Cover photo for Justin Noel Norton's Obituary
Justin Noel Norton Profile Photo
1975 Justin 2024

Justin Noel Norton

June 10, 1975 — January 28, 2024

Davenport, Lake Zurich

Justin was born to Pratoom (Toy) Sommai Norton and Richard (Ric) Norton nearly a half century ago in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. From the time he took his first breath “the die was set.” He was destined to be the beautiful person that many people came to know and love.

His first few months were spent in a small bungalow on stilts nurtured by his mother, coddled by his Great Grandmother, and protected by his Father and Uncle Lek. Many hours were spent playing with his older brothers, Jason and Jeff.

Justin took his first airplane ride at the age of 6 months, flying to the United States from South East Asia. He landed in the city of Chicago in the midst of a snowstorm, stranded for several days. Ironically, this would be his home after spending his childhood in rural Southwest Michigan.

He grew up in an old farmhouse that sat on a knoll, surrounded by fields and woodlands west of the village of Three Rivers. He was fortunate to be surrounded by a large extended family, including his Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, and many cousins.

His years spent at Norton Elementary and later in Three Rivers Middle School and High School helped to inspire his desire to learn, chase after his dreams, and achieve his goals. Middle and High School Band had a profound influence on his entire life. Thank you, Mr. Hunt and Mr. Shetterly, for planting the seed. As First Chair bassoonist with both Kalamazoo Junior Symphony and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, he was able to travel and perform at various venues throughout the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. It was also through a shared passion for music back in Middle School that he met his lifelong friend Kimberley.

After a year attending The School of Music at Western Michigan University, Justin’s life changed course and he headed to Chicago. The arts, theater, concerts, museums, and night life were his leisure pursuits. His work was a passion! He knew his business in cosmetics and had the talent of bringing the inner beauty of his clients to the surface of their skin. As a team leader, sales associate, and manager at Nordstrom he was respected and loved by his colleagues, who knew him well.

In 2012, Justin married his soulmate, Ritchie, together they built a life filled with love and laughter. Ritchie was Justin’s rock and their personalities perfectly complimented each other. They shared a passion for travel that included a trip to his cousin Nattiya’s wedding in Phuket, Thailand, a journey to Ireland, and numerous adventures in New Orleans.

Justin’s final challenge in life was the unrelenting cancer that consumed his body. With the love and support of his husband, Ritchie, he fought relentlessly. Their undeniable love for each other got them through many difficult days. When he took his last breath, he knew he had won, he was at peace.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Justin on Saturday, March 2, from 6pm to 9pm at Sidetrack, 3349 North Halsted Street, Chicago, 60057.

A second Celebration of Life will be held in Justin's hometown on Saturday, July 20, from 3pm until 5pm at Hohner Funeral Home, 1004 Arnold Street, Three Rivers, Michigan.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his memory, that will give other young people the opportunity he was given early in his life.
"The TR Band Boosters"
Camp Scholarships
PO Box 401
Three Rivers Mi 49093

To paraphrase the original quote from Agustus “…to have a rainbow, you must have rain.”

With Justin there were many rainbows, and the rain was but a mist...

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Justin Noel Norton, please visit our flower store.


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