PEORIA - Dr. Paul M. Norris, 88, of Peoria passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.
Paul was born to Dr. Luke and Marie Norris in Pomeroy, Iowa, on Feb. 22, 1925.
His childhood was spent in Marcus, Iowa, where he enjoyed the small town life of playing baseball, hunting and gardening. The Catholic church and his extended family, three brothers, two sisters, uncles, aunts, and grandparents were integral to his life.
He was a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. He enlisted in the Army in 1943 and was sent to the University of Iowa.
He was soon transferred to St. Norbert's and then to Washington University, where he graduated with honors. As part of the G.I. Bill, he attended the University of Pennsylvania and received his M.D. in 1949. After his internship at Walter Reed, Paul was assigned to medical duty in Salzburg, Austria.
With the onset of the Korean War, he re-enlisted and served as chief medical officer in Leghorn, Italy, until 1954.
He returned home for his residency at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and to his sweetheart, Margaret Andrews, who he met while at Walter Reed. In 1957, he married Margaret, his wife of 51 years, in Washington, D.C., and began his medical practice in Jacksonville, Ill.
In 1968, he moved to Peoria, where he continued his surgical practice until his retirement in 1990. After his retirement, he volunteered for a number of years as a surgeon at the VA Hospital.
Paul was board certified by the American Board of Surgery, president and treasurer of the Peoria Medical Society, delegate to the Illinois Medical Society, member of the Illinois College of Surgeons and served on the faculty at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.
Paul's lifelong interest in learning about other cultures led to extensive travel and learning languages. He enjoyed reading books and listening to the news in Italian, Spanish, German and Turkish. Perhaps his interest in language started with his fondly remembered, Depression-era trip to the Interstate Spelling Bee with his mother.
Paul was preceded in death by Margaret, who passed away in 2008.
He is survived by four children, Michael Norris (Lorraine and three daughters) of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., Robert Norris (Laura and two daughters) of Evanston, Ill., Carolyn Norris (Edward Hedgecock, one daughter and one son) of Baltimore, Md., and Christina Norris (one son and one daughter) of Buenos Aires, Ark.
The family would like to thank his many close friends for their love and support.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, at St. Thomas Catholic Church, with lunch to follow. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Friday, prior to the Mass at the church. Cremation rites have been accorded. Wright & Salmon Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the
, Central Illinois Chapter or Family House of Peoria.
Tributes and condolences may be submitted to www.wrightandsalmon.com.