HORNELL-Richard G. “Dick” Norton, 89, of 1190 County Route 66, Hornell died Thursday evening (February 15, 2018) at Elderwood at Hornell, following a brief illness.
Born in Franklin, NY on April 24, 1928, he was the son of Merritt & Edna (Nelson) Norton.
Dick grew up in South New Berlin and was a graduate of South New Berlin High School (class of 1945). While in high school, he excelled in sports, especially baseball.
He was a Veteran of the US Navy during WWII, serving his country aboard the Cubera-347 Submarine in the Atlantic Ocean. He was honorably discharged in 1948 after serving his country for two years.
Following his discharge from the US Navy, Dick was determined to pursue his dream of becoming a professional baseball player. In 1948, he signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox organization. In 1949, he came to Hornell as a left-handed pitcher for the Hornell Red Sox (which later became the Hornell Dodgers). His baseball career ended in 1950 due to an arm injury.
After a brief stint with the Erie Railroad, Dick became a New York State Trooper serving from 1953-1968, eventually working his way up to the rank of Sergeant. He was forced to retire in 1968 due to an injury sustained to his back.
From 1971 – 1999, (28 years) he and his wife resided in Florida, primarily in Titusville and Cocoa. Dick was a member of the Hornell Association and a former member of the Hornell American Legion. He was an avid golfer and was a member of Twin Hickory Golf Club where he usually played from the middle of every fairway. He was affectionately known as, “Down-the-Middle Dick” and the phrase “Nice shot, Dick” was often heard many times per round. Dick particularly loved playing golf with his children and grandchildren.
On November 2, 1949, Dick was married to the former Margaret Fie who died February 22, 2010. He was also preceded in death by his son, Christopher Norton who died in 2011; 2 grandsons, Michael E. Norton, JR who died in 1982 and Merritt W. Norton who died in 2018; his daughter-in-law, Darla Norton who died in 2015; 2 sisters, Jayne DeBoer and Norma Lovejoy.
Surviving are 2 sons, Michael Norton of Canisteo and Patrick (Debbie) Norton of Ithaca; 1 daughter, Cathy (Tom) Atchison of Silver Lake, OH; 10 grandchildren, Tina Norton, Tonya (Brian) Norton-Russell, Marcus (Christina Stewart) Norton, Katie (Dana Twigg) Norton, Kelsey (David Soltesz) Atchison, Kyle Atchison, Micah Francis, Christopher Norton, JR and Jennelle (Mark) Kliewer; 8 great-grandchildren, Evan Norton, Rhiannon Shiloh, Layla Russell, Mikayla Norton, Macrae Norton, Wesley Twigg, Lily Kliewer and Freya Arnold; nieces Dawn Robbins, Donna Mungin and Patti Taylor.
At Dick’s request there will be no calling hours. A “Golfing Celebration of Life” will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.
Funeral arrangements are in care of the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY.
Dick’s family request that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name be made to the Hornell YMCA, 18 Center St., Hornell, NY 14843.
To leave an online condolence or share a memory, visit www.dagonfuneralhome.com.