Fred Norton.  Member of St. Anselm’s Parish in Sequim, WA 1931-1007

I first met Fred when this older gentleman came through the arrivals gate at Manchester  Airport, wearing a Seattle Seahawks jacket and baseball cap.  He said it was so that I would have an easier time recognizing him, as he arrived to join the ACCC Pilgrimage in 2006, but I think it was in tribute to his beloved Seahawks (who, I understand, play American football).  We had quite a walk to where the Minibus was parked, and our early conversation gave me cause for concern:  “Father, I have to walk a bit more slowly - it’s my heart,  you know - oh, and would you mind speaking up a bit, because I can’t hear too well.”   I gave thanks for the fact that my cell phone would work in the UK, envisioning all sorts of medical emergency, none of which transpired.

It was Fred’s first visit to the UK, and  he showed that great interest in the new which had clearly been a part of his life all through, although it was so clear that he would have dearly loved to  have been able to share all these new things and experiences with his wife, Charlotte, who died in 2003.

He epitomized all that is inherently good about those from the United States.   Immensely patriotic, engaged in the life of  his society, convinced of the goodness of the system in  which he lived:  dedicated to the political process, as chairman of the local Republican Party branch.   In himself, a humble and self effacing man, but in  his passions, enthusiastic and generous in support of his family, of whom he was so very proud, of  his church, which was so very important in his life - he had just returned from the synod in Halifax - of his political party, of his Seattle Seahawks, of his interests in all sorts of other things in life, from genealogy to highway construction, tunneling to the Civil War - all approached with an enthusiasm which belied his years.

Despite health limitations, he played a full role in the pilgrimage, saying Mattins and Evensong on occasion, reading numerous lessons, and joining in with us on our processions, visits and discussions, especially that discussion to celebrate both his and George Ferguson’s (of S. Patrick’s) birthday in the pub at Kettlewell, in Yorkshire Dales.

Fred was not just American, he was born in California, and then  had made a point of living all over the USA, as his father’s work demanded.   And perhaps, above all the love of country, there was a commitment to his Christian faith, and his dedication to the life of  his parish, St. Anselm’s.

As we were leaving Halifax and the ACCC synod  he was speaking with great hope of the surgery to replace a heart valve, scheduled for the following week; the surgery was successful, but the sequelae provoked a crisis which he was not able to quell.  As his son Gene said, he has now gone home, to his maker, and is again in the company of his beloved wife Charlotte, for both of whom we pray, that they may rest in peace and rise in glory.
                                  Fr. David Marriott, Assistant Curate


St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican Church,  Vancouver, B.C.  

Back to Memorium Page