Christiane V. Norton


Christiane V. Norton of Amherst died peacefully on April 16, 2018, from cancer, with her family by her side.

Christiane was born in Québec, Canada, daughter of Monique (Samson) Gourdeau and Eric Gourdeau on Jan. 4, 1955. She will be lovingly remembered for her generosity, her wisdom, and her fun-loving and adventurous spirit that took her from Québec to the island of Martha’s Vineyard, where she met her husband, David, then to Colorado, and finally to Western Massachusetts, where she and David settled with their two daughters.

She cherished time spent with her good friends and her family more than anything. Many memorable evenings were spent in her kitchen and around the table, talking, laughing and enjoying delicacies. She also loved meeting new people and learning their stories. She prided herself on making connections between her new and old friends and her family.

She had an impressive work ethic, and was successful in all the positions she held during her life, first as an esthetician and then as an administrative assistant at a dental office, at the University of Massachusetts, and most recently at an accounting firm. Perhaps the greatest joy in her life, however, came from her role as a devoted mother and grandmother, who was so proud of her children and grandchildren.

She will also be remembered for the grace and dignity with which she faced her illness. Determined to enjoy the last couple of months of her life, she delighted in visits from her friends and family, sharing stories, jokes, lots of chocolates and extravagant desserts, and inspiring us all.

Christiane is survived by her two daughters, Vanessa Duffy and her husband, Brian Duffy, Amanda Norton and her husband, Brian Durie; her grandsons, Samuel and Benjamin Duffy; and her partner, Daniel Thibodeau. She is also survived by her mother, Monique Gourdeau, her sister, Elisabeth O’Rourke, her brothers, Frédéric and François Gourdeau, her partner Daniel’s family, and her many cousins, nieces and nephews, and brothers and sisters-in-law, with whom she was very close. She was predeceased by her husband, David Norton, her sisters, Danielle, Sylvie, and Mireille Gourdeau, and her father, Eric Gourdeau.

Please join us in a celebration of her life at 11 am on Sunday, April 29, at the Log Cabin, 500 Easthampton Road, Holyoke. All family, friends and others whose lives Christiane touched are invited to attend. In respecting her wishes, a private burial will take place at an earlier date.

Memorial contributions can be made in her memory to the Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty Street, Danvers, MA 01923. Douglass Funeral Service in Amherst will be handling arrangements.