John Lewis Norris, 73, of Lakeland, Florida, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. A 20-year lung cancer survivor, he has battled complications from COPD in recent years.
John’s survivors include his daughters, Kate (Jake) Ketcham of Kennett Square, Pa., And Ann (Mike) McDonel of Raleigh, North Carolina; her siblings James “Dandy” (M’lou) Norris of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Kathryn (Tommy) May of Pine Bluff, Arkansas; her three grandchildren, Teddy and Geneva Ketcham, and Charlie McDonel; and his former wife Pam (Wasson) Norris.
He was born on March 12, 1948 in Russellville, Arkansas, to the late Bill and Mary Kathryn (Robinson) Norris. Growing up in Pine Bluff, John enjoyed baseball, football and adventure with the Boy Scouts, including a two-week canoe trip through the Canadian wilderness at the age of 12. He received the rank of Eagle Scout and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow. . He graduated from Pine Bluff High School in 1966 and attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
John and his family moved to Lakeland in 1990 to pursue his career in the lumber industry. He loved the Florida Gators football team, cheeseburgers in paradise, riding around town in his convertible Mustang, and embracing the relaxed Florida lifestyle in his retirement years. He loved to visit his daughters “up north” for vacations and holidays. His sense of humor was unforgettable, as was his big smile. John was a highly respected member of the Sober Lunch Bunch and the local AA community.
John’s family will privately celebrate his life, as he wished. Condolences can be sent to the family at Gentry-Morrison Funeral Homes.