Les Norton, 70, of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, passed away Saturday, July 31, 2021.
Leslie Eugene Norton was born in Northern California on September 2, 1950 and never lost his preference for the cool weather or enthusiasm for the SF Giants, Warriors and 49ers, despite living in Southern California and San Antonio for much of his adult life. His family and friends usually called him Les, but he was very proud to be a Leslie and loved his name either way.
Les graduated from UCLA but returned to the Bay Area in summers where he vividly recalled working in the tomato canneries in Monterrey. He initially contemplated being a meteorologist, but eventually gravitated towards a career in the environmental field. After early work as a consultant, he joined an energy company in the 1980s that after many mergers became Valero Energy Corporation where he worked in Environmental, Health and Safety, until his retirement from the corporate world in 2002. He then focused on the Great Clips hair salon business that his wife, Diane, and he started in 1998 and grew to over 20 salons. Les believed in giving back to his community and he and Diane actively participated to assist non-profits and supported many charitable events.
Les loved to read, especially about history, and collected many books. Les and Diane enjoyed traveling to Europe and they were fortunate to see many of the historical places Les had studied. They also loved traveling in general and spent a lot of time in California, Oregon, and Hawaii.
Les was many things to many people, but always a mentor and a friend. Sometimes he wondered what his legacy would be and whether he had made a difference in peoples' lives. Two of his Cub Scout den members contacted him when they became Eagle Scouts to make sure he knew they made it that far because of the impression he made on them when they were so young. Several people who worked in his corporate group called to let him know what a difference he made in their lives; they stepped out of their comfort zone and into new positions because he believed in them. When his Great Clips family learned he had passed they sent notes "…such a wonderful man, it was a pleasure to work for you, and become your friend," "you believed in me and never gave up on me and that helped me move up," "my first paycheck didn't get to me and he delivered it to me personally and I appreciate everything you do for every one of us," and "our hearts are truly broken and we will miss this amazing man."
We will all miss this amazing man.
Les is survived by his wife Diane Sinclair and son Brett Sinclair; sister Bonnie Sanchez, her husband Tony Sanchez and their sons Anthony (wife Andrea) Sanchez and Jeffrey (wife Pamela) Sanchez and their families; brother Robert Norton, his wife Anne Norton and their children Matthew (wife Alix) Norton, Elizabeth Norton and Sarah Norton and their families. He will be missed by some awesome Haivala and Norton cousins in South Dakota and Washington and some very close friends we call chosen family in Southern California and San Antonio.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Texas and California. On Sunday, September 5, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Kendall, 128 W Blanco Rd, Boerne, TX 78006 and on Sunday, September 12, 2021, at 1 p.m. graveside service at Conejo Mountain Funeral Home and Memorial Park, 2052 Howard Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012 and continuing at Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Resort, 2101 Mandalay Beach Rd, Oxnard, CA 93035. Everyone is welcome.
The family thanks everyone for your dedicated support and thoughtfulness during this time. We especially recognize the great medical care he received for many years at University Hospital and later at the UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center.
He was so hopeful science would come through with a cure or something that would help him fight back, so if you desire to do so, in Les' Memory, please send donations to UT Health San Antonio p/t Mays Cancer Center, Office of Institutional Advancement, MC 7835, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive San Antonio, TX 78229-3900.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of the staff of Holt & Holt Funeral Home of Boerne. To share words of comfort with the family, please visit www.holtfh.com.