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John Patrick Norton, 88, a longtime Baker City resident, died May 31, 2006, at his home.
His memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Mr. Jack Pittman will officiate. Military rites will be accorded by members of the Oregon Army National Guard.
John was born on Dec. 13, 1917, to Almon and Lubelle Wilson Norton. He was one of five children. He lived at Cavalier, N.D., until his family moved to Bismarck. He attended North Dakota School of Forestry for two years before enlisting in the service. During World War II, he was a pharmacist’s mate in the U.S. Navy, serving in the Pacific.
In 1944, John met his future wife, Mildred Ryan. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in December of 1945 and returned to college at Montana State University in Missoula where he received a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy in August of 1949.
After a long-distance romance of five years, John and Mildred were married on June 12, 1949, at Seattle, Wash. Later that summer, John and Mildred and his new step-daughter, Ardis, moved to Bozeman, Mont. John worked as pharmacist at Roecher Drug Co. for eight years.
John and his family moved to Boise in 1957, where he worked at Ballou-Latimer’s, a large drug store. In November of 1961, John had the opportunity to purchase Muegge’s Drug Store in Baker City.
He owned Norton’s Pharmacy for 20 years, during which time he and his wife became active members of the community. They also traveled extensively, taking full advantage of cultural offerings in Europe, Canada, and across the United States.
Upon retiring in 1981, John devoted his time to the manufacturing and marketing of Ammonex, a glass cleaner he invented. He was also a relief pharmacist in the Baker City area for many years.
He continued to be active in the Baker City Rotary Club until the end of his life. Most recently, John dedicated his time as a SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) volunteer to the children at South Baker Elementary School.
John was an avid outdoorsman his whole life. He enjoyed bird hunting with his dogs. Fishing with his family and friends was also a favorite pastime. He especially enjoyed teaching his great-grandchildren to appreciate the sport.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred; his parents, Almon and Lubelle Norton; his sisters, Ailon and Mary Lou Norton; and his beloved great-grandson, Alex Stacey.
Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, Ardis and Rodger Nash; his grandchildren and their spouses, Valerie and Steven Stacey, Steve and Leslie Nash, Shannon and Toby Johnson, and Ryan and Heidi Nash; 10 great-grandchildren, Jonathan Stacey, Aubrey, Morgan, and Kendall Nash, Hannah, Nash, and Lainey Johnson and Gabrielle, Victoria, and Sophia Nash; his sisters, Jean Norton and Juliette Scott; and nephews Michael, James, and Roger Scott.
Memorials may be made to the Baker City Rotary Club through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, June 2, 2006
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor