Linda Nell Norton


Linda Nell (Richmond) Norton passed away on August 24, 2022, in the care of the Androscoggin Hospice House in Auburn, Maine, after a long illness.

Linda was born on August 27, 1944, in Kerr County, Texas. She grew up in Hamilton, Texas, graduating from Hamilton High School before going on to attend Texas Woman’s University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in 1965. 

While working as a librarian in Pensacola, Fla., she met Martha’s Vineyard native Dennis Norton, who was serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Lexington. They married on June 1, 1967, in Pensacola. They later returned to Dennis’ home town of Vineyard Haven, building a home where they would live together until Dennis’ death in 2020. They were married for 53 years.

Linda received her Certificate of Librarianship from the commonwealth of Massachusetts in June 1977, and went on to have a long, distinguished career, most notably as the longtime head librarian at the Edgartown library. She embraced new technologies, and strove to make sure the library kept pace with the changing needs of its patrons. She received an outstanding achievement award from the State Senate of Massachusetts on May 4, 1992.

During a hiatus from librarianship, she ran an appliance repair business in the mid-1990s. She received several certifications in air conditioning, refrigeration code, electrical code, and appliance repair.

Linda was a lifelong learner. She loved to experience new things and to travel. Her trip of a lifetime was to Brazil in 2005. She had made dear friends in the Island’s Brazilian immigrant community through her dedication to the Edgartown library’s English as a Second Language program. She dabbled in many hobby crafts, and along with Dennis was an avid gardener. They loved their greenhouse, where they could grow exotic plants in the cold New England climate.

They had no children, but they had many fur-babies. It was not uncommon for them to have six cats at a time, all well-loved and cared for. At various times they also had ducks, dogs, and multiple aquariums. Toward the end of their lives, they enjoyed sitting together and watching birds at the feeders on their porch.

After Dennis’ death in 2020, Linda was brought to live near their niece at the Woodlands Memory Care Unit in Hallowell, Maine. Dennis’ ashes were cared for until a time when they could be buried together.

In addition to her husband, Dennis Norton, Linda was predeceased by her parents, Robert and Ruby Richmond; her niece, Jennifer Easterling; her sister, Ginger Crum; and her sister-in-law, Linda Richmond. She is survived by her sister, Myra Reinert, and her husband Roy; her brother Ward Richmond; her brother-in-law, Don Crum; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Dennis and Linda’s ashes will be buried together in the Norton family plot at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven. A brief graveside service will be held at 12:30 pm on Saturday, Oct. 7.