Date of death: 12/5/2014
Saint Meinrad Class: SS 1974
Emileen M. Norris went to dance with the angels on December 5, 2014. She was born on November 29, 1923 (Thanksgiving Day) to Oliver and Emma Cannon Norris. She was the eldest of six children. Preceding her in death are brothers Joe, Bill and Jerry. Surviving are her sister, Sr. Margaret Norris who lives at St. Mary of the Woods in Terra Haute, Indiana; sister-in-law, Jan Norris; nephew, Gerald Norris, III; Don and Theresa Hayden, Ben and Leslie Crow, Margaret and Benton Crow; and many nieces and nephews around the country.
Emileen graduated from St. Mary of the Woods College (1958), obtained a Masters of Education from Indiana University (1964) and a degree from St. Meinrad School of Theology (1974).
Emileen taught elementary school for 23 years, was a hospital chaplain, and worked as a Director of the Community Foods and Nutrition Programs in Indiana. She was deeply interested in helping low income and homeless find their way out. She also worked in Washington, D.C for some time at Hanna House, helping homeless women.
Emileen came to Yelm to visit her brother, Jerry, and his wife, Jan, in 1998, and decided that it would be a good place to live. She returned to Indiana, packed her things, said farewell to her sister, Margaret, and her friends, and moved West. She lived for seven years at the Rainier View Apartments. She belonged to the Yelm Senior Center and made many new friends there. She became an active member of Norris family and was along on trips to the mountains and the ocean. She liked the Rhondies with the roast pig. Her new friend, Carl Longnecker, would take her out for drives in the country and show her the elk herds and other wonders of the Pacific Northwest.
Emileen would hop the Amtrak and venture back across the country to visit her brother, Bill, in Pennsylvania and brother Joe’s family in Texas. She made several visits to Texas to help nephew Mark find an adult family home which he loves and still lives in. His sisters and brothers say that Emileen did something that they were not able to do and they really appreciated her for that.
Emileen liked to read, and especially loved to crochet. It’s not known how many hundreds of hats and scarves she made in the last14 years. She packed them up for the Salvation Army, the Union Gospel Mission, and the homeless in Tacoma. The Nisqually Valley News wrote an article about her crocheting and what happened to all the hats she made. The family had many warm hats too.
Emileen also spent many hours on her genealogy. This was not a passing fancy. She researched many of the families in her family tree. Fortunately, her nephew in Texas wants all of the volumes of books she generated for each family.
Emileen moved to Rosemont Assisted Living in 2007. She was always up for a bus trip into the country, and going shopping, the Dollar Store was her favorite haunt. She liked lunch at Dairy Queen, had been known to get a bucket of chicken at Cornel Sanders to share with her friends. She enjoyed dark chocolate, blueberries and salmon. She was a lady of many interests and much knowledge. She shared both abundantly.
She loved the views of Mt. Rainier from Yelm and her ashes will be scattered there.
Her family is most grateful to the staff of Rosemont Assisted Living for their loving care of and doting over Emileen. She loved you all too. She is missed.