September 23, 1927 - May 1, 2018
Service Date: May 12, 2018
A "celebration of life" ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2018 from noon to 3:00 p.m. at the Oak Street Bistro restaurant in Alfred, Maine.
Dolores Norton passed away peacefully at her home in Waterboro, surrounded by her attentive and loving children and grandchildren.
She was born on September 23, 1927 at Whitehead Lighthouse in Saint George, Maine where her father served as an Assistant Keeper. At the age of one, her family relocated to the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse Station in Lubec, Maine where her father again served as an Assistant Keeper until 1938. The remainder of her childhood was spent at numerous other lighthouses, including Channel Light in Lubec, Petit Manan light on Petit Manan Island, and Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth. She often said that she was never able to decide on a favorite as it was a “tossup” between West Quoddy Head and Petit Manan. Even though many of these locations were very isolated, she emphatically stated that she always had an ample number of playmates consisting of her six brothers and two sisters.
After graduating from high school, she moved south and began a long career as a telephone switchboard operator, beginning with AT&T in Kennebunk and Biddeford, and culminating in thirty years on the switchboard at Maine Medical Center, rising to the level of Chief Operator and retiring in 1987. She married her husband Philip Norton Jr in 1949 and they were married for sixty years until his death in 2009.
She and Phil raised five children on Hill Street in South Portland. She always maintained that her years in South Portland were among her favorite and it showed. The house on Hill Street was a perennial, and much-loved, gathering place for her children and grandchildren, especially around the holidays. Her annual open- house Christmas party was legendary. Upon entering the house, one would have thought that they had entered Santa’s own residence. Every year she spent two months decorating prior to that event and at least a month undecorating after. She always made sure to set aside a “hands on” area for her beloved and treasured grandchildren to their great delight. Her annual Easter brunch party, including an impressive Easter Egg Hunt for the little ones, was equally remarkable. On one such occasion, more than thirty excited children participated. The sparkle in their eyes was precious to her. She was a generous and gracious host and her home was always open and most welcome to friends and family.
Following retirement, she and Phil moved to a wonderful home on Lake Arrowhead where they resided until 2001. This was likewise enjoyed by all, as the tradition of holiday celebrations continued unabated. In 2002, forsaking the cold Maine winters, she and Phil moved to a lovely retirement home in Florida where they happily resided together until Phil’s passing. As always, her home was home to all and hence they were never lacking in company. Her children, grandchildren, and friends visited often. Their proximity to Disney World was most appreciated by the grandchildren. She remained in Florida for two more years following Phil’s passing, and then returned to Maine in 2012 where she lived out the remainder of her life with her devoted daughter Karyn. All who knew Dolores were touched deeply and her memory will surely live on in their minds and hearts.
Dolores is predeceased by her sister, Muriel and Vivian; and her brothers, Earl, Wayne, Ned, Keith, Noel and Fred.
She is survived by her sons, Terry Norton and his wife Suzanne; Ron Norton and his wife Sangeeta; Philip Norton III and his wife Sheri; daughters, Karyn Gerity: and Deborah Paige and her partner Jim Brackley; niece, Gloria Wasson; grandchildren, Gretchen Kamszik and her husband Gary, Sean Norton, Sarah Norton, Meghan Buck and her husband Eddie, Nichole Page and her partner Tom Burnette, Derek Howes and his wife Lauren; Kaleigh Deering and her husband Jeremy; Trevor Gerity; Christopher Appaneal and his wife Haley; Christina Norton and her fiancé Todd Ramsey; Philip Norton IV; and Matthew Norton; 11 great grandchildren and many adored nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. She is also survived by many loved “grandcats and granddogs.”
A “celebration of life” ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 12th from noon to 3:00pm at the Oak Street Bistro restaurant in Alfred, Maine.
The Autumn Green Funeral Home is respectfully handling arrangements.