Nicholas Norris, 84, died on January 5, 2021 at Brookdale Spruce Woods Assisted Living in Durham, N.H. where he had been living for the last three and a half months. He was born in 1936, the first son of Guy Holden Norris of Brookline, Massachusetts and Lucy Sturgis Codman of South Hamilton, Massachusetts. He grew up in South Natick, Massachusetts and later in Westwood where his parents settled in 1945. In 1954 He graduated from Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts. He attended Harvard University, did a stint in the US Army in California, and graduated from Boston University. He went on to earn two master degrees from B.U., one in African Studies and another in Social Work. In 1967 he moved to Chicago where he worked his way up to being an adjudicator in the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Nick had many passions: opera; train travel; camping; canoeing; hiking and walking New Hampshire's White Mountains (especially Waterville Valley), Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin's Door County. He was a member of the Outings Club of Chicago and led many hikes. He also was an active and ardent member of the Sierra Club. Nick was obsessed with politics, national and local. Whenever he met someone new, he'd ask where they were from and immediately know not only who their congress persons were but the voting records as well. He spent countless hours phone banking and often travelled out of state to support worthy candidates. He considered himself an FDR Democrat and was as an early member of SDS, Students for a Democratic Society. Nick was fervent about theater and opera, subscribing to season tickets at two Chicago opera companies. He particularly loved Wagner's Ring Cycle. He adored train travel, much preferring rails to airways. Although he had deep roots in New England, Nick grew to love Chicago over the fifty-four years he resided there. After retirement he traveled as much as he could, including two trips to the Lake District in Northern England, and a train trip through Germany (where had travelled as a teenage student) to see how things looked "rebuilt after the war." By far his most epic train trip was through Norway where he got as far as the Arctic circle. He was particularly proud of being interviewed in a promotional film featuring his thoughts on rail travel in the US and Europe. Nick is survived by two brothers and their wives: Christopher and Kathleen and Timothy and Susan of East Andover NH; nieces and nephews— Toby (Alisa, Montclair, NJ); Shanda (Andrew, Leavenworth, WA); Josh (Sue, Andover, NH); Matthew, (partner Kelly, Seattle, WA); and honorary niece Bronwen Shoard (Teaneak, NJ). Nick also leaves eleven grand nieces and nephews. Uncle Nick was a beloved fixture in all of our lives, visiting every Christmas and summer break from "Chi Town" as he affectionately called Chicago. In September 2020 he moved to NH because of health issues. Although initially reluctant to leave the Midwest and the loving support of Carra, Sandy, and Kathi and the kind staff of Ann Sather's (where he ate many a meal), and the immensely generous Tom Tunney and Adolpho, — despite leaving all this love behind, he admitted "It's good to be back in NH." We are deeply grateful to the staffs both at Lake View Brookdale (Chicago) and Brookdale Spruce Wood, (Durham) along with the Wentworth Hospice Team. We will forever miss Nick— his guileless honesty, his political savvy, his wonderful verbal imitations of Winston Churchill and F.D.R., but most of all his kindness. Direct Cremation of the Seacoast is in charge of arrangements. Donations may be made to Amedisys Foundation, c/o Wentworth Hospice Care, 9 Andrews Road, Somersworth, New Hampshire 03878.
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