Thomas (Tom) B. Norris, a resident in Decatur Co. for almost fifty years, passed on September 9, 2021. He was born in Nashville, TN, on November 8, 1935, to Walter W. and Juanita (Smith) Norris. He was predeceased by his parents and siblings, Walter W., Jr., Martha Desimone, and Joy Jackson.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Patricia (Sampson) Norris, his three children Tom [Vickie], Jr., Scott [Donna], and Stephanie (Missy) Morman [Mike], and five grandchildren Sam Norris [Molly], Katie Norris, Bailey Morman, Dylan Morman and Reid Morman.
Playing football for and serving as Student Council in the role of Sheriff, he was a graduate of Central High School in Nashville subsequently attended Middle Tennessee State College (now, MTSU) and the University of St. Louis (MO) for graduate school.
His post-collegiate work career started at Union Carbide Nuclear Company (1955-65) where he was able to participate in a broad variety of areas including work on the U.S. Apollo Space Program. During 1966, he worked with General Electric in Cincinnati, OH, and served as a project engineer working on the U.S. supersonic transport project and the Saturn V rocket engines. He then relocated to work in St. Louis, MO, with Emerson Electric as a division manager building the helicopter mounted high velocity gatling gun for “Puff the Magic Dragon” (Douglas AC-47 Gunship). Wanting to return to Tennessee, he took a position with Foster Refrigeration in 1969 as general manager of their Parsons facility. In 1972, he accepted a position with then fledgling Kolpak Industries as general manager; subsequently becoming VP of sales. In 1974, leaving Kolpak, he formed Norris and Associates, Inc., a manufacturer’s representative company where he represented a multitude of manufacturers including Kolpak and McCall Reach-ins. In concert with his manufacturing rep business, in 1979, he started Nutrionics, Inc., initially only manufacturing temperature alarm systems to monitor commercial refrigeration. In 1983, Nutrionics was expanded to become a custom commercial foodservice fabrication company, bringing Tom, Jr., and Scott onboard until the going concern was sold in 2011.
Starting in 1984, he took up SCUBA diving. It was a passion and his inspiration was to dive the U.S. Naval Graveyards from WWII across the world including Australia, Yap, Turks and Fiji. He dove considerably the Cayman Islands and Bonaire for recreation. He became both a master diver and a certified rescue diver. He was able to dive with his son, Scott and Grandson Sam (during his certification trip). He was an active diver until 2019.
Funeral service will be on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 12 PM at reed’s Chapel – Decaturville. Visitation for the Norris family will be 2 PM – 6 PM on Monday Sept.13th, at Reed’s Chapel in Decaturville and on Tues 10 AM until service at Reed’s Chapel – Decaturville.
Burial will follow in Bear Creek Cemetery.
Mask will be required during all visitation and funeral service.. Donations can be made in memory of Mr. Norris to Wounded Warriors Project P.O. Box 758516 Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Tom Norris Sr., please visit our floral store.
Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256