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William Norris III

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William Norris III Obituary
Judge William Norris, III

Funeral Services for Judge William "Bill" Norris, III, 79, of West Monroe, LA will be held 10:00 A.M., Saturday, July 16, 2016 at First Baptist Church of West Monroe, LA with Rev. Michael Wood, Dr. Mark Fenn and Dr. Dwight Munn officiating. Interment will follow at Hasley Cemetery in West Monroe, LA, under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home, West Monroe, LA.

Judge Bill was born October 17, 1936 and passed away July 13, 2016. Bill served as a judge at the municipal, district and appeal levels and on the Ouachita Parish School Board over the course of five decades. Bill graduated from Ouachita Parish High School. He received a bachelor of arts from then-Northeast Louisiana State College and went on to earn his Juris Doctorate in law from Tulane in 1962. At Tulane, he served on the Moot Court, was a member of the Tulane Law Review and secretary and president of the School of Law. He earned a Masters of Judicial Process from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Bill returned to West Monroe and practiced law from 1964-74. He served as West Monroe city attorney for six years before being elected West Monroe and Ward 5 city judge. He was elected to the Fourth Judicial District Court bench in 1974. In 1981, he was elected to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal. He served as chief judge on the 2nd Circuit from 1999 until his retirement from the bench in August 2002. After retiring from the bench, Bill continued to practice law in West Monroe with his son Jim.

Bill was a member and chairman of the Louisiana Judiciary Commission, which is charged with discipline of judges. He was a member of the study commission that revised judicial ethics in Louisiana. He also was a former member and chairman of the Louisiana Judicial Council, former chair of the Louisiana Conference of Courts or Appeal Judges, former liaison judge for the Courts of Appeal to the Louisiana Legislature and former member of the Louisiana State Indigent Defender Board.

Bill also served on the Ouachita Parish School Board from 1964-71 and was president of the board from 1968-71. He served another term on the board in 2011-2014. During that term, he gave away his paycheck earned by serving on the board to schools in his district. He earned the A.O. Evans Award in 2006, the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce's highest honor for community service. In 2008, Bill was honored by the Downtown Monroe Lions Club for a lifetime of professional and community service.

The former judge was a longtime member of First Baptist Church of West Monroe, where he was a trustee and member of all standing committees. He was a co-teacher for the New Directions Life Group and Bible study leader for Rosemont Assisted Living. He was a longtime member of the West Monroe Rebel Club, a supporter of the West Monroe High School foundation and a member of KPALS, the Kiroli Elementary School PTO.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William Norris, Jr. and Rosalie Norris; and sister, Kay Wroten.

Survivors include his wife of 31 years and devoted caregiver, Carolyn Norris; children, Bill Norris and wife Polly, Jim Norris and wife Charrissa, Lisa Thibodeaux and husband Joey, Sandy Bates and husband Robert, Angelyn Foster and fiancé Tommy Jaxson, and Craig Kolb and wife Christie; grandchildren, Erin Norris, Will Norris and wife Kristen, Clay Norris, Maggie Jones and husband Matt, Jake Norris, Madi Norris, Brett Norris, Ashley Dawson and husband Jacob, Ryan Thibodeaux, Ty Noel, Tanner Noel, Kellyn Foster, Kolby Foster, Taylor Kolb, Kody Cage and Grant Kolb; great granddaughter, AndiLeigh Norris; brother, Dave Norris and wife Biddy; sister, Ellen Prather and husband Larry; mother-in-law, Helen Martin; sister-in-law, Linda Allison; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

One of Bill's favorite scriptures was Micah 6:8 where the people of Israel are standing before God in a courtroom asking what is required of them. The prophet Micah responds "to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Bill treated everyone fairly, he showed kindness and compassion to those he came into contact with and he tried each and every day to serve others and to love others as Christ loved us. His life on Earth can be summed up in Paul's words in II Timothy 4:7-8, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge will award to me on that day and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

Judge Bill's grandsons will serve as pallbearers.

Honorary Pallbearers will be the New Directions Life Group and his colleagues and current members of the Fourth Judicial District Court and Second Circuit Court of Appeal.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M., Friday, July 15, 2016 at First Baptist Church of West Monroe, LA.

The family would like to give special thanks to their extended family at the West Monroe Guest House and caregivers, Debra Wright, Judy Robinson, Dee Jackson and Sherry Williams.

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of West Monroe or to the .

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Mulhearn Funeral Home

West Monroe, LA
Published in The News Star on July 15, 2016
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