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Jesse W. Norris

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Jesse W. Norris Grand Ledge A patriarch of the Norris family, Jesse William Norris, left this earth Saturday, September 29, 2012 at the age of 85. He was born in Hagerstown, Maryland on March 26, 1927, and moved to Grand Ledge in 1961. As the sole survivor of 13 siblings, he used to say, "I'm the seventh son of the seventh son, my pappy was a pistol, I'm a son of a gun". He left quite a legacy of his own. As a proud, decorated veteran of World War II, he served in three theatres: European, Pacific and American. He served as a gunners mate on cruiser during D-Day. He operated Higgins boats landing Marines onto Japanese islands in the Pacific. He was a Coxswain on an LST-271 landing Marines on the Alaskan Islands supporting the efforts against the Japanese during that phase of the war. As if that wasn't enough, Jesse was a heck of a cook and served in that capacity also. Furthermore, always the life of the party, he often was in charge of entertainment aboard ship and wrote, directed, and acted in shipboard plays. Upon returning home from the war, he spent most of the rest of his life in the trades of construction, including all the facets needed to construct a home or building from the ground up to completion. As residents of Grand Ledge, most people know his craftsmanship exists all over the town of Grand Ledge. He had many other constructed projects throughout the United States, including a unique children's dentist facility in New Orleans with an aquarium theme called Bippo's Place. Mr. Norris was so heralded for his craftsmanship that his business cards only included his first name, "Jesse". Jesse, as he was known, had more friends than can be counted, most he met at Grand Ledge's own local businessThe Barn, Log Jam, and Preston's, where he often sealed many business deals. Mr. Norris mentored and trained many to be skilled craftsman. Together with his beloved wife of 60 years, Josephine Mae Norris, they had three children: Jane (Kenneth) Burger of Grand Ledge, the late Dennis Lee Norris and Jessica (Michael) Hill of Grand Ledge. He is survived by his daughters; six grandchildren: Linda (Donnie) Cox, Kim (Eugene) Richards, Jennifer (Benny) Phillips, Jeff (Deana) Burger, Melisa Wyeth, Josh (Jess) Hill; 17 great grandchildren and 11 great great-grandchildren, with the last one being born 4 weeks ago. He was preceded in death by his wife and also infant son. Memorial services will be held Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 11:00 a.m. at the Peters & Murray Funeral Home, Grand Ledge, with visitations one hour prior to service time. Military Graveside services will follow at Oakwood Cemetery, Grand Ledge. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the or the Ann Arbor VA Hospital. Online condolences may be shared at

Published in Lansing State Journal on Oct. 7, 2012
bullet WWII
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