Robert Joseph Norris

Robert Joseph Norris

Robert Joseph Norris died unexpectedly and peacefully February 26, 2019, at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, with his wife and extended family with him.     
    Bob was born July 22, 1945 in Boston, to John Michael Norris and Margaret Angela (Sullivan) Norris.  Bob graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in the “North End” of Boston in 1963, and attended Boston State College.
    Bob always dreamed of living on The Cape someday.  He used to work in Boston delivering mail, on foot, carrying a heavy bag, 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, to save for a Cape House.  One winter a Boston TV reporter stopped Bob in Copley Square and asked him what he was doing out in the blizzard.  Bob said, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” (The reporter’s jaw dropped.  He didn’t know that Bob had a photographic memory.)
    After Bob met his wife Jean in 1984, he cut down to normal hours so he could spend more time with her.  He had money and a car; she had a son and a condo.
    Bob’s mother had always wanted to own a cottage on The Cape, and Bob and Jean were so happy to buy one in 1986 to share with relatives.  Jean’s son Jason and Bob’s mother came to Chatham to help celebrate the “closing.”   Bob’s mother enjoyed hemming the living room drapes just in time for the first renters.  Jean’s father asked her, “What about rising ocean levels?  Is it vulnerable to flooding?”  Jean confidently said, “Oh, no, Dad, it is near a protected harbor.”  Six months later, the barrier beach broke through.  Bob and Jean had the cottage lifted (and then the views were even better); much later, Bob and Jean sold the cottage and built a house (on higher ground). Thanksgiving in Chatham became a fun family tradition.
    When Bob and Jean welcomed granddaughter Yvette in 2013, Bob’s happiness was complete.
    Friends and family would often call to “ask Bob…” because he seemed to know everything.  He could also do anything.  When his godson Kevin got married, Bob studied library books and online tutorials to learn how to build a bed for Kevin and his wife.  Bob also studied the financial picture every day, and helped family and friends make money with their money.  His favorite things were reading and learning.
    He leaves behind his wife Jean Collins Norris; his step-son Jason, daughter-in-law Hanna, and granddaughter Yvette; his sister Rita, brother-in-law Jack; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
     A private memorial service will be held for friends and family at a date to be determined.  
    Hopefully, Bob’s death has provided sight to two blind individuals, because he donated his corneas through New England Donor Services.  If there is no medically appropriate recipient in the U.S., SightLife eye bank will offer them internationally.  If there is no medically appropriate recipient internationally, the corneas will be donated for medical research and/or education.
    To honor Bob’s loving and generous spirit, donations can be made to New England Donor Services (Organ and Tissue Donation), 60 First Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451, or via their web site neds.org ; or to a charity of your choice.  Or make someone laugh.  Bob had a dry wit which made people laugh every day, even in the midst of their sorrows.  He had a healing effect that way.