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Obit – Mr. William “Bill” Norris

Mr. William “Bill” Norris, of Smithville, died at the age of 71 at 3:40 a.m. Wednesday morning September 23, 2020 at the Alive Hospice Residence in Murfreesboro following a battle with cancer.

Bro. Jackie Dawson officiated at the 3 p.m. memorial services from the Carthage Chapel of Sanderson Funeral Home which were conducted Sunday afternoon September 27th at 3 p.m. A private service will be held in the Norris Family lot in the Garden of Gethsemane at Smith County Memorial Gardens.

Born William Lowe Norris at McFarland Hospital in Lebanon on May 15, 1949, he was one of three children of the late Willard Franklin Norris who died May 20, 1992 at the age of 86 and Lucy Alma Cothern Norris who died September 4, 2001 at the age of 91.

Mr. Norris was preceded in death by a son, William Nathan Norris who died January 2, 2014 at the age of 37 and by a step son Michael Pierce Bell on April 28, 2018.

Mr. Norris graduated from Smith County High School on May 24, 1968 where he majored in Social Studies, was a member of the V.I.C.A. club, the Latin Club, the Junior Play cast and the Pep Club his junior and senior years.

He also attended the Austin Peay State University in Clarksville following graduation.

Following high school and college he worked for two years with the Tennessee Department of Transportation as an engineer’s aid.

After resigning from T.D.O.T he was employed by the Town of Carthage as a patrolman, graduated from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Academy in 1971 and went to work for the Smith County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy.

In 1971 he moved to the Los Angeles, California police department and the Western Bureau of Investigation.

In anticipation of having to fulfill his military obligation, then Sgt. Norris interrupted his law enforcement career and enlisted into the United States Army at Los Angeles on March 9, 1972.

He was enrolled into the basic training at Fort Ord, California and following basic training was enrolled in Jump School at Fort Benning, Georgia and was subsequently assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. He completed his advanced Individual Training with the 82nd and expanded his military expertise by completing the Armorers’ Course, Junior Leadership Course, Map TOE, and was awarded the Expert Infantryman’s Badge.

In conjunction with his military training he attended the basic Non-Commissioned Officers Education School at Fort Benning; the Jungle Warfare School in the Panama Canal Zone and the Recondo Course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

His bearing afforded him a position on the Golden Staff for the 1973 Presidential Inauguration.

He was honorably discharged at Fort Bragg on March 12, 1974 and immediately re-enlisted and in March of 1975 received the “Trooper of the Month” at Fort Bragg and a subsequent unit position as fire team leader, squad leader and when required, active Platoon Sargent.

After his re-enlistment he was assigned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky and was assigned to the Company B/2/502d Infantry under the command of Captain Robert F. Reddy.

Recognizing the military attributes of Sgt. Norris, Captain Reddy appointed him as the company’s re-enlistment Non Commissioned Officer in September of 1974.

As a result, of Sgt. Norris’s appointment, the company re-enlisted 21 soldiers for a re-enlistment rate advance to an all-time high of 212% from an overall original objective of 2%.

This established Bravo Company 2/502 as statistically superior to all other company sized units during the 2nd quarter of Fiscal Year 1975.

For his meritorious service Mr. Norris was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Parachutist Badge, the Expert Infantry Badge, and the Expert M-16 Badge.

Mr. Norris was a member of the American Legion.

He also was employed by the Tennessee Valley Authority, Aluminum Company of America in Alcoa, TN.

For thirteen years before retirement Mr. Norris was employed in sales for D.T. McCall and Sons in Carthage.

He was a devoted fan of the University of Tennessee Volunteer football program, was a collector of guns, coins, antique cars and was a master wood craftsman.

He also enjoyed hiking and kayaking.

Mr. Norris was saved and as a young man attended the Carthage First Baptist Church and later attended The First Christian Church in Maryville. At the time of his death he went with his wife to the Smithville First Baptist Church and attended the World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro where he was also a volunteer.

Surviving in addition to his wife of over eleven years are two sons, Jonathan Norris and wife Christie of Cleveland, TN, Patrick Norris of Loudon, TN; step-sons, Patrick Bell of Shelbyville and Michael Halley of Madisonville, TN; sister, Mary Lou Norris Key and husband Jimmy of Carthage; brother former Smith County Clerk Jimmy Norris; eight grandchildren, Asher, Brantley, and Cheyenne Norris, Chloe, Makenzie, Peyton and Preston Bell, Colton Boggess; two nieces and four nephews; and his beloved Golden Doodle companion, Bentley.

The Norris family requests memorials to the Alive Hospice Residence Hospice, 1629 Williams Drive, Murfreesboro, TN 37129.