Emma Grace NORTON
March 15, 1929 – December 11, 2018
Emma Grace Norton left this earthly realm on Tuesday, December 11, enveloped in the peace, love, and support of her children.
Em was born in 1929 in Prosser, Washington, the youngest of three children. As a high school cheerleader in Prosser she rooted vigorously against cross-valley rival Grandview High, where her boyfriend Richard Norton played both football and a mean trumpet. They broke up as high school seniors, but miraculously reunited eight years later and were married for nearly 60 years until Dick’s death in 2015.
After their wedding in 1955 the couple settled in the Manette area of Bremerton. Richard was a music teacher in the Bremerton School District; Em was a wonderful mother to three children, an excellent cook, and a gracious hostess. Their Manette home was filled with laughter, music, and a great deal of socializing with fellow teachers, students, church friends, and family relatives.
At age 38 Emma decided it was time for a career of her own and enrolled in college. With two children still at home and with a great deal of grit and determination, she graduated from Seattle Pacific University four years later. She was an elementary school teacher in Bremerton for 18 years. She considered her college time and teaching career as one of the greatest accomplishments of her life.
After retirement, Dick and Emma traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe. Emma was especially fond of Norway, where she visited the many relatives around her ancestral home in Trysil. She stayed active at Manette Community Church, volunteered at Harrison Memorial Hospital, read, wrote, worked in her garden, and stitched through the intricacies of Norwegian hardanger.
Emma was happiest, however, when she was with her family. Every birthday and holiday were celebrated together. Emma loved good food, interesting conversations, and the joy of watching her grandchildren grow up. Emma’s children remember her as a kind and loving mother. She was always ready with sound wisdom and patience as she helped us tackle life’s big problems.
After Richard’s death, Emma moved to Crista Shores in Silverdale. She reveled in her beautiful waterfront apartment, as she had never lived on her own before. She enjoyed the many friends and activities that were part of the Crista Shores community. With her health failing in early 2018, Em moved to Seattle to be closer to her daughter. She passed away under Hospice care at the Pearly Jones Adult Family Home on Magnolia hill. Her caregivers were sad to see her go. They appreciated the sweet smile she maintained up until the very end of her life.
Emma is survived by her three children. Son Ted lives in Mesquite, Texas with his wife Susan. Son Terry lives in Spokane with his wife Holly. Daughter Margaret lives in Seattle with her husband Steven. Her three grandchildren – Caitlin, Chris, and Miranda – also survive her.
At Emma’s request, no public service will be held. Memories of Emma can be posted on the Butterworth website by clicking on the "Show Your Support" and then "Share a Memory" buttons.
Rest in peace, Emma Grace. You were dearly loved and will be deeply missed.
Emma Grace NORTON
December 27, 2018
Emma Grace , the middle name is very fitting, as Em was always full of grace and love. The memories of the good times shared at Manette Community Church and while teaching at Naval Avenue Elementary continue to warm my heart.
My son, Ed, and Em's Terry were about the same age. They were in Cub Scouts together. I had the good fortune of being the Den Mother at that time. Em and I shared some interesting conversations regarding the outcome of some of their activities.
December 21, 2018
Emma Grace could light up a room with her lovely smile. She spread love whenever she was around. There was never a time she didn't send out a thank you for inviting her into your home or doing some little thing for her. Emma's generous spirit always showed. We have missed her greatly at church, at Women Ministry meetings, and at other activities. She will always live in our hearts!
December 20, 2018
I have fond memories of this kind and gentle lady, from teaching together at Naval Avenue Elementary, singing together in the choir at Manette Community Church, and just living across the street.
Connie Karst Munro
December 19, 2018
Em and Dick Norton were our next door neighbors while I was growing up. Their son Terry was my very best friend. I enjoyed listening to her sing. She was always smiling and so friendly. Even after I moved from the neighborhood when I would see her anywhere she would always give a hug and ask about my family. I will truly miss both Em and Dick.
December 18, 2018
I knew Emma in the 90s when she volunteered at the Dispute Resolution Center of Kitsap County. A lovely woman in every sense of the word. And always a smile. I can’t imagine any child having a better mother or teacher.
Linda and Michael Zaugg
December 15, 2018
We were pleased to meet Emma, when she started attending Seattle First Baptist with Margaret. A very gracious lady! She was appreciative of the community, even though it had to be hard leaving Bremerton. She greeted us with a smile. Emma, God grant you peace and rest in union with the holy Presence. You are home.