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August 01, 2014

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Originally published: 2014-02-06 13:23:19
Last modified: 2014-02-07 09:07:52

Jefferson L. Norris

Jefferson Lawrence Norris, 84, of Hickory, died Wednesday Feb. 5, 2014, at Catawba County Regional Hospice.

Born Sept. 8, 1929, in Lincoln County, he was the son of the late Mae Throneburg and the Rev. Dr. Jefferson Leander Norris. He was a 1952 graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University (formerly Lenoir-Rhyne College) (A.B., English) and Appalachian State University (M.A., political science). Following his freshman year in college, he served one year in the U. S. Navy.

Norris was an employee of Lenoir-Rhyne for 47 years, serving in the offices of registrar, public relations and alumni affairs, development, administration and finance, and research and planning. He retired from the position of Administrative Assistant to the Board of Trustees in 1999. On his retirement, the college's Employee-of-the-Year Award was named in his honor and he received the Alumni Association Lifetime Service Award and the institution's Trustee Award. In 2003, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

An active Lutheran, Norris was a past council president of St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, Hickory, and a past editor of the semi-monthly publication of the North Carolina Lutheran Synod. He edited the daily newspapers of three biennial conventions of the Lutheran Church in America, served as secretary of the Public Relations Division Committee of the National Lutheran Council. He was a member of the Hickory Rotary Club. He was a charter member of the Blowing Rock Historical Society, serving as board member from 1997-2001, president from 1999-2001 and chairman on Archives & Oral History from 2001-2013.

His published writings include "Fair Star: A Centennial History of Lenoir-Rhyne College," "All One Body: The Story of the North Carolina Lutheran Synod 1803-1993," "Lentz Heritage Revisited: A Genealogy of Bastian and Dewalt Lentz," "The Norrises of Watauga County," and historical recaps of The Hickory Rotary Club and The Lenoir-Rhyne A Cappella Choir.

In addition to his wife, Catherine Barrier Bowden, he is survived by a son, Jeff L. Norris Jr. and wife, Carol Ann, of Lenoir; a daughter, Laura N. Frock and husband, Jonathan, of Arden; three grandchildren, Elizabeth Norris of Lenoir, Andrew Frock and wife, Brittney, of Wake Forest, Catherine Frock of Madison Wis.; sisters, Ida Mae Elliott and husband, James, of Creedmoor, and Theresa Yoder and husband, John, of Asheville.

Funeral services were held at St Andrews Lutheran Church, Hickory, at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014. The Rev. W Richard Fritz Jr officiated. Serving as honorary pall bearers are Lenoir-Rhyne University faculty, staff and retirees, and Hickory Rotary club members. Burial was at the St Andrew's Memorial Garden. Receiving followed the service and at other hours at the home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bowden-Norris Scholarship Fund, Lenoir-Rhyne University, PO Box 7467, Hickory, NC 28603, or St Andrew's Lutheran Church, 629 Eighth Street NE, Hickory, NC 28601.

Bass Smith Funeral Services in Hickory is assisting the family.

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