Jerry Duane Norris was born Aug. 28, 1939, in Brewster. He was the second child born to Dan and Mary Cuplin Norris.
Jerry spent his early childhood in Brewster and attended elementary school there. When Jerry was a teenager his family moved to California. He graduated from John Marshall High School in 1958.
During this time he worked with his father in the family owned machine shop. He attended two years at LA Community College and studied engineering. Jerry decided that his true calling was becoming a tool and die maker, so he went back to working in the machine shop.
He spent his life doing this and became a very talented machinist and tool and die maker. He owned and created Zan Products and was self-employed until retirement. During that time he made stop motion camera parts for his brother’s business that earned an Academy Award and worked on several other products.
He served his country in the Army for three years during the Vietnam War. He was discharged with honors. The Veteran’s Administration and his local service officer, Linda, were very much appreciated during his illness.
Jerry loved to hunt and fish and enjoyed both for most of his life. He was very active in the Brewster community and served as the mayor for many years. He also was a volunteer fireman and made time to help his friends and neighbors.
Two children were born to his first marriage to Alice; Kim and Jerry Jr. He later married Helen Jackson and welcomed her son, Jeff, to the family also. Jerry and Helen were married for 32 years. Helen cared for him after he was diagnosed with ALS which allowed him to remain in Brewster until shortly before his death at the VA Hospice in Grand Island, Oct. 18, 2012.
In addition to his parents, Jerry was preceded in death by his brother, Dan.
He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Helen; one daughter, Kim and husband Joe McMurtry of Johnstown Colo.; two sons, Jerry and wife Karyn Norris of Maple Grove, Minn., and Jeff and wife Tammy Hillebrand of Edison; one sister, Ruth Norris of Crete; one step- brother, Don and Donna Baker of Brewster; one granddaughter, Heather and husband Scott Jackson of Tulsa Okla.; three grandsons, Destry Hillebrand of Edison, Derek and Daniel Norris of Minnesota; two great-granddaughters, Kara and Caley with a sister Carter on the way of Tulsa; sister-in-law, Carol Norris of California; nephews, Eric and Ryan Norris; nieces, Sjon Iwanski and Janina Bakker, and many other relatives and friends. Also beloved friend Jim Avis and family of Shelby.
Graveside services were at the Brewster Cemetery with military honors Oct. 22, 2012. Govier Brothers Mortuary of Broken Bow was in charge of arrangements.
Published in Custer County Chief, Oct. 25, 2012