Mr. Ben Jerry Norton, affectionately known as “Pop”, of Smith Street in Hartwell, passed away on January 27,2022 at the young at heart age of 74 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens.
Born in Franklin County, GA, to John James and Ruby Vickery Norton , he was the baby brother to Betty Jean Norton , Mildred Ethridge, Shirley Heaton, and Nadean (Grady) Banister each of Hartwell, all of whom loved him dearly although his mischievousness caused them much despair at times.
He started his school career at Sardis Elementary School, of which he tried to run away from. Thankfully, he was unsuccessful and was eventually able to graduate from Hart County High School in 1965. After high school, he joined the Army where he was ranked Sgt E5 and served in Vietnam between 1967-1970. He earned the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Sharpshooter M- 14 status, and the Meritorious Unit Citation for his service.
Upon returning home from Vietnam, he met the love of his life, Linda Smith Norton, although she was not aware of his love for her just yet. But he knew. And he was persistent. After finally charming her with his quick whit, they were married in 1971 and celebrated 50 years of wonderful marriage.
He and Linda later had two children, Clint (Debra) Norton of Iva, and Amy (Mike Gillespie) Norton of Hartwell whom they created a wonderful life for. His greatest joys were his grandchildren, Lane (April), Jerryd, Jett, and Macy along with his great granddaughter, Ari, all of whom loved and adored him greatly in return.
He decided to further his education at the VA School and at North GA Tech where he earned an Associates Degree. He loved to learn and continually took classes throughout his career at Xerox Corporation from where he retired after 23 years of service as a Senior Technician. He was such a hard and dedicated worker, that he could not quit there, so he went back to work and retired from the Hart County Road Department as well.
He loved his Corvette and fixing anything, however, his greatest passion was music. He was a member of numerous bands throughout his lifetime, with the “Fabulous Reflections” being the latest. But his humor will be the thing that he is most remembered for.
He was a member of Double Branches Baptist Church in Lavonia.
He was proceded in death by his parents and sisters Betty Jean and Mildred. Along with his immediate family, he leaves many nieces, nephews and cousins behind.
Funeral services will be held on Sunday, January 30, 2022 at Eleven o’clock in the chapel of Coile and Hall Funeral Directors. Mr. Mike Gillespie and Mr. Jamie Bruce will officiate. Military honors will be provided by the U.S. Army.
The family will receive friends 9-11 just prior to service at the funeral home. The family is at the home, Smith St in Hartwell. In lieu of flowers please make donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.