Obituary for William Robert Norris
William Robert “Bob” Norris, 81, of Stillwater, passed away peacefully with family by his side, June 29, 2017, at Grace Living Center in Stillwater.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at The First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater on Monday, July 3rd at 1:00 pm.
Anyone who had the good fortune to cross his path, knew immediately that Bob Norris was a lover of life and lived it to the fullest. That life began in Jonesboro, Arkansas when he was born to Harold Norris and Nancy Penix-Norris on May 12, 1936. He attended Broken Bow High School and went on to attend Rice University, where he played football. His Junior year, Bob transferred to OSU where he was an engineering major and became active in campus life, serving as the President of Bennet Hall. It was at OSU, where Bob met his beloved wife, Kay (Baum). The two married shortly after graduating in 1959, and Bob enjoyed a successful sales career for Caterpillar and Ingersoll Rand that took them to Chillicothe, IL, and Buffalo, NY, before moving to Idabel to open Norris’ Department Store. Bob provided a wonderful home for their children and participated in theiractivities—ranging from coaching Little League basketball to participating in musical theatre productions with the entire family. After retiring at 50, Bob and Kay travelled the world together, with their family, and with various groups from OSU. Bob also served on numerous boards, including Oklahoma State University’s Board of Governors and the OSU Athletic Council. In 1996, the Norris’ moved to Stillwater, and in 2000, the couple began volunteer work creating a new athletic hall of fame for OSU. Bob and Kay spent months touring collegiate and professional athletic halls of fame, and even longer gathering items and doing research for the project. In October of 2001, Heritage Hall celebrated its Grand Opening, and remains a testimony to the excellence of OSU’s athletic history, as well as a legacy of the love Bob and Kay had for their alma mater.
Bob Norris was a teller of tales, a stranger to no one, and always had a joke, funny story or anecdote to share (as long you had at least an hour or so to listen). Bob had a particular gift and passion for mentoring, and leaves behind many whose lives have been touched in a positive way from hiskeen guidance, insight and wisdom.
Bob is preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Nancy, and his wife, Kay; and survived by his brother David and sister-in-law, Bee; son Christopher and daughter-in-law, Julie; daughter Kimberly and husband, Johnny; and two grandchildren Katherine and Kevin.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Heritage Hall (c/o The OSU Foundation, 400 S. Monroe, Stillwater, OK 74074), or Grace Living Center (1215 W 10th Ave., Stillwater, OK 74074 attn: Trina). Condolences may be offered online at www.strodefh.com .
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff at Grace Living Center, Stillwater, for their compassionate care and support, as well as all who made visits, sent cards, and lifted Bob up in prayer during his final days.