March 25, 2004

(3/15/1926 - 3/16/2004)

Merle R. Norton, 78, of Olathe, KS, passed away March 16, 2004, at Olathe Medical Center, Olathe, KS.

Mr. Norton was born March 15, 1926, in Knox County, MO, the son of Roy B. Norton and Bertha L. (Henry) Norton, who preceded him in death.

He entered the U.S. Army in 1944 and served in Germany in the Battle of the Bulge. He was also a guard during the Nuremberg War Trial.

He graduated from the university at Kirksville, MO and also graduated from the Missouri Valley College in Marshall, MO. He entered education and was an elementary school teacher for 11 years in Missouri.

In 1946, he and Mary C. Chancellor were married in Rutledge, MO. In 1961, they moved to Kansas, making their home in Olathe, where he joined the Navy Reserves. He also attended Emporia State College, where he received his masters degree. He taught at Millbrook Junior High, Santa Fe Trail Junior High and later at Pioneer Trail Junior High School, where he retired from teaching in 1990, making a total of 40 years in education. He retired with 24 years of service with the U.S. Navy in 1986.

Mr. Norton enjoyed bowling, square dancing and restoring vintage automobiles, particularly Fords. He enjoyed coin collecting and working crossword puzzles. He was a member of the Olathe Masonic Lodge, the Docey Dandies Square Dance Club, Olathe East Bowling League, the NEA and the KNEA teachers’ organizations. He attended the Baptist Church.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Norton was preceded in death by four brothers, and one sister.

He is survived by his wife; two sons, Greg and wife, Tammy Norton of Wagstaff, KS, and Rob and wife, Jennifer Norton of Belton, MO; a step-granddaughter, Traci Wolf of Shawnee; and a sister, Linda Davison of Quincy, IL.

Funeral services were held March 20, 2004 at Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, Olathe, KS. Masonic Rites were held March 19, 2004, by the Olathe Masonic Lodge. Burial was in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, rural Olathe, KS, with military rites. The family has suggested memorials to the Olathe Masonic Lodge, c/o Charles D. Lang, secretary, 1011 W. Wabash Terrace, Olathe, KS 66061.

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