James Robert Norton

June 29, 1935February 12, 2013

James “Jim” R. Norton, age 77, a resident of Bowie, Maryland since 1978, died on February 12, 2013.

James R. Norton was born in Moline, Illinois on June 29, 1935. His parents moved to Southern California in 1939. He spent most of his younger years in California, ultimately graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1958 with a bachelors’ degree in Engineering and a specialty in Human Factors Engineering.

He entered the Air Force in 1958 where he attended the University of Texas for undergraduate studies in Meteorology. After his first assignment as a forecaster at Hamilton AFB in California, he was transferred to Yokota AFB, Japan. There he spent four years as a Weather Reconnaissance Officer flying into over 47 named storms both as a Typhoon Tracker and Hurricane Hunger in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Following his flying stint he attended the University of Utah, Salt Lake city, Utah. In June 1967 he received his Masters in Meteorology (with minor in Computer Science) degree. He was then assigned to the USAF Environmental Applications Technical Center in Washington, D.C. where he started as a programmer and later managed the computer facility. In June 1970 he was transferred to Vietnam where he served for one year as Scientific Services Officer for the USAF meteorological community in Southeast Asia. This experience was applied to his next two year assignment as Commander, Base Weather Station, Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, Republic of Taiwan. He finished his military career in the Washington, D.C. area as Deputy Commander and Operations Officer, USAF Weather Forecast Office, Andrew AFB, Maryland and later Interagency Liaison Officer between Air Force Global Central and NOAA National Environmental Satellite Service, Camp Springs, Maryland, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1978.

During his military career he was awarded: Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Vietnam Service Medal with 4 battle stars, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry citation with device, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one valor device and 3 oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with one oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award with 4 oak leaf clusters and Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon.

From October 1978 to July 1997 he was employed by Systems and Applied Sciences Corporation (SASC) which became SASC Technologies, Inc. (STX), which was bought by Hughes Aircraft Company and was then known as Hughes STX. During that time he worked as Executive Assistant to the President and Director of Program Development (Marketing).

While in Japan he met and married his beloved wife, Miyoko Matsumoto. Their marriage lasted over 42 years until her death in 2006. Although the marriage resulted in no living children the union was strong. They often joked that their marriage lasted so long because they were married three times, a Japanese Civil Wedding, the USA Embassy Wedding and finally the Lutheran Church Service.

Jim is survived by an “adopted” daughter, Meng Ye Gu and granddaughter Jessica Yi Gu. Although never officially adopted, Meng Ye became friends with Miyoko Norton in 2986. The friendship grew into a mother-daughter relationship, which later included Jim as a father figure for Meng Ye.

A visitation will be held Sunday, February 17, 2013 from 2-4 p.m. at the Robert E. Evans Funeral Home located at 16000 Annapolis Road, Bowie, MD. Internment at Arlington National Cemetery will occur at a later date.



  • Visitation Sunday, February 17, 2013


  • Interment

James Robert Norton

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Kenneth J. Chong Kee

December 27, 2013

From Feb 1972 through Nov 1973 I served as a weather observer at Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Taiwan. I was 20 yrs old when I got there and Major Norton was my first commander. He was a fair and good man whom I respected very much.
I am saddened to hear of his passing.
Aloha Major Norton.

Roger Strand

March 12, 2013

Jim was a classmate in our AFIT grad meteorology program at the U of Utah, and he and Miyoko were godparents for our son, Tim, adopted in Salt Lake City, in 1966. We remember both Jim and Miyoko fondly. They had two cats, Bea and Fifty, named in honor of Jim's time in weather recce WB-50s. Jim and Miyoko hold a special place in our memories!

Rita Burrows

February 18, 2013

I credit Jim for much of my basic knowledge of photography; he was a patient teacher and became a friend during a photography tour. I will miss him on future trips. May he rest in peace.

February 16, 2013

Jim was a great guy as well an excellent photographer. We will miss him greatly. David & Marketa Ebert, members of the Bowie Crofton Camera Club

Vern Patterson

February 16, 2013

I worked with Jim as young Lt at ETAC in the late 60's and later when he was with Hughes STX. A fine officer and gentleman. I will alway think highly of Jim and Miyoko. They were as a great couple.

February 16, 2013

My Dad,Daniel Boyer was Jim's Uncle. He always enjoyed their visits and phone calls. I have enjoyed his Christmas Letters and his visit to the Upper Peninsula a few back. when ever I see or hear of Lighthoses I think of Jim. His cousin Evelyne (Boyer)Bumstead Dafter Michigan

Kathy Wykes

February 15, 2013

My mother, Helen (Boyer) Wykes, a cousin to Jim, thought the world of Jim and Myoko. Jim would send mom and I the most wonderful Christmas letters with his wonderful photos of wildlife and plant life that the two would encounter on their many yearly travels, a practice Jim continued even after Myoko's death. He and Myoko truly left the world a much better place. RIP <3.

Billie Byard

February 15, 2013

I worked with Jim and I will always remember him as a man of character, integrity, and always gentlemen. Bless you.

February 15, 2013

We will deeply miss you Jim. Here's to all the years we shared with you and Myoko. Aloha and God Bless! Doug & Seika Gerbaz