Delores, age 84, of Dimondale, MI, departed from this world, leaving her family and friends on January 12, 2018, as her Lord and Savior beckoned her to the place he has prepared for her. Delores had been a patient/resident at Holt Senior Care and Rehabilitation Center since March 2017.
Born June 28, 1933 in Jackson, Michigan, to Roscoe V and Helen Gray. She was the first of two daughters.
Delores was a member at Holt United Methodist Church yet had a beloved Lansing church history which includes Central United Methodist Church, Christ United Methodist Church, and Pennway Church of God. Delores was very active in the Church women’s groups and multiple friendship circles. She was very active in the Order of Eastern Star holding several offices including multiple periods as the Worthy Matron. Her interests were her immediate family, helping her husband garden, and put up their garden vegetables. Delores was full of stories (all of them real life). She was not afraid to entertain when there was a crowd and the combination of the stories and her ability to speak publicly prompted an advocation for speaking to many groups, sharing stories, and doing her beloved and highly sought after; “golf and hat shows.”
Delores graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1956 with a BS in Education. She worked as a teacher in the country school in Rives Junction and different elementary schools in the Lansing School District. She also taught Kindergarten in Saranac. She spent a couple middle years selling real-estate after her years of teaching. More than anything though, she was a mother and a champion to her children.
Along with her husband, Lester Norton, Delores was always planning “another trip.” Through summer camping trips and specific site trips Delores did visit all 50 of the United States. She embarked on more than one mission trip to other countries. Delores and Lester also traveled to Europe on a couple occasions.
Delores was a winter resident in Apache Junction, AZ, for twenty winters escaping the cold winters of Michigan and entering the warm hearts of countless friends at the Tomahawk Mobile home park. Regardless of residence, Delores always enjoyed communicating by notes with family, friends, shut-ins and others. She loved her craft projects as well and always had a homemade gift in hand for someone.
Delores is survived by her beloved husband and help mate of 61 plus years, Lester John Norton of Dimondale, MI. Still surviving and guaranteed to miss their mother dearly, her four children: Mary Prater of Highland, CA, Barbara (Bob) Latka of Gaylord, Robert (Wendi) Norton of Kincheloe, and Steve (Tara) Norton of San Diego, CA. One sister, Margaret (Peggy) Hill of Jackson. One brother-in-law, Dr. Francis Norton of Shippensburg, PA. Delores and Lester have 8 grandchildren: Brian (Val) Norton, Jonathan (Beth) Norton, Richard Prater, Christina Prater, Rebecca Latka, Tanner Norton, Jared Norton, and their little ballerina Grace Norton.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 18, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. at the Holt United Methodist Church, 2321 N. Aurelius Rd., with family receiving friends and relatives from 10:00 to 11:00. A separate visitation will be at the Estes-Leadley Holt/Delhi Chapel on Wednesday, January 17 from 5:30 to 8:30 with an Eastern Star service at 8:00 p.m.
It was Delores’ wish that she would be celebrated and not mourned at her passing. Delores was very committed over the years to be a financial part of the Youth Haven Ranch in Rives Junction. As well, she loved and was dearly committed to the Holt United Methodist Church. The family has requested that those wishing to make a memorial gift should do so to one of these organizations in honor of Delores.