Dr. Anna J. NorrisAge 58, passed away March 18, 2017.  Anna was born September 7, 1958 in Tunis, Tunisia, and grew up in Paris, France.  Anna moved to the US in the early 1980’s to study for and complete a Masters degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she met and married her husband Kenneth in 1986. They moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1988 where she completed her Doctorate at the University of Virginia, and bore two children, Elliott and Camille.

The family moved to Haslett, Michigan in December of 1998, and Anna began her academic career with a tenure track position with Michigan State University, where she has remained active Faculty until her passing.  Anna deeply cared for all of her students, as they for her.  For many years Anna directed a study abroad program with the Institute Touraine in France, giving students, memories not forgotten.  Anna was a member of many academic organizations and her research was highly published. Anna was knighted Chevalier de Palmes Académiques by the French Republic Ministry for Higher Education and Research, and awarded the Medal of Honor, Academic.

Anna is survived by her husband, Kenneth Norris; her children, Elliott Norris and Camille Norris; her mother, Mathilde Cohen; and her brothers, Yvan Cohen and Marc Cohen. Anna was preceded in death by her father, Jean Cohen, and her brother, Alain Cohen.

The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, March 23, 2017, at Congregation Shaarey Zedek, 1924 Coolidge Rd., East Lansing, with interment to follow in Evergreen Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, arrangements are being made with the MSU study abroad programs and Jewish studies program to establish a memorial fund for students.

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15 Messages to “Dr. Anna Jenny Norris”

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  1. 15
    Michael Kramizeh Says:

    My deepest condolences to Anna’s family. She was a dedicated and caring teacher and I’m am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with her at MSU.

  2. 14
    Shari Wilson Says:

    May her memories be a blessing.

  3. 13
    Safoi Babana-Hampton Says:

    We lost a colleague and friend who has given so generously to our French program and brought so much to our department, college, university and the community. She spent the last few days of her life busy doing one of the things she was always most passionate about as well as selflessly and tirelessly dedicated herself to during her long and rich career: being an accomplished scholar and inspirational educator who profoundly impacted her students’ educational and life journeys. Her beautiful legacy will be around for a very long time. May her grieving family find in it comfort, healing and serenity. Thinking of you Ken, Camille and Elliott.

  4. 12
    Marc Bellot Says:

    I would like to express my sorrow and incredulous pain for the loss of my dear friend Anna. We met at the University of Lincoln, Nebraska in 1984 when we were both working as teaching assistants. Anna decided to stay in the US and even though I returned to France we still kept in touch and saw each other occasionally. Anna married, had children and pursued a brilliant academic career. I was looking forward to seeing her last August when she and Ken came to Montpellier, France, to see their daughter at the University there. I couldn’t make it at the last minute for imperious personal reasons…

    The pain I feel in my heart is significant of the deep feelings of friendship I have for Anna. I didn’t know of her illness and I will always keep in my memory her smiling face, her sense of humor and positive outlook on life. We loved speaking with the “pied-noir” accent, because we both spent our youth in Algeria for me and Tunisia for Anna. Last time she came to my home in Chantilly, France, I cooked her a “couscous” and had a fine time remembering the fine recipes of our mothers.

    We have to accept the unfairness and cruelty of life and can only offer prayers and sympathy for those who unexpectedly are cut off from our affection. I pray for Anna. I will never forget her.

    My deepest condolences go to her husband, her children and family. I share their sorrow. I feel privileged to have met Anna and shared friendship with her.

    Marc Bellot
    Chantilly, France

  5. 11
    Anne Gross Says:

    I was so sad to learn of Anna’s passing. She was such a special lady and I enjoyed working with her when Elliot and Camille were in my classroom for first grade. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of you. I have such fond memories of all of you and am so sorry for your loss.

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