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James  Robert Norris

Obituary for James Robert Norris

February 23, 1947 - July 25, 2017
Greenwood, Indiana | Age 70


Judge James Robert Norris (2/23/47-7/25/17) passed after an extended battle with cancer. James was a devoted father, grandfather, and husband who served his country for over a quarter century, first as a cadet at the United States Military Academy, West Point, and later as an Administrative Law Judge.
Graduating from Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids, IA, James then entered West Point. During his final year as a cadet, James suffered a traumatic injury resulting in his honorable discharge from service. Recovering, he then attended both Coe College and Drake University Law School, earning first a degree in mathematics and then later his juris doctorate.
James practiced law for 17 years in Iowa and Illinois until accepting appointment as an Administrative Law Judge with the United States Social Security Administration. James worked over 26 years as a judge assigned to the Indianapolis branch of the Social Security Administration's Office of Hearings and Appeals until illness forced his retirement in late 2016.
With his wife of 46 years, Donna Jean Norris, James raised two children: Jack and Betsy. He loved the outdoors, especially fishing. He possessed a keen appreciation for history and encouraged his children to approach life with a sense of justice, equality, and fairness he practiced his entire life. He loved his job and his family. He is missed more than words can ever express.
He is survived by his wife, Donna; mother, Katherine; daughter, Betsy (Jeff); son, Jack (Lauren); grandchildren, Lyle, Elliot, and his namesake, Gideon James. James was preceded by his brother, Al (1949-2017), and father, George (1915-2009).
As per his wishes, James will be cremated and a private ceremony held where he is interred. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in the name of "Judge James R. Norris" to the cancer research, disabled veterans, or wildlife conservation charity of your choice.
Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Service and Crematory, Greenwood Chapel, has been entrusted with funeral arrangements. You are invited to visit our website at to share a memory or leave a condolence for the family.

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