LILBOURN - James Norton, 82, went home to be with the Lord on Feb. 12, 2003.
Born Feb. 3, 1921, in Caruthersville, he was the first of seven children born to the late Irvin and Sally Neal Norton.
James started farming about the time he started walking. He moved to the Lilbourn area in the 1930s and began farming with his father. He continued to farm and owned that land until his retirement at age 79. A man of very strong faith, James was a member of the First Baptist Church in Lilbourn for more than 50 years, during which time he had served as a deacon and held many other positions.
On March 16, 1940, in Lilbourn, he married Gladys woods who survives of the home. Three daughters were born to this union, Janet Wilburn and Libby Norton of Sikeston and Peggy Beeson and her husband, Cleo Beeson, of Advance. His love and commitment to his family set an example that will be built on in our family for generations to come.
Other survivors include: four sisters, Betty Lou Lemley, Margaret Colvin and Doris Parson of St. Louis and JoAnn Solomon of Kansas City; four grandchildren, Michelle Perry and Teresa Tumbleson of Sikeston, Reese Beeson of Advance and Jamie Burnett of Zalma; and seven great-grandchildren, Justin Perry, Ryan Perry, Spencer Tumbleson and Emily Tumbleson of Sikeston, Michael Storey of Advance and Paul Burnett and Elizabeth Burnett of Zalma.
He was preceded in death by one brother, Marvin "Junior" Norton; one sister, Stella "Pete" Davidson; one son-in-law, Charles Wilburn; and one great-grandson, Zach Beeson.
Everyone who knew James knew he was quick with a smile or a funny story. His concern for people was evident in the way he lived his life on a daily basis. He was someone who the Lord can truly greet by saying, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the First Baptist Church in Lilbourn, where services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday. The Rev. Bob Medlock, a Baptist minister, will officiate.
Burial will follow in Mounds Park Cemetery near Lilbourn.
Ponder Funeral Home of Lilbourn is in charge of arrangements.