Bill was born 09/18/1937 in a farmhouse, South of Broomfield, CO to James Robert & Virginia Alice Norris. He grew up on this farm where he helped with farm chores, managed fishing on Lower Church Lake. He attended Mandalay Elementary in a small 2 room school with 2 teachers and a maximum student body of 32 students. He later attended Arvada High School. While in school he worked on a mink farm, dairy farm & pig farm. After school he worked in several used car lots and junk yards with his brother-in-law, “Max”; later with Peter Kiewit & Sons Construction in Cortez & Craig, CO.
In 1954 he joined the US Air Force, attended Basic Training at Parks AFB, then to Lowry AFB for Electronics Training in Gun Layering Radar for the B-36 Bomber. In this capacity he was able to enjoy many hours of non-stop flights over the Pacific Ocean, Southwest desert areas, Canada, Alaska, with several trips to Eilson AFB near Fairbanks, Alaska. While in the AF he engaged in private flying lessons at the Vacaville, CA airport and Travis AFB Aeronautical Club where he learned to fly many different airplanes.
In 1958 he married his first wife, Gladys Stevenson, while in the AF. He was able to trade in his flying experience as qualification to be an Air Traffic Controller. He was selected for Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center in California. From there he was immediately assigned to Basic Training at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma. In 1959 he transferred to Denver ARTCC at Stapleton Airport. He later transferred to Denver ARTCC in Longmont in 1961. He and Gladys became parents to two daughters, Janet and Susan.
In 1967 he transferred to Oklahoma City FAA Academy as an Automation Instructor training to key FAA facilities throughout the country while attending Academy Instructor training to become a Programming Instructor. He then transferred to Denver ARTCC as a Data Systems Coordinator as part of its initial automation staff.
In 1971 he transferred to NAFEC as an assistant Branch Chief of the new National Data Systems Branch. Four years later he was promoted to Data Systems Officer at the FAA facility in Longmont. Bill left the FAA in 1982 due to medical reasons.
In 1984 Bill married Joyce Whorlow who had three children, Michelle (Mish), Jared and Jeff. They became a family of seven.
In the coming years, he worked as a contractor, which took him and Joyce to several states and Canada. He finally retired from Lockheed Martin in 2000. They moved to Meadow Vale Farm, east of Longmont that year. He was active as an officer of the HOA there. Then in 2018 they moved to a patio home in Longmont.
Between 2000 and 2017 they traveled extensively over most of North and Central America; Western, Central and Eastern Europe; Iceland; many if not most Caribbean Islands.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Gladys Norris, older sister Margaret Firkins, son Jared Whorlow. He is survived by his older brother James Frank Norris; daughters Janet Magowan and Susan Fuqua; wife Joyce Norris; daughter Mish Ridenour, son Jeff Whorlow, daughter-in-law Brooke; sons-in-law Jerry Fuqua, Terry Ridenour, Robert “Doc” Magowan, daughter-in-law Dawn Baksa; 4 grandsons, David Norris, Craig Whorlow, Kenneth Whorlow, and Douglas Whorlow; 4 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of his life will be held Friday, January 17, 2020 at Carroll-Lewellen Funeral Home (503 Terry St.) at 2:00 in the afternoon.
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