Parsell Funeral Homes and Crematorium
16961 Kings Highway
Lewes, DE 19958
More Obituaries for Gary Norris
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Gary Jay Norris

1946 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Gary Jay Norris Obituary
Gary Jay Norris, 68, died at his home in Milton, DE on May 22, 2015. Gary, a loving friend, father, grandfather, brother and uncle is survived by his devoted family: Barbara Rankin of Milton, DE; Holly (Norris), Calvin, Olivia and Camryn Shearer of Chambersburg, PA; Mary, Glen, Adam and Anna Birmingham of Avondale, PA; Laura Robson, Tam, Andrew and Silje Rankin, and Charles Rankin of Portland, OR. Born in Tarentum, PA, on July 20, 1946, he was preceded in death by his parents, Roberta and James Norris.

Tall and handsome, Gary was a caring, affectionate, dependable and unassuming man whose quiet but confident manner endeared him to all of his friends. He was well read on a variety of subjects; he loved history, politics, geography, sports, the arts, and enjoyed his role as neighborhood weatherman. Gary loved life at the beach and took advantage of any opportunity to indulge his passion for good food, drink, music and camaraderie.

Gary enjoyed entertaining and acting as the sous chef and host for dinner parties. Grill master extraordinaire was his title among friends. Among his many, many other interests and avocations were traveling, playing the guitar, reading, yoga, watercolor painting, and bridge.

Gary retired from a 40 year career in urban and regional planning in late 2013. He served as City Planner of Milford, DE, from May, 2006. Here he planned and developed significant aspects of the town center and riverfront and adjacent developments.

During his tenure the city received the "Great Places in America: Streets" award from the American Planning Association. Gary served in similar positions in the City of Surprise, AZ, Maricopa County, AZ, Chambersburg, PA, and Franklin County, PA. His 1997 comprehensive plan for Chambersburg was named "Outstanding Plan for Small Jurisdictions" by the Pennsylvania Planning Association. Publications include "Population Growth along the I-81 Corridor", Pennsylvanian, 5/89. He also designed and taught a studio course in Urban Planning at Salisbury (MD) University and was an instructor of Planning at Hagerstown (MD) Community College.

Gary earned his Master's Degree in Urban Regional Planning from Indiana University of Pennsylvania: Thesis "Statistical Variations in the Amount of Soil Conservation Practiced in Pennsylvania." He was a graduate of Slippery Rock University with a B.A. in Economics and Tarentum (PA) High School.

Both an athlete and a sports fan, Gary enthusiastically rooted for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates and Penguins. Gary's real passion, however, was golf. He golfed locally with his many friends and enjoyed the challenges of courses across the country and abroad. Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, TPC Sawgrass, Adare Manor Golf Club in Ireland and the storied St. Andrews Links in Scotland are just a few of the courses he played.

Gary was a Life Member of the American Planning Association. Other affiliations included The American Institute of Certified Planners, the Delaware Planning Association, the Urban Land Use Institute, the Presbyterian Church of Falling Spring, and the George Washington Lodge #143, Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania.

A memorial service and celebration of Gary's life will be held at Penn National Golf Club and Inn in Fayetteville, PA, on June 6, 2015 at 3:30 PM. Tee times are available beforehand. In honor of Gary, please consider donations to The First Tee of Delaware, PO Box 419, Rockland, DE 19732, an organization devoted to youth, teaching life skills and leadership through golf. Gary's smile, laugh, giggle, and infectious sense of humor will be missed and always remembered.

Arrangements by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, Lewes, DE.
Published in Milford Beacon from May 27 to June 5, 2015
Read More
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.
Planning Guide
Planning ahead makes a big difference. Get Legacy's free funeral guide and know your advance options.