In Memory of

Ken Norris

April 16, 1929 - August 2, 2018
From: Spencer, IA
Ken Norris

Ken Norris

Born: April 16, 1929
Died: August 2, 2018
Age: 89

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     George Kennon Norris, loving husband and father, age 89, passed away on August 2, 2018 in the Hartley Community Memorial Health Center in Hartley, Iowa.  Ken passed after a struggle with Alzheimer’s.

     Ken was born in Kearney, Nebraska, on April 16, 1929 to George and Mable Norris (Nieman). He was raised on the farm, which remains in the family to this day. Ken graduated from Chapman High School in Chapman, NE and graduated with a BA in Education from Kearney State College (University of Nebraska) at Kearney, NE. Ken was married to Margaret Mae Schlagel (Peg) on May 20, 1951 in Culbertson, Nebraska. During their 67 years of marriage, they had four children, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He started his teaching career in Kansas as a high school industrial arts and bookkeeping teacher and sports coach.  Shortly there after he was drafted into the Army and served in Japan during the Korean Conflict.

     After discharge, he became a sales manager for Steckley Genetic Giant Seed Corn for 10 years, starting a new territory in Spencer in 1955.  In 1961 he transitioned to selling insurance with Don Peters and ultimately landed in the job that was meant for him - selling real estate with Pearsall Realty. He retired from Spencer Realty in 2010. He was an innovator and developed numerous condominium complexes and office buildings in Spencer and the Iowa Great Lakes. Better Homes and Gardens inducted Ken into the National Broker Hall of Fame in 1996.  He was Iowa Great Lakes Realtor of the year in 2001. Real estate was not a job for Ken because it was his passion and he enjoyed every day because he had the privilege of helping people find their perfect home.

     Ken was a charter member for the Y’s Men Club, Ambassadors and Kiwanis Day Break Club and was an active member for each of these organizations. Ken was also a strong community member involved in the Grace Methodist Church and other various organizations.  He was an avid supporter of Spencer business development.

     He worked tirelessly for the Y’s Men Club and was instrumental in restoring Johnson’s Grocery after it was moved to the Clay County Fairgrounds to be used for a Nutty Bar stand.

     Ken enjoyed his hobbies of fishing, hunting and golfing as well as working out at the Y. He played pitch at the Spencer Golf and Country Club for years and won more than he lost. He was particularly fond of his grandchildren. He did everything in life with a smile, a laugh, humor and sometimes an off-color joke. He had a heartfelt enthusiasm and passion to help people. He made friends where ever he went and always lent a helping hand to those in need. We miss him!   

      He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Peg Norris, Spencer, IA; his children Deb Norris, Denver, CO; Sandy and Dick Murray, Seattle, WA; Jenny and Kevin Zalaznik, Spencer, IA; and Kyle and Diedra Norris, Spencer IA; his grandchildren Drew and Rebecca Hjelm, Deerfield, WI; Andrew Murray, Seattle, WA; Alex Murray, Seattle, WA; and Katy and Grant Taylor, Williamsburg, IA; and three great grandchildren: Nicholas, Elizabeth and Maren Hjelm; as well as his sister-in-law, Margie Perren, Spencer, IA

     In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Clay County Heritage Center and Parker Museum.

Memorial Services will be held at 10:00 A.M., Saturday, August 18, 2018 at Grace United Methodist Church in Spencer.
Pastor Paul Frederiksen
Public Gathering with the family present will be held on Friday, August 17, 2018 from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. at Warner Funeral Home in Spencer.
"What A Wonderful World"
"When The Saints Go Marching In"
By Laura Carlentini
Pianist, Ray Meyer
Congregational Hymn
"In The Garden"
Riverside Cemetery
Spencer, Iowa


Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 5:21 PM
“Deb and family you are in our prayers. May God’s strength and your great memories carry each of you through this difficult time.”
- Becky Simons
Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 11:00 AM
“Sorry for your loss Deb and family. Condolences to you and yours.”
- Dennis Parr
Friday, August 17, 2018 at 3:51 PM
“Peg, Deb,Sandy, Jenny and Kyle. Ken was not only a #1 realtor, but a #1 Spencer booster with a # 1 smile as big as a mile. Spencer is a better place because Ken Norris lived here.
Dave Potratz”
- Dave Potratz
Friday, August 17, 2018 at 11:55 AM
“Kyle, Deeds and family - so very sorry for your loss and prayers for you all during this time of grief. I do celebrate with you that you know you will see Ken again and that he is now face to face with our loving Savior. That has to be so awesome, beyond words. I love you both!”
- Patty Ellsworth
Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 1:09 PM
“Dearest Peg, Deb, Sandy, Jenny and Kyle and families- my thoughts and prayers are with you all. I have so many wonderful memories of Ken-I am so grateful to have been a part of all your lives for so many years.”
- Annie Woods
Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 11:46 AM
“Peggy, Deb, Sandy, Jenny and Kyle and families losing your husband and a family member is really tough. Ken was a very active volunteer during his years in Spencer and we had lots of fun golfing, hunting and fishing trips. He will be missed. God Bless. Don”
- Don Peters
Monday, August 13, 2018 at 8:19 AM
“I would like to express my deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of Ken Norris. I am truly sorry for the lost that your family is feeling. Experiencing the lost of a beloved family member is one of the hardest thing that any of us can go thru. And because of that my thoughts and prayers are with your family. Take comfort in knowing that God never intent for us to deal with sickness or death. But have assurance in this wonderful promise that God holds out to each of us. He promise us that very soon he is going to reunite us back with all those loved ones we have lost. (John 5:28,29) Until that time, cherish all the wonderful memories that you have of Mr. Ken. These precious memories will console the family in the day's ahead. ”
- LaToya Johnson
Friday, August 10, 2018 at 5:57 PM
“Peg, Kyle and Jenny, we are so sorry for your loss of Ken. We have good memories of years of knowing him. May our Lord and savior wrap all of you with his loving arms and give you comfort and peace. ”
- Mick and Karleen Noteboom
Friday, August 10, 2018 at 5:56 PM
“Kyle, so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. It is so hard to have a parent leave us. May God's hand hold you and your family. ”
- Cindy Buren
Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 10:57 AM
“Ken will be missed! Thinking of your family.”
- Heather Peters
Monday, August 6, 2018 at 12:47 PM
“My deepest sympathies to all of you ! He is with God now and in a beautiful place !
You are all in my prayers !
Love you all !”
- Rhonda Olson
Saturday, August 4, 2018 at 9:10 AM
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Norris family. Cherish the memories.”
- Bob and Lavon Montgomery
Friday, August 3, 2018 at 3:11 PM
“Ken and Peggy, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Ken. He was always so pleasant to work with on Stand #11 at the fairgrounds. He greeted everyone with his giant "Ken" smile and would enlighten new visitors of the fair with the history of the Nutty Bars. May the memory of the good times out weight these tough times. ”
- Sara Morrow
Friday, August 3, 2018 at 12:33 PM
“Kyle, Jenny and the rest of the family, My condolences on the loss of Ken. He will be missed.”
- Tom Morse
Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 9:45 PM
“To all in Kens family I extend my deepest and heartfelt sympathy. Please accept my prayers of comfort as you
go through the difficult days ahead. Rest In Peace Ken.”
- Mari Lu Larson
Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 9:44 PM
“Sorry for the loss of Ken. I know times during the last few years were difficult, but he certainly left a positive mark on Spencer and many great memories remain with family and friends through out his lifetime. Peggy, you are included in those great memories. Tom and Judy Hart”
- Tom and Judy Stoermer Hart
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