Emmet Eugene Norton


Posted: Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pioneer Alaskan Emmet Eugene "Norty" Norton, 84, died April 27, 2006, at Providence Alaska Medical Center after a brief illness.

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He was born Dec. 21, 1921, in Eureka, Calif., to Clarence and Katie (Barron) Norton. He graduated from Tule Lake High School in 1941. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942, serving in the Aleutians and the Pacific, being honorably discharged in November 1945.

He and Elizabeth LaVigne were married in 1944. They had two sons.

He returned to Alaska in 1946, traveling steerage with Alaska Steamship Co. to Ketchikan and then on to Juneau. There he worked in logging and construction, starting his own logging company in 1953.

He and Frances Thompson were married in Seattle in 1963. They lived in Petersburg and at his logging camp in many locations in Tongass National Forest.

They remained in Southeast Alaska until 1969, when they moved to Anchorage. There they bought and operated the Party House Bar, until 1977. As a longtime member of Operating Engineers Local 302, he also worked construction throughout Alaska, on the pipeline and other projects, until retiring in 1986.

He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Moose, Elks, Masons and the Alaska Shrine.

Family members said, "Norty greatly enjoyed his retirement, gardening and fishing. He saw his purpose as seeing that his family, friends and neighbors had all the fish they wanted. He had many stories, and told them well."

Family members said he enjoyed good health until his death.

He won the 1951 Juneau Salmon Derby with a 56-pound king salmon.

He is survived by his wife, Fran; sons, Robert and Rex Norton; stepson, Paul Thompson; daughter-in-law, Mary Zacharias; sister, Ruby Gattis; grandchildren, Luke, Karen and Anthony Norton, and Jeffrey and Katherine Thompson; and many friends in Juneau and Petersburg.

Funeral arrangements are by Witzleben Family Funeral Home. There is no service planned, at his request.

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