South Glens Falls
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Irene Arbutus Elswick Norris, 95, passed away peacefully November 10, 2019 surrounded by her loving family. She was born July 3, 1924 in Minden, W.V. the daughter of William Roy and Alice Sophronia (Dunkley) Elswick.
After high school Irene joined the war effort by moving to Elkton, MD to work at the Triumph Explosives munitions factory in Elkton, Maryland, making machine gun shells and detonators. In 1944 she moved with her mother to California and worked as a welder at the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond. Her personal story is recorded at the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front Museum in that city and is also available online.
Irene married her Navy sailor, Laurence Leander Norris, Jr., of Detroit, MI on April 7, 1945. They moved the family to South Glens Falls in 1954 and remained there for over 65 years where Irene was kept very busy raising eight children. She was a talented cook, baker, and seamstress and passed those skills on to her children. A woman of high standards, she was a devoted wife and mother whose selfless example was a living blueprint to be followed by her children she so lovingly raised.
She was predeceased by her husband of 60 years, Laurence, all ten of her siblings, one son, William David Norris, and a granddaughter, Carrie Irene (Sullivan) Geraci.
She is survived by five daughters; Kathleen (Helmut) Erhardt, of New Bern, N.C., Ramona Bearor and her companion, Will Fletcher, of So. Glens Falls, N.Y., Blanche (Dennis) Sullivan of Prescott Valley, AZ, Mary (Daniel) Rice, of Keyport, N.J., and Susanne (Terry) Lewis of Hudson Falls, N.Y. and two sons, Laurence Norris III of So. Glens Falls, N.Y. and Richard Norris (Annie) of Camden, ME. She is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Irene’s family wishes to express their thanks to the compassionate staff of Community Hospice of Saratoga for their care during her last days.
Friends may call from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, at M.B. Kilmer Funeral Home, 136 Main St., South Glens Falls, N.Y.
A funeral service will be held Friday, Nov. 22, at 11a.m.at the First Baptist Church, 1721 Rt 9, South Glens Falls, with burial following in the Southside Cemetery, Gansevoort Rd, South Glens Falls.
Donations may be made in Irene’s memory to Community Hospice of Saratoga, 179 Lawrence St., Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 12866.