John Plesant Norton, of Dowagiac, formerly of Cassopolis

Published 9:57 am Monday, March 11, 2019

Jan. 8, 1932 — March 9, 2019

John Plesant Norton, 87, of Dowagiac, formerly of Cassopolis, died peacefully Saturday morning, March 9, 2019, in his residence in the peace and comfort of his family’s presence.

He was born Johnnie Fischer on Jan. 8, 1932, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and became Johnnie Norton in 1936 through adoption by Mack and LoRena Norton. He grew up on the Norton family farm in Jefferson Township where he lived and farmed most of his life.

John Plesant Norton

John was a navigator in the U.S. Air Force from 1954 to 1958 attaining the rank of Captain.

He married Barbara Amelia Zelmer June 8, 1957, in Buchanan.

After his military service, John was employed by Lowe’s, Inc. of Cassopolis. After serving in several capacities and gaining valuable business experience, he and Lowe’s plant manager Clarence McKee purchased the Tamms Silica Company in Tamms, Illinois. They operated it until 1984, producing a product used as a pigment additive in paints. John returned to farming where he also found time to serve his community on the Cass County Fair Board, the Cass County Community Fund, the Jefferson Township Zoning Board and the Reames and Norton Cemetery Association. His favorite recreational pastime was bowling. He attended Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Cassopolis.

John would like to be remembered as a person who sought perfection in whatever endeavor he undertook. His desire was to instill in the lives he may have touched to leave this world a little better than he found it.

John will be greatly missed by family and friends. He is survived by his wife of more than 61 years, Barbara Norton, of Dowagiac; one daughter, Susan Norton, of Lansing; one son, David (Cyndi) Norton, of East Prairie, Missouri; one granddaughter, Stephanie Norton, of Casselberry, Florida; two grandsons, Michael Norton, of Casselberry, Florida and Ian Jarrett, of Hartland, Michigan; four nieces, Kathy Ruple, Patricia Dresser, Vicki O’Leakas, Nancy Sheteron; and three nephews, John P. Norton, Bradley Walker and Gary Norton.

John was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Thelma Jane Awgaitis; and one brother, Richard Norton.

Family and friends will gather from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, 202 North Broadway Street, Cassopolis.

Funeral services will be from 10 until time of service at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 13, 2019, in Saint Paul Lutheran Church, 305 West State Street, Cassopolis, with the Reverend Paul Doellinger officiating.

Mr. Norton will be laid to rest in Reames and Norton Cemetery in Cassopolis.

The family prefers contributions be made in John’s memory to Cass County Fair Association, Post Office Box 56, Cassopolis, Michigan 49031, or, Saint Paul Lutheran Church, 305 West State St., Cassopolis, Michigan 49031.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, Cassopolis.

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