Virginia Ford Norris


Virginia Ford Norris

Virginia Ford Norris, 96, of Brevard, went to be at peace with the Lord July 31, 2015.

Born in Detroit, Mich., May 23, 1919, her parents were Maurice A. Ford and Josephine H. Curtis. She had three sisters, Marjorie (William) Pettengill, Charlotte Ford, and Marion (William) Huble, all deceaed.

She spent 11 years at St. Stephen School after moving to Port Huron, Mich. in 1920. Her studies included piano and organ lessons, graduating in 1937. She especially liked accompanying the men's choir at Sunday Mass and Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

She worked at the Detroit Edison Company for five years where she met Earl Norris, who introduced her to flying. Eventually she took lessons and received a private pilot's license. They were married in Hollywood Beach, Fla. July 17, 1943, where Ensign Earl Norris trained with his PBM squadron for six weeks.

She followed him until he was sent to the Pacific area during World War II. She went back to her family's home and gave birth to her son, Kenny, April 29, 1944. Everyone was very happy when Earl came home "on leave" in time for Christmas 1944 and saw his eight – month – old son for the first time.

He returned to his squadron and left them until the next Christmas when the war was over. They spent the rest of 25 years moving to Naval Air Station in Willow Grove, Pa., living in Jenkintown, Glenview, Ill., where he became commander, Grosse Isla, Mich., living in Trenton, Mich., Virginia Beach, Va. and Alexandria, Va. where he became captain at the Pentagon.

During all this moving, they added three children to the family, Richard A. Norris, of Far Hills, N.J., Christine Jo Ledergerber, of Brimley, Mich., both born in the Philadelphia Naval Hospital and Julie Ann Noble, of Brevard, born in Trenton.

After five years in the Pentagon, Earl retired and they moved back to Glenview. When the children were older, she had several occupations, taught needlework and piano lessons, and was secretary's assistant in grade school, secretary in insurance office and engineer assistant at Underwriters Lab in North-brook, Ill.

In 1974 they moved back to Port Huron, Mich., where they became volunteers in the start of the food bank that supplied area churches, eventually taken over by the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

She is past president of the League of Catholic Women and the League of Women Voters, and was a life member of Christian Mothers of St. Joseph Church. With the League of Women's Voters, they helped get the recycling program started in Port Huron.

In 1993 they moved to Melbourne, Fla. and lived in Indian River Colony Club for nine years. They became volunteers at Wuestoff Medical Center, in Rockledge, Fla. She was a past president of Laureate Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, of Melbourne, Fla.

They enjoyed Elder-hostel trips to Europe, a Caribbean cruise and a cruise to Alaska. In Brevard they found College Walk Retirement Community and made many new friends. She joined Sacred Heart Catholic Church and The Ladies Guild.

Besides three of her children, she is survived by seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Her husband, Earl, died March 14, 2007, and her son, Lt. JG Kenneth Norris, died in Vietnam, Jan. 31, 1969.

A memorial Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, at 11 a.m.

Burial will be in Saint Michael Cemetery in Palatine, Ill.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Sharing House, Transylvania Christian Ministry, P.O. Box 958, Brevard, NC 28712, or Bread of Life, 238 South Caldwell St., Brevard, NC 28712.

Online condolences may be left at

Moody-Connolly Funeral Home is caring for the family.


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