Clallam GOP chairman Fred Norton, 75, dies
Was candidate for hospital district board
By Paige Dickerson, Peninsula Daily News

July 27, 2007  Page A4
      Port Angeles --  Fred Norton, chairman of the Clallam County Republican Party and a candidate for a  hospital district board position, died Wednesday of complications following heart surgery.
      Mr. Norton, 75, was in recovery after an aortic valve replacement at Virginia Mason Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle when he died, said his son, Gene Norton of  Port Angeles.
     “He was a wonderful man,” said Martha Ireland, the recording secretary of the Clallam County Republican Party and former county commissioner.
     He and his late wife “were a wonderful couple,” she said.  “They were very devout in their church.  They will be very much missed.”
     Mr. Norton, who had served on the Port Angeles Planning Commission, was running in the November general election against incumbent Jean Hordyk, who now has no opposition for the Clallam County Hospital District 2 seat (Olympic Medical Center).
     He had served as chairman of the county Republican Party for about a  year.
     Mr. Norton, 75, was born Sept. 3, l93l in Los Angeles and lived in many places throughout his childhood and lifetime, his son said.
     He and his wife, Charlotte, who preceded him in death in May 2003, bought a home in Port Angeles 20 years ago, but didn’t move to the area  until about l0  years ago.
     “He always wanted to retire here,” said his son.
     Running for the hospital board was something that he was passionate about, because  he was interested in  helping improve veterans’ services, Gene Norton said.
     “My brother and I are both veterans, and we know first  hand what the services are like around here,” he said.
     “He was pretty  hot on that issue.”
     Although his father could not serve in the military himself because of a heart murmur,  he knew about the issues because of his two sons.
     Ireland said he had other concerns as well.
     “He said he was running for the hospital commission because  he was concerned that their cardiac care services were not meeting local needs,” she said.
     Before retirement,  he worked in construction as a laborer, carpenter, building inspector and supervisor.
     In 2006, Mr. Norton had unsuccessfully run for the Clallam County charter review panel, and in 2003 he unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Port Angeles  City Council.
     Actively involved in politics, Mr. Norton enjoyed spending his spare time playing golf and traveling.
     “He finally accomplished his goal of visiting all 50 states,” his son said.
     “And family, family was hugely important to him.”
     He also was avidly interested in visiting the sites of Civil War battlegrounds.
     He graduated from South Gate High School in South Gate, Calif. in l949, earned an associate of arts degree from Fresno City College and attended California State University, Fresno.
      Mr. Norton is survived by  his sons Bruce and Gene, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
     Instead of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to a favorite charity in Mr. Norton’s name.
     Cremation will be handled by the Neptune Society.


A memorial service is planned but has not been scheduled.

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