Richard's Story

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Richard Arthur Norton, age 83, Joplin, Mo., passed away on Sunday, November 12, 2017, at the Joplin Gardens.
Richard was born March 20, 1934, in Joplin, son of the late Marion A. Norton and Barbara L. Blankenship Norton. He graduated from Joplin High School, in 1952, where he was the class president. He has remained active with the class activities and reunions.
He then attended Central Methodist University, in Fayette, Mo. During his freshman and sophomore years he worked as a fishing guide at Yellowstone Lake, in Yellowstone National Park. He began working at the age of 11, where he had a rural paper route which he delivered twice a day (Joplin Globe and Joplin News Herald). He was always working, and later worked with Kresge, in Kansas City, and became a manager for them at the age of 19. He graduated from Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science, in Dallas, Texas, and worked for Spartman-Brand Funeral Home, in Dallas, Meadors Funeral Home, in Centralia, Mo., and finally with Duncan Funeral Home, in Mountain View, Mo. He returned to Joplin in 1960, and worked as a claims adjuster for Western Insurance, with the Jasper County Sheriff's Department as a deputy, jailer, and assistant U.S. Marshall, he then worked for Joplin Job Services as a personnel manager, he worked for five years at Eagle-Picher, then F.A.G. Bearing, Modine Manufacturing, and Ace Electric. In 1977 he built Frontier Market, in Airport Drive, which he and his wife ran until 1985. He also began International Tours with his son in 1983, retiring in 1998.
Richard was an active member of First United Methodist Church, of Joplin, the TriM Sunday school class, and was a talented bass singer with the Chancel Choir and sanctuary singers. He was involved with many facets of the church over the years. He was a member of the Joplin Kiwanis Club, Carl Junction Lions Club, Joplin Jaycees, where he held several offices, and was honored as Key Man of the Year. He was a Scout Master for years with Troop #70 of Carl Junction, was a member of the Board of Trustees for Airport Drive, and was a multiple term member of the Carl Junction School Board, was a Board member of the Ozark Mental Health Association, board member for the Joplin Sheltered Workshop, former board member of Ozark Methodist Manor and a member of the Joplin Chamber of Commerce, plus many other organizations in the Joplin area.
In addition to his parents, Richard was preceded in death by his sister, Phyllis Ann Marlow, who died October 8, 2000; and a grandson, William Richard "Will" Norton, who died May 22, 2011.
Survivors include his wife of 59years, Laveda Owens Norton; son, Mark Norton and wife, Trish, of Joplin; daughter, Tracey Norton Presslor and husband, Jeff, of Carl Junction; grandchildren, Sara Oserowsky and husband, Grant, Matthew Henson, and Dillon Presslor.
Funeral services will be Saturday, November 18, at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, with Pastor Bob Howard and Pastor Roger Nichols officiating. Interment will follow in Mount Hope Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until service time at the church.
The family request that memorial contributions be made to the Will Norton Miracle Field, Carl Junction, #70 Boy Scout Troop, or First United Methodist Church.
Published on November 15, 2017
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