9830 - 148 Street, Edmonton.

One of dad’s proudest accomplishments was providing scholarships to students in need at St FX University. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, please feel free to make donations to the Paul and Miki Norris Bursary (Est. 2004), St Francis Xavier University, c/o of Lynn O'Donnell, lodonnel@stfx.ca or (902) 867-5017.

In Loving Memory of
Paul James Norris
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Funeral Service:
Celebration of Life
Saturday, March 16, 2013
11:00 AM
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