Thomas Norton


Thomas (Alden) Norton passed away peacefully on Nov. 28, 2021, at the Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Martha’s Vineyard, at the age of 95.

Born in Tisbury on August 8, 1926, the eldest of three children of Carlton Ellery Norton and Hannah Irene Heikel, Alden grew up and spent most of his life on Martha’s Vineyard. He served as a gunner in the U.S. Navy during World War II, stationed in the Pacific, then returned home to work on the Vineyard. Alden and his father converted the greenhouse in the back of their Daggett Avenue yard into a two-bedroom home, where he happily settled for decades, in later years enjoying the daily company of his sister Geraldine (Gerry), who lived in the family home in the front. 

Alden was a jack-of-all-trades, working for many years for Morrice Florist; painting model boats for the Van Riper Boat Shop on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven; and working for the town of Tisbury highway and water departments. He was like his father: If you needed something fixed, Alden could fix it. He played saxophone for the Town Band, was an avid ham radio operator, and a talented woodcarver.

In 2018, Alden joined his sister Gerry in Windemere, where they shared the past three years in each other’s company again. He treasured daily telephone calls with his younger sister Greta on Cape Cod, and liked nothing better than to reminisce about life on the Vineyard. 

He is survived by his two sisters, Geraldine Pinto, with whom he lived at Windemere, and Greta Slade of West Yarmouth; a nephew, Scott Slade, of Marysville, Wash.; a niece, Sheila Jean, of Kingsville, Texas; and a nephew, Richard Jay Slade, of Hyannis.

Services will be private, with interment at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Alden’s memory may be sent to Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, P.O. Box 1747, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557, and to the First Baptist Church, 43 Spring St., Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.