It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness that we announce the passing of John P. Norris Jr. On Saturday, November 25th John died suddenly after working a structure fire. He was dedicated to the service and protection of others. John served both the Houston Fire Department and the Forest Bend Fire department where he has served as a paramedic, airport rescue firefighter, wildland firefighter, safety officer, assistant chief, and as a chief. He leaves behind a legacy of courage, dedication, and unwavering commitment.
Born on January 28, 1968, John Norris was a beloved son, brother, husband, father, and friend. His journey into the world of firefighting began when he joined the Houston Fire Department on April 2, 1990. He joined the Forest Bend Fire Department in 2005 as a volunteer and rose to the rank of Chief.
John was more than just a firefighter; he was a mentor, a leader, and a source of inspiration to others. John was stoic and a deep thinker. That personality often came off, as we jokingly liked to say, as gruff. Sometimes it was hard to know whether he was serious about an issue or if he was joking. Through the gruff exterior, John was a deeply compassionate man who loved his fire family and absolutely adored his family, especially his daughter, Catherine. She was his greatest joy and being a father was his favorite title.
John leaves behind a legacy that will forever remain in the hearts and minds of those who knew him. He is survived by his loving family, including wife Wendy C. Norris, daughter Catherine Norris, sister Sheree Wood, and brother Henry “Sonny” Norris. His memory will also be cherished by his firefighting family, the brave men and women who served alongside John, and the community he protected. He was preceded in death by mother, Nellie Norris, father, John P. Norris Sr., brother Nathan Norris, grandmother, Millie Jergensen, grandfather, John Norris, grandmother, Annie McClain, grandfather Ralph McClain, niece, Amy Norris, and nephew Bo Dorton.
Join us for a commemoration of Chief Norris's legacy at New Hope Church, 108 W Edgewood Dr, Friendswood, TX 77546 on Saturday, December 2, 2023. The visitation will be held from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, followed by a heartfelt service starting at 11:00 am.
Following the service, a reception will be held at the Friendswood Volunteer Fire Department, 1610 Whitaker, Friendswood, TX 77546.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Texas Line of Duty Death Task Force in John Norris' name to continue supporting their work of assisting families and public safety agencies that have suffered the loss of a first responder.
In the face of tragedy, we are reminded of the incredible bravery and sacrifice exhibited by our first responders every day. John will forever remain a symbol of heroism, dedication, selflessness, and compassion. It was his hope that his daughter would forever see him as a loyal, fiercely protective, and loving father who was deeply proud of her; and that his memory would continue to inspire future generations of firefighters to serve with the same unwavering dedication and courage.
Rest in the presence of the Lord, John. Your legacy will never fade, and your sacrifice will never be forgotten. Thank you for your service, your bravery, and the countless lives you have impacted. You will forever be our hero.