Obituary : Elizabeth L. Norton
Elizabeth L. Norton, 81, died peacefully on December 27 at her home in Oak Bluffs.
Betty was born to John and Elizabeth (Ralph) Sylvia on July 13, 1928, in Oak Bluffs. She was the middle child of three. The family relocated to Connecticut where Betty's father honed his skills in real estate, moving the family on multiple occasions. Although Betty spent much of her early life in Connecticut, the family ultimately returned to the Vineyard where Betty met William Norton.
Betty and Bill Norton were married on September 9, 1950. They lived in Oak Bluffs with their four children, first on Circuit Avenue and then on Shawanue Avenue, near the Lagoon. Betty was very involved in the children's activities and in the community. She was a Den mother for the Cub Scouts, a member of the Sacred Heart Guild, and served as a first communion teacher for 25 years. She cared deeply about her students and worked with the local merchants to ensure every child had appropriate attire for their special day. Betty was a recipient of the Marian Medal, a Catholic award that recognizes a member of the diocesan parish for outstanding devotion and service.
Family and friends were central to Betty's life. Her little home had a stream of visitors year-round. She always managed to make room for a few more overnight guests or to set an extra place at the dinner table.
Betty was selfless. She cared for her family with passion. When Bill had a life-threatening heart attack in 1985, Betty supported his cardiac rehabilitation. She monitored his diet carefully, preparing homemade meals that were both heart-healthy and delicious.
Betty was pre-deceased by her beloved son, Timothy. Shortly after Tim's battle with cancer began, Betty spent most of her time at his family's home in Southborough. Her job was straightforward. She would do whatever was needed to support Tim and his family during and after his courageous battle.
Despite her loss, Betty continued to give of herself. She took excellent care of Billy and remained by his side when he too succumbed to cancer on September 7, 2009. At her request, Billy was unaware of Betty's diagnosis of terminal metastatic lung cancer.
Betty is survived by her three children, Deborah and her husband, John; Ralph and his wife, Susan; Dawn and her husband, Bob; Timothy's widow, Sherry; eight grandchildren; and her sister, Barbara, and her husband, Nelson.
A memorial mass will be celebrated on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 11 am at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Oak Bluffs, followed by interment of her cremated remains in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Oak Bluffs. A celebration of Betty's life will be held later in the spring of 2010, the details of which will be published at a future date.
Donations may be made in Mrs. Norton's memory to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.
Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs.