Kelly Dale Norris

Kelly Dale Norris was born on May 30, 1956 in Chewelah, Washington to Floyd and Edna Norris, who lived on a farm near Springdale.  Floyd was a 4-H club leader when Kelly and his older brother Kyle and little sister Deb were youngsters and in that way instilled in Kelly a legacy of community involvement and helping kids learn life skills.  They raised all kinds of livestock, but primarily sheep and Border Collie stock dogs and were active in the Spokane Area Sheep Producers organization and the Washington Wool Growers Association which widened the circle of friendships Kelly was able to make as a youngster. It was one of these friendships that led him to meet the love of his life, Debbie Hintz.  After high school, Kelly attended Spokane Falls Community College and then graduated from Washington State University.  He landed a job at Carnation Foods in Moses Lake and pretty quickly discovered that he knew just one person in town and she happened to work at  Full Circle, the next business down the road and Debbie was her co-worker.   Kelly and Debbie were married 35 years.  They were blessed with three boys.  First Mike, then Eric who was waiting for Kelly in Heaven, and  then Chris.  Being a dad was Kelly’s favorite thing and being an uncle a close second.  He was pleased when his sister Deb also married into a Grant County family so they could raise their children with extended family.  He had such a big heart for kids that he made time for AAU Basketball, 4H club activities,  and creating wonderful things in his workshop with his boys. They lived in the Ephrata area most of that time with the exception of a short migration up to Sandpoint for a job in a paper felt manufacturing facility.  Kelly got to spend some time in Germany training for that job.  He didn’t like being so far away from his family, but enjoyed the adventure of being abroad for a bit.   Coming back to Ephrata was an easy decision to make.  He worked most recently at Quincy Foods as a Maintenance Manager, and was well-liked and respected by his co-workers.In recent years, Kelly and Debbie spent quite a bit of time back on the family farm in Springdale, cooperating with Kyle and Deb as they cared for Floyd and Edna in their declining health.  Kelly enjoyed sports, woodworking, traveling, camping and horseback riding in the mountains. He was an avid reader who, before e-readers, would have multiple books throughout the house so he would always have a book at hand. His love for photography created a lot of memories for his family and friends to enjoy and cherish. Kelly and Debbie recently were blessed with a trip to Maui where Kelly was able to expand his photography skills while snorkeling. Kelly had a giving heart and was always willing to lend a helping hand.  He had a wonderful sense of humor and will be greatly missed. “The most beautiful things in life are not materialistic things. They’re people and places, memories and pictures.  They’re feelings and moments, tight hugs, smiles and laughter.”

Leahs sharing

My mom and Kelly  go WAY back… His family and hers were involved in many of the same organizations… 4H, of course, Spokane Area Sheep Producers and Washington Wool Growers Association… it seems like there was some gathering or meeting just about every month… so the “kids” kept themselves busy playing and forging lifelong friendships. When Kelly came to Moses Lake to work right after he graduated from WSU, Mom was the only person in town he knew… And he worked just a half mile from where Mom and Debbie worked. His shift ended at 4 and Mom worked til 5, so he’d stop by her office after work to visit or more likely, find out what the prospects were for a home cooked meal,  and that is how he met Debbie.  Mom was honored to be invited to be their witness when they purchased their marriage license a couple years later.  We have always known him as Uncle Kelly, and he has been an example to me and my siblings of what it takes to be a good and loyal friend.  Through our parents’ friendship, I became friends with Mike. We were best buddies when we were little kids, and so it was a really sad day for me when they moved to Sandpoint. Eventually they moved back, and I also moved to Ephrata so Mike and I became classmates and friends again. I remember once that Kelly lamented to me that Mike’s math grades weren’t as good when I no longer shared a math class with him after being in the same class for Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry. Kelly kept up his tradition of visiting friends at work, and that’s how I’ve spent most of my time with him the past few years. He’d stop by my office to catch up every couple of months. He always told me what Debbie, Mike, and Chris were up to. He was really proud of all of them. He loved kids and always asked about my boys and wanted to see photos. I know he had a friend at work that he and Debbie had kind of adopted and loved to take her little boy to do fun stuff. I remember him telling me that he was excited to take him to the fair. We always began and ended our visits with a hug. Kelly had a nice squeezy hug. I will miss that. 

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