William Millard Norton


In Loving Memory of William Millard Norton.

Bill Norton, of Pagosa Springs, Colo.,went home to be with the Lord on July 9.

Bill was the firstborn of six children to William Kenneth Norton and Donna Mae Caron in Minneapolis, Minn., on April 10, 1947. When Bill (affectionately known as “Billy” to his family and friends) was 4 years old, the family moved to Anchorage, Alaska.

Bill is survived by his sisters, Cheri Norton Rutter, of Portland, Ore., Theresa Norton O’Leary, of Prescott, Ariz., Sandy Norton, of Portland, Ore.; and his brothers, Kevin Norton, of Anchorage, Alaska, and Shawn Norton, of Anchorage, Alaska.

Bill was introduced to music in the fifth grade when his dad bought him a clarinet. Shortly after, his dad whistled a tune and Billy picked it up instantly on the clarinet. Through the guidance of his high school band teacher, Mr. Everly, second cousin to the famous Everly Brothers, Bill became first clarinet all through his high school years at East Anchorage High.

Bill left Alaska to attend college in San Diego to study both math and science. He considered music as both a science and an art, so that was the perfect degree to pursue. Before he could obtain his degree, however, he got drafted into the military as an aircraft instrument mechanic. Per Bill, “God had a different plan for me, which I didn’t understand for quite some time.” 

At various times, Bill lived in California, Oregon, Arizona and, ultimately, the desire of his heart in Pagosa Springs, Colo., where he loved to ski and enjoy the famous hot springs. It was here where Bill used his multiple gifts including carpentry and his love of music as music director at John Paul II Catholic Church.

Our loss is Heaven’s gain.

Celebration of Bill’s life will be held at Pope John Paul II Catholic Church, 353 S. Pagosa Blvd., in Pagosa Springs, Colo., on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 10 a.m. Rosary and remembrance will be on Friday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m. Instructions for sending flowers or donations: Pope John Paul II Catholic Church.