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January 2, 1926 – Friday, January 15, 2016

Service Information
Buffalo United Methodist Church; Buffalo, MN
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
2:00 P.M.

Visitation Information
Buffalo United Methodist Church; Buffalo, MN
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
1:00 P.M.

James Marion Norrix, our dad, our “pop,” our grandfather and great-grandfather, our uncle, great-uncle, and cousin passed ever so peacefully onto his next great journey. Jim was the gentlest of souls and held a special place in the lives of those of us who loved him dearly.
Jim, the son of Dr. Loy Malloy Norrix and Grace Jean Edwards, was born January 2, 1926 in Thebes, Illinois. He lived and went to high school in the upper peninsula of Michigan “UP” where he gained a life-long appreciation for warmer climates. One of two sons of a high school’s superintendent, Jim was often a center of attention – sometimes wanted and sometimes not. Once, after a school-yard scuffle, Jim’s father called him into the principal/superintendant’s office for fighting. Jim, expecting the worst, was met with “So, who won?” Never again was Jim caught being in trouble. Instead, he developed a love for motorcycle riding, sailing, flying, music and dancing with beautiful women. Some of his favorite times were spent sailing on Gull Lake as a young man or dancing on cruise ships decades later.
He particularly loved flying and counted as his most cherished log entry the thirty minutes spent flying a Bonanza. Jim was especially tickled when his son bought a plane and the two spent countless hours sharing flying experiences.
Jim went to Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ, an experience he cherished for his life. Jim studied music at and graduated from Oberlin College where he played violin and then tenor saxophone – both in college and later in the United States Marine Band. With World War Two in full swing, Jim enlisted in the Marines, went through basic training and was then deployed to Okinawa in the Pacific Theater. In April 1945, he was severely injured when a mortar fragment struck his head. He was brought back to the states where he spent time recuperating in Hawaii. He then spent nearly two years recovering memory and the ability to speak and communicate. Working to overcome his brain injury, Jim went to Western Michigan to study speech therapy. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in clinical speech pathology. Jim went on to devote his life to helping others overcome brain injuries and other conditions that challenged their ability to communicate. Jim was a speech pathologist at Albany’s Veterans Administration Hospital until he retired in 1975. He was active in the National Association of Aphasia and in the Post-Stroke Association. He enjoyed being involved with Slingerlands Community Players and; he was a long-time member of the Delmar Presbyterian Church.
Among his many personal accomplishments, he named raising his kids as the most important to him. He was extraordinarily proud and supportive of their choices and was present at many milestones including the selection of his son, Jim, in the United States Air Force to Command the 351st Air Refueling Squadron at RAF Mildenhall England and promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and his grandson’s high school graduation. He was very proud of his daughter’s law school graduation and even more proud of how she raised her sons. Most of all, Jim was devoted to and loved his family near and far. He loved hearing about and receiving pictures of his nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. He adored his grandchildren in New York and Minnesota. He thought Skype and FaceTime were amazing.
He was pre-deceased by his brother, Loy Gene Norrix, and his wife of 60 years, Eleanor Norrix. James was loved by and is survived by us, his daughter, Pam (Jeff) Armstrong; his son and daughter-in-law, James J. and Barbara (Bengtson); his grandsons, Ryan and Brendan Armstrong; also his grandson, Matthew Bengtson and his granddaughter, Susannah (Bengtson) Peplinski; his nephews Loy (Shannon) Norrix and Robert (Joyce) Ray and his nieces Valla (Melissa) Wagner and Nancy (Doug) Triestram; his great-grandchildren, Hayden Bengtson, Devyn, Austin, and Jordan Peplinski; and many great-and great-great nieces, nephews and cousins. Jim loved life and lived it as it came to him, appreciating the best he found here.
Interment services will be held at the Saratoga National Cemetery, Schuylerville. Those who wish may send a remembrance in his name to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, the Wounded Warriors Project, or a charity of their choice.

1 Guestbook Entry

  1. Judy Vagle

    Jim and Pam,
    Very sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. Thoughts and prayers.
    Lucille T King and Judy Vagle


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